The music world lost another talent on Tuesday, as singer/instrumentalist Gerry Rafferty succumbed to liver disease. Rafferty, 63, was best known for two huge hits: “Stuck in the Middle” with Stealers Wheel and “Baker Street,” the sax-driven rock chestnut from 1978. The Scottish-born performer, who once supplemented his income as a busker in the London Underground subway system, formed Stealers Wheel with fellow musician Joe Egan, and they rose to prominence in the early-1970s. After the smash hit “Stuck In the Middle” (later used to chilling effect in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs), legal and internal problems broke up the group by 1975.
Rafferty regrouped for a solo career that caught fire in the late-'70s. Along with “Baker Street,” he scored hits such as “Right Down the Line” and “Home and Dry.” He continued to write and record through the '80s and '90s, but with less commercial success. He released a comeback album, Another World, in 2000, but worsening health problems curtailed his production. In 2008, he disappeared from a hospital in London to which he admitted himself, and there were premature rumors of his demise. Late in 2010, he sought treatment for liver failure, and sadly, he never recovered. We will report more on this unfortunate news as it develops.