Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………….on January 4th of 2011 Gerry Rafferty, the lead singer of Stealers Wheel on their 1973 hit “Stuck In The Middle With You”, died after a long illness at the age of 63. After the band split up, he went on to a successful solo career, enjoying five more Billboard Top 30 hits, including this song “Baker Street” and his followup hit “Right Down The Line”. “Baker Street” written by Rafferty is a real street in London; Rafferty often stayed with a friend who lived there. The song was the Scottish singer’s first release after the resolution of legal problems surrounding the acrimonious breakup of his band Stealers Wheel in 1975. Raphael Ravenscroft played the sax solo. Rafferty wrote the song with an instrumental break, but didn’t have a specific instrument in mind. Hugh Murphy, who produced the track, suggested a saxophone, so they brought in Ravenscroft to play it. Ravenscroft has played on records by Pink Floyd, Marvin Gaye, Abba, Alvin Lee and many others. Ravenscroft was reportedly paid only £27 for his sax contribution. The check that he was given bounced, so the musician framed the useless payment and hung it on his solicitor’s wall. “Baker Street” became Rafferty’s biggest hit as a solo artist. It reached #2 in the US and #3 in the UK.