RIP Tony Joe White

Read about the passing of the great swamp rocker Tony Joe White

In one of his last performances Tony Joe White 11 September 2018 AmericanaFest


Legendary swamp rocker Tony Joe White has passed away, aged 75.

Famous for his gravelly voice, fuzzy guitar and driving blues boogie style, he has penned some memorable songs including breakthrough hits “Polk Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night In Georgia”, both from 1967.  His songs have been covered by the likes of Elvis Presley, Tina Turner and Waylon Jennings.  His touring schedule and recorded output never slowed over the years.  His newest album Bad Mouthin’ was released just last month, and features a blend of classics as well as five White originals, including two of the first songs he wrote.

Listening Through The Lens was lucky enough to see one of his final performances – at the BMI Building rooftop at AmericanaFest in Nashville just last month.  He was a regular visitor to Australia and always filled out venues here.  His most recent scheduled tour to these shores was cancelled because of his health.

Here is a statement from Yep Rec Records, his label for the past few years:

It is with deep respect and admiration that we announce the passing of legendary singer-songwriter Tony Joe White, he was 75. It was confirmed today by his family.

With a prolific recording and performing career spanning more than 50 years, his songs traversed many genres, including blues, rock, country, R&B, and Americana, which is an incredible testament to his versatility as well as to his roots.

A one-of-a-kind songwriter, his songs were covered by Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Ray Charles, and countless others.

Glenn Dicker, co-founder of Yep Roc Records said, “Tony Joe White was a true American original. In everything he did he did it with his own unique voice. There was a gentle ease and flow that vibrated from the man. Always a positive vibe. We have been very fortunate to have been able to work with Tony Joe over these past few albums and years. We’re grateful for all the wonderful music…and the hangs. We love you Tony Joe!”

“If there’s anything like a line connecting everything that I’ve done, I would say it’s realness,” says White. “Even my songs that are sweet little love ballads —those are all real, inspired by real love and real life. Being real, being focused on what’s really going on around you, is something I learned early in my life.”


White receives a BMI award last month for over 4 million performances worldwide of “Rainy Night In Georgia”


Read about the passing of the great swamp rocker Tony Joe White



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Author: Rob Dickens

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