So Long Lonesome Picker
I learned of the passing of John Stewart late last night, too late to post. John Stewart helped to define the role of the singer/songwriter during the unsettled 1960s and ‘70s. John Stewart first gained recognition when his songs were recorded by the Kingston Trio. He formed the Cumberland Three in 1960 and they recorded three albums. Their two records, Civil War Almanac Vol. 1 (the Yankees) and Vol. 2 (the Rebels) were well received, but the band broke up before one year was up. Stewart was invited to join his mentors, the Kingston Trio, in 1961. His fresh writing kept the Trio on the charts through the ’60s.
In 1969 John Stewart released his first true solo album, California Bloodlines. The album didn’t achieve the success that it warranted until years later. Rolling Stone magazine included California Bloodlines in its list of the 200 best albums of all time. Although his songs have been recorded by as various a group of artists as Anne Murray. Rosanne Cash, Nanci Griffith, Joan Baez, The Beat Farmers, The Four Tops and others His biggest hit as a songwriter was “Daydream Believer” which the Monkees had a number 1 hit with.
Perhaps John Stewart’s most popular album was Bombs Away Dream Baby recorded with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac.
John Stewart suffered a fatal stroke Saturday. The Los Angeles Times has a complete and touching obituary. Read it here.
Buy California Bloodlines at Amazon.com
YouTube video of John Stewart performing “Gold” Live at the Birchmere in 2001
Rest in peace, Lonesome Picker.