Singer and Keyboardist Gary Wright Dies at 80
Musician Gary Wright, best known for hit singles “Love is Alive” and “Dream Weaver,” passed away at 80. His son confirmed the news but did not share a cause of death, although he had reportedly been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease several years ago. Wright was a talented singer and keyboardist who worked with many other famous artists over the years including Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and B.B. King.
Wright got the music bug early in life as he performed on Broadway as a child in a version of Fanny. Although when he got older he decided to become a doctor, music was always in his life and he was constantly in different bands. In the ’60s, Wright was a founding member of the U.K. band Spooky Tooth after being convinced by the founder of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, that he should come to London and pursue music full-time.
While Spooky Tooth never quite hit it big, Wright’s talent did create quite a stir and he began working as a session player for many other artists. In the ’70s, he signed with A&M Records to work on a solo album called Extraction. It was at that time that he met the Beatles and began working with many of the members, becoming particularly close with Harrison. While working on his solo career and with Harrison, he also reformed Spooky Tooth and they released two more albums.
Later on, he moved to New York and was signed with Warner Bro. Records. This is the era when his popular song “Dream Weaver” was released, inspired by a trip to India with Harrison. In the ’90s, he worked on more instrumental and soundtrack work and even made a special appearance in the film Wayne’s World. His final album, Connected, was released in 2010 and he went on a revival tour with Spooky Tooth in 2004 as well as toured with Ringo’s All-Starr Band.
He is survived by his wife Rose and his two sons.