Renowned neo-rockabilly singer Robert Gordon has passed away. He died on Tuesday, October 18, at the age of 75. The official cause of his death has not been revealed yet, however, the singer was battling acute myeloid leukemia for some time, and his family had launched a GoFundMe campaign for his treatment.
Gordon was known as one of rockabilly’s earliest revivalists. He made a significant contribution in popularizing the genre in the 1970s and ’80s. The musician’s last album, Hellafied, in collaboration with British guitarist Chris Spedding, will be released posthumously on November 25. Continue reading to know more about the singer’s life and career.
Robert Gordon Passes Away at 75
Cleopatra Records, the music label which is going to release Gordon’s final album next month, has confirmed the news of his death. “Cleopatra Records would like to offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We liked working with Robert and will miss his powerful baritone vocal as well as his focused dedication to his music,” Matt Green, Vice President of the label, said in a statement.
Robert Gordon was born on March 29, 1947, in Bethesda, Maryland. During early childhood, he became a fan of Elvis Presley and then discovered rockabilly stars Gene Vincent, Billy Lee Riley, and Eddie Cochran. In 1964, he made his recording debut with a band named Confidentials and recorded a number of songs.
Gordon Joined the Punk Rock Scene in the 1970s
In 1970, Gordon moved to New York City and joined a punk rock band called the Tuff Darts. In 1976, the band recorded several tracks, including, All for the Love of Rock and Roll, Head over Heels, and Slash for Live at CBGB, a compilation album.
During one band rehearsal, Gordon was spotted by record producer Richard Gottehrer who suggested him to collaborate with legendary guitarist Link Wray. The two musicians worked together and released Robert Gordon with Link Wray in 1977, which featured the highly successful track Red Hot.
During the time, the singer turned his attention to rockabilly, making it immensely popular with his albums. Gordon and Wray then released another album, Fresh Fish Special, which featured the Jordanaires, the backing vocals group of Elvis Persley. Gordon and Wray went their separate ways shortly after the launch of the album.
The Singer Continued to Release Albums till his Death
In 1978, Gordon signed with RCA Records and collaborated with Chris Spedding to release Rock Billy Boogie, which became the singer’s highest-charting album. Post that, he continued to release albums and tour across destinations to promote rockabilly.
He launched the albums Satisfied Mind in 2004, It’s Now or Never in 2007, and I‘m Coming Home in 2014. The singer’s previous and second-last album, titled Rockabilly for Life, was released by Cleopatra Records in 2020.
“I was doing the rockabilly thing which always seemed to get people off, but I was an angry young man. I had split from my first wife and punk worked for me. But I wasn’t really into punk. I missed singing those old songs,” Gordon said in an interview in 2014.
Our condolences to Robert Gordon’s family and friends. May his soul rest in peace!