Kenny Rankin passes away

Kenny Rankin, the man who played guitar on Bob Dylan's legendary 1965 album 'Bringing It All Back Home' has died.

Raised in New York, Kenny Rankin was musical from an early age. Leaning towards the guitar, Rankin was drawn into the music industry and scored a number of solo hits. However it is perhaps for his re-interpretations of others material that he is most highly regarded for.

The singer's warm singing voice wrapped itself around stunning versions of 'Penny Lane' and 'Blackbird'. Kenny Rankin impressed Sir Paul McCartney so much that when himself and John Lennon were inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame he asked Rankin to perform at the ceremony.

In later years Kenny Rankin moved towards jazz, and signed with iconic label Verve. The singer scored a massive hit in the 60s with 'Peaceful', a much covered standard. Used as the title of his greatest hits collection, the 1996 'Best Of' gathered the high points of a sadly under-rated career.

Kenny Rankin was working on a new album when he sadly died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Suffering from lung cancer, the musician has been in poor health for some time.

"That he was still at the top of his game is one of the saddest parts of his passing for me," Denny Stilwell, president of Rankin's label Mack Avenue Records, said in a statement.

"He performed the new material in our office over the last few months and his voice was still in its finest form — he sounded absolutely amazing. Our hearts and prayers are with his family."

Kenny Rankin played guitar on Bob Dylan's 1965 album 'Bringing It All Back Home'. A landmark in rock music, it saw the folk icon plug in his electric guitar. Splitting the album into rock / acoustic sides, the album contains some of the highest points of Dylan's career.

Opening with 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' the album is a vital stepping stone for the songwriter, as well as a stunning album in its own right.

Kenny Rankin passed away on June 7th. He is survived by his son, two daughters and granddaughter. A memorial service in Los Angeles is expected to take place within the coming days.
-

Follow Clash: