Great Scots: Gerry Rafferty

PAISLEY-BORN singer-songwriter who wrote ‘Baker Street’ (1947 - 2011)

Gerry Rafferty was a musician born in Paisley, Glasgow, blessed with a pitch-perfect vocal and a sweet yet streetwise turn of phrase that would come to characterise much of his catalogue, the apotheosis of which was ‘Baker Street’. Rafferty’s relationship with his father in his early life was a troubled one; his mother would often take Rafferty out of the house to evade the beatings of his alcoholic father. Rafferty’s troubles with alcoholism in later life may or may not have stemmed from these early experiences, but his problems were largely obscured by his formidable songwriting career, for a time at least. Rafferty’s strong individual streak ensured that the bands he became a part of were relatively short-lived (among them, The Humblebums with comedian Billy Connolly, and Stealers Wheel with childhood friend Joe Egan, who helped pen ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’), but, following lengthy legal proceedings, his solo career began to blossom, and it is for songs such as ‘Baker Street’ and ‘Days Gone Down’ that Rafferty is best remembered for.

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