Tributes have been to paid following the death of Dr Hook & The Medicine Show singer Ray Sawyer, aged 81.
Sawyer, known for wearing an eye-patch after losing his eye in a car crash, found fame with the ’70s band for their hits ‘When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman’ and ‘Cover Of The Rolling Stone’.
Now, his death has been confirmed by Artists International Management.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we have to say goodbye to one of the iconic performers of the 1970s who literally had his smiling face on the cover of Rolling Stone,” they wrote. “Ray Sawyer was the face and voice of Dr Hook and I had the pleasure and honor of working with him as his agent/management for the past 27 years, along with my partner Steve who started with him in 1987.
They continued: “He has a wonderful wife Linda and son Cayse who went out on the road with him as his drummer in later years, and always made us feel part of the family.
“Ray was the consummate “road dog” performing all over the world to thousands and thousands of fans covering hundreds of shows and logging thousands of miles across the globe.
“He lived the rock and roll life right up to the age of 81, and he was proud of it – and that’s quite a feat. Rest peacefully Ray… you will be sadly missed.”
His wife Linda added: “My heart is broken; Ray passed away this morning peacefully in his sleep. We thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Ray loved you all.”
Many other friends and fans have since taken to Twitter to pay their respects:
Heartbroken. What a complete and utter legend! My favourite singer and entertainer, I worship almost everything him and Dr hook did past and present ? RIP Ray you incredible incredible human …#drhook#raysawyer#RIP pic.twitter.com/DygSACpEOF
— Gemma Lendrum (@LendrumGemma) December 31, 2018
— Bob Knight (@BobKnightTweet) December 31, 2018
R.I.P. Ray Sawyer Feb 1st 1937-31st December 2018
Dr Hook and the Medicine Show produced lovely music which got played on a regular basis in my household
?Thanks for the memories Ray? pic.twitter.com/EObnjMfv1B
— Golden Memories and Silver Tears (@MarcCorbishley) January 1, 2019
RIP Ray Sawyer ~ (Dr Hook) I’m stil listening…??? pic.twitter.com/dIM98HMLEa
— Stephanie Angeli (@steph_westies) December 31, 2018
Godspeed Ray Sawyer. One of the golden voices of Dr. Hook. pic.twitter.com/zRMH9McN5f
— Keith Higbee ?? (@Khigbee540) December 31, 2018
RIP Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. You are no doubt freakin at the freaker's ball or on the phone with Sylvia's mother
— James Parker (@Ppoppapuff) December 31, 2018
Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.
— Bʟᴀᴄᴋᴍᴏᴏɴ (@FeikoDijkstra) January 1, 2019
RIP Ray Sawyer…it was a blast working with you. One of a Kind pic.twitter.com/5WniFf6C87
— OffTheLawn (@offthelawn) December 31, 2018
Sawyer formed American trio the Chocolate Papers before they split in the 1960s, when he decided to become a logger. It was during this period that he lost an eye in a car crash – which pushed him to return to music, joining Dr Hook & the Medicine Show. While he mainly sang backing vocals and played percussion, he took the lead on their legendary 1972 hit ‘The Cover of the Rolling Stone’. They appeared on the front of the magazine a year later, interview by Cameron Crowe.
Later, Sawyer parted ways with the group in 1983 to go solo, but toured as Dr Hook featuring Ray Sawyer until 2015.