WASHINGTON, June 7, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Dr. John, an American jazz musician
who delighted New Orleans festival-goers for decades with his legendary piano
riffs and unmistakable hoarse voice, died Thursday, his family said.
The legendary blues pianist, whose real name was Malcolm John McRebennack,
suffered a heart attack and died early in the morning, according to a
statement on his official Twitter account. He was 77.
Dr. John’s musical talents defied genre, as he played everything from
blues and pop to jazz, boogie woogie and rock-and-roll.
A specific character who was known for his trademark gravelly voice, Dr.
John brought psychedelic rock to Louisiana’s Big Easy in the 1960s and then
introduced the city to funk in the 1970s.
With his fuck-rock hoodoo style, he established himself as one of New
Orlean’s most important musicians, in the footsteps of other keyboard masters
like Fats Domino.
Dr. John, who won several Grammy awards and was a major feature at
international jazz festivals, was also known for mingling English with French
Creole and African patois in a cultural mix specific to New Orleans and its
He wrote about his heroin addiction and in the 1960s spent two years in
prison for drug possession.