A bad week just got worse: Rest in peace to Dobie Gray, whose signature country-soul hit, "Drift Away," recorded in 1973, was a worthy and welcome pop and oldies radio staple for almost 40 years. The Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen and Rod Stewart, among many others, all covered it, and Unkle Kracker had a huge hit with it in 2003, bringing in Gray to share vocal duties.
Gray was 71, and news of his dying was announced on his web site, with no cause of death given. Along with Howard Tate and Hubert Sumlin, his marks the third significant pop music death of the past week. There was more to his career than just "Drift Away." The native Texan recorded under various names, including Leonard Ainsworth and Larry Curtis, before being dubbed "Dobie Gray" by Sonny Bono. He had a 1965 hit with "The In-Crowd," and recast himself as a country artist in the 1980s. "Drift Away," recorded for British television in 1974, is below.