Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack, the legendary New Orleans musician and producer, who came to embody so much about the majesty and mystery of New Orleans, died of a heart attack on June 6th at age 77, according to Rolling Stone.
A message was posted on his official Facebook page, which read:
Towards the break of day on June 6, 2019, iconic music legend Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr., professionally known as Dr. John, passed away of a heart attack. As a Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame inductee, six time Grammy winner, songwriter, composer, producer, and performer, he created a unique blend of music which carried his home town, New Orleans, at its' (sic) heart, as it was always in his heart. The family thanks all whom have shared his unique musical journey, and requests privacy at this time. Memorial arrangements will be announced in due course.
Ringo Starr, who tapped Dr. John as one of the inaugural members of his 1989 All Starr Band, tweeted: “God bless Dr. John peace and love to all his family I love the doctor peace and love.”
Dr. John earned his bones in the mid-'60s L.A. session scene behind the likes of Sonny & Cher and others, before launching his solo career in 1968. Prior to that, he was known by several aliases, including Dr. John Creux The Night Tripper.
Even after he began recording on his own, Dr. John continued playing other people's sessions, having teamed up with a virtual “who's who” of the music world — including John Lennon, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, the Meters, Bob Dylan, Bette Midler, the Band, Carly Simon and James Taylor, Van Morrison, Lou Reed, Gregg Allman, Aretha Franklin — and literally dozens upon dozens of others.
Dr. John's 1973 single “Right Place, Wrong Time” was his first and only hit single, peaking at Number Nine on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 30th, 1973. He will forever be remembered for his Thanksgiving 1976 performance of “Such A Night” at the Band's final concert at Winterland, which was preserved for the silver screen in The Last Waltz.
In 2011, the night he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we asked him what he saw for the musical future of New Orleans: “Well, as long as the city be there, there will be music. It's the city of music, it's the city of spirits. Hey, I'm always proud to represent my home.”