New Orleans based singer-pianist Malcolm Rebbennack Jr., better known by his stage name “Dr. John” has passed away at the age of 77. According to reports, Rebbennack had died of a heart attack, although the location of where he passed away has not been disclosed by the musical artists’s family members.
Dr. John has been known for a variety of covers and hits, including “Gumbo,” “City That Care Forgot,” and his 1989 cover of “Makin’ Woopie,” with Rickie Lee Jones. He has worked with a multitude of American Jazz, R&B and Blues artists including saxophonist famed New Orleans producer-arranger-songwriter Allen Toussaint, Levon Helm, Gregg Allman, Van Morrison, Harry Connick Jr., Ringo Starr, B.B. King David “Fathead” Newman and drummer Art Blakey.
As a life long resident of New Orleans, Dr. John had a keen sense of the spirit, history and mythology of the city.
“In the 1840s and 1850s, one New Orleans root doctor was preeminent in the city for the awe in which he was held by the poor and the fear and notoriety he inspired among the rich,” he stated in his autobiography Under a Hodoo Moon.” Known variously as John Montaigne, Bayou John, and most often Dr. John, he was a figure larger than life.”