Longtime singer Leon Redbone died at the age of 69 on May 30, his family said.
His death was announced by his family in an announcement on his website, which bore a resemblance to his own songwriting style.
“It is with heavy hearts we announce that early this morning, May 30th 2019, Leon Redbone crossed the delta for that beautiful shore at the age of 127,” the family wrote on his website.
So sad to hear of Leon Redbone’s passing. I’ll never forget the first time hearing, watching his coal-cellar vocal and ’30s-style guitar playing on “Saturday Night Live” in 1975. My favorites: “Walking Stick” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” pic.twitter.com/BGaOQlEt9B
— Mark Bennett (@TribStarMark) May 30, 2019
The statement added: “He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover, and a simple tip of his hat. He’s interested to see what Blind Blake, Emmett, and Jelly Roll have been up to in his absence, and has plans for a rousing sing along number with Sári Barabás.”
“An eternity of pouring through texts in the Library of Ashurbanipal will be a welcome repose, perhaps followed by a shot or two of whiskey with Lee Morse, and some long overdue discussions with his favorite Uncle, Suppiluliuma I of the Hittites. To his fans, friends, and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ‘Oh behave yourselves. Thank you…. and good evening everybody.’”
Farewell to Leon Redbone… pic.twitter.com/KOy1Fmp766
— David Gogo (@DavidGogoBlues) May 30, 2019
According to Variety, he appeared several times on the early iterations of “Saturday Night Live” in the mid-1970s. He also appeared on “The Tonight Show” and other TV shows.
The magazine reported that he officially retired in 2015, saying that he had unspecified health issues that had “been a matter of concern for some time.”
He recorded 16 full-length albums between 1975 and 2016.
Singer-songwriter Leon Redbone has died.
He went out in style at age 127 “with a simple tip of his hat,” per this message posted on his website: pic.twitter.com/sCqKLzTOzY
— Scott Bauer (@sbauerAP) May 30, 2019
R.I.P. LEON REDBONE: I’m greatly saddened to hear my old friend Leon Redbone has passed away. He was not “old school” as much as he was “old world.” He understood the music and entertainment of the past more than anyone I’ve ever known. Godspeed, Champagne Charlie! #LeonRedbone pic.twitter.com/6IZYY4EsIG
— Lou Brutus (@LouBrutus) May 30, 2019
When he was interviewed by Rolling Stone before his debut album, he stated: “My father was Paganini and my mother was Jenny Lind. Wunnerful, wunnerful.” When he was asked about making obscure references, Redbone said, “I don’t do anything mysterious on purpose. I’m less than forthcoming, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m mysterious. It just means I’m not inclined to go there,” according to Variety.
No cause of death was listed on his website.
Redbone is survived by wife Beryl Handler, daughters Blake and Ashley, and three grandchildren, Deadline reported.
Good night Leon Redbone. An early SNL guest, deadpan voice, old blues and pop standards. His rendition of “Shine On Harvest Moon” always moved me. RIP. pic.twitter.com/H1tZii3wLh
— Dennis Perrin (@DennisThePerrin) May 30, 2019