1978 Gerry Rafferty – Right Down The Line
Gerry Rafferty grew up in Scotland, where his mother taught him to sing traditional Irish and Scottish folksongs. After leaving school, he had several odd jobs. On the weekends, he and Joe Egan played and sang covers of popular songs as members of The Maverix.
The pair became members of The Fifth Column in 1966. The group released a single that failed to chart.
Gerry joined with Billy Connolly and Tam Harvey and formed The Humblebums in 1969, playing folk-pop music. He and Billy continued as a duo after Tam left. In 1971, the group ended and Billy pursued a career as a comedian. Gerry recorded his first solo album, which earned critical acclaim but failed to sell well.
Gerry and Joe rejoined and created the band Stealers Wheel in 1972. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller came to London and produced their first album in Apple Studios. Gerry left the group once they completed the album. Gerry and Joe co-wrote a single on the album that sold over a million copies and reached #6 on the Hot 100 in 1973: Stuck In The Middle With You. Joe convinced Gerry to rejoin the group after that success, but everybody else except Joe left.
After recording two more albums that failed to repeat their early success, the pair disbanded in 1975. The ensuing legal problems kept Gerry from recording new music until 1978. His second album contained the hit Baker Street. The single peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 in 1978 and the album sold over four million copies.
Right Down The Line was selected as the second single from the album. It peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 in 1978 and spent four weeks at the top of the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart.
Gerry did not enjoy touring or performing live, which was a barrier to continued success.
Two more hits came in 1979. The single Days Gone Down peaked at #17 on both the Hot 100 and the AC chart.
His last entry into the US top forty on the Hot 100 was Get It Right Next Time. It only reached #21 on the Hot 100 and #15 on the AC chart, but I remember it more clearly than Days Gone Down.
Gerry continued releasing albums every few years through the eighties. He eventually began recording albums in his own studio and selling them through his website.
Repeated bouts of alcoholism contributed to the liver failure that ended Gerry’s life in 2011.
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