Dr Hook singer Ray Sawyer dies aged 81

The musician famous for wearing an eye patch died ‘peacefully in his sleep’ after a brief illness

Ray Sawyer performing with guitarist Dennis Locorriere of Dr Hook  in Central Park, New York in 1979. Photograph: Waring Abbott/Getty Images

Ray Sawyer performing with guitarist Dennis Locorriere of Dr Hook in Central Park, New York in 1979. Photograph: Waring Abbott/Getty Images

 

Dr Hook & The Medicine Show singer Ray Sawyer has died aged 81.

The musician was famous for the black eye patch he wore after he lost his eye in a car accident. The 1970s band, which was later known as just Dr Hook, was best known for the song When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman, and Sawyer sang lead vocals on their 1972 hit Cover Of The Rolling Stone.

A statement on Artists International Management’s Facebook page said: “It’s with a heavy heart that we have to say goodbye to one of the iconic performers of the 1970s who literally had his smiling face on the cover of Rolling Stone.

“Ray Sawyer was the face and voice of Dr Hook and I had the pleasure and honour of working with him as his agent/management for the past 27 years, along with my partner Steve who started with him in 1987.

“He has a wonderful wife Linda and son Cayse who went out on the road with him as his drummer in later years, and always made us feel part of the family.

“Ray was the consummate ‘road dog’, performing all over the world to thousands and thousands of fans covering hundreds of shows and logging thousands of miles across the globe.

“He lived the rock and roll life right up to the age of 81, and he was proud of it – and that’s quite a feat. Rest peacefully Ray... you will be sadly missed.”

The company also shared a post from Sawyer’s wife Linda, which said: “My heart is broken; Ray passed away this morning peacefully in his sleep.

“We thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Ray loved you all.”

Sawyer founded the group with Dennis Locorriere, Billy Francis and George Cummings, and was a member of Dr Hook & The Medicine Show from 1969 to 1981.

He left the band to pursue a solo career and later toured with a spin-off group named Dr Hook featuring Ray Sawyer.

Locorriere said in a statement to Rolling Stone: “Although I hadn’t been in contact with Ray for many, many years it does not erase the fact that we were once close friends and shared an important time in both our lives. Deep condolences go out to his family at what must be a difficult time.” – PA