Kenny Rankin R.I.P. – Hope It’s Oh So Peaceful There


Kenny Rankin died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 69. You can find the NY Times obituary here.

Kenny Rankin might not be exactly the kind of singer you’d expect to find here at Harry’s Music. He considered himself a jazz singer, and I won’t argue with that, but back in the day when labels didn’t mean quite as much as they seem to now, Kenny was just part of the crowd.

His covers of Fred Neil, Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot brought him enough folkie credibility to get heard in folk-rock circles, and many of us stayed with him as he widened his musical reach, and continued to value his good taste, superb musicianship and limitless integrity. I’m sure his first LP, Mind-Dusters (available on CD as heartbreakingly expensive Japanese import only), was the only record I ever bought that had liner notes written by Johnny Carson, but Kenny’s music was like that – it brought people together who otherwise might never have known how much they had in common.

We no longer have Kenny Rankin, but we can still enjoy his work. Here’s Kenny performing his Oh, So Peaceful Here – later a hit for Helen Reddy. Please enjoy.

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