76-year-old Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty passes away

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By Creative Media News

Dan McCafferty, a founding member of the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, has passed away at the age of 76.

The artist, who was born in Dunfermline, was renowned for his gruff vocals on 1970s rock classics such as Broken Down Angel, Hair Of The Dog, and Love Hurts.

He remained with the band until 2014 when he was forced to resign due to a lung disease that made it difficult for him to breathe.

76-year-old nazareth singer dan mccafferty passes away
76-year-old nazareth singer dan mccafferty passes away

The bassist for Nazareth, Pete Agnew, confirmed his passing. No reason was provided.

Agnew stated on Instagram, “This is the most tragic announcement I’ve ever had to make.”

Maryann and her family have lost a beautiful, loving husband and father, I have lost my best friend, and the world has lost one of the greatest vocalists in history.” “Too sad to speak further at this moment.

The core members of Nazareth – McCafferty, Agnew, Manny Charlton (guitar), and Darrell Sweet (drums) – all cut their teeth in a cover band named The Shadettes in the mid-1960s. The Shadettes wore matching yellow costumes and played venues in and around Dunfermline.

76-year-old nazareth singer dan mccafferty passes away

McCafferty had joined the band similarly to how Bon Scott would eventually join AC/DC.

I was the roadie for the band, he revealed Classic Rock magazine. “When one of their singers chose to leave on the day of a performance, the other band members decided to give me a shot.

“It was a question of jumping right in, without any rehearsal. The yellow suit of Des, the man who had just departed, nearly suited me.”

By 1970, the band had grown tired of covering songs and chose to pursue a career as an original rock band.

To make it official, they abandoned their day jobs and relocated to London, which was funded by bingo hall magnate Bill Fehilly, a native of Dunfermline who had volunteered to manage the band.

The band was signed to Pegasus Records in 1971 after McCafferty’s livewire performances attracted the attention of Pegasus Records following months of gigging throughout the capital.

Their first two albums, Nazareth and Exercises, were not huge sales, but they performed well enough to land a tour with rock legends Deep Purple in the United States. Roger Glover, the band’s bassist, was a fan and agreed to produce their 1973 album Razamanaz.

It spawned the top 10 songs Broken Down Angel and Bad, Bad Boy, as well as an unsettling cover of Tim Rose’s folk classic Morning Dew, which became a significant hit in Germany.

Six months later, they released Loud ‘N’ Proud, a harsher and more aggressive album that topped the charts in Australia and spawned another German blockbuster hit, a rendition of Joni Mitchell’s This Flight Tonight.

The next year’s Hair of the Dog established Nazareth as an internationally popular band, with the album’s title tune being a 1970s rock radio staple.

The band’s lone US top 10 song was a bluesy cover of The Everly Brothers’ Love Hurts, which also topped the charts in six other countries, notably Norway, where it stood at the top for 60 weeks.

Throughout the remainder of the 1970s, the band continued to release successful albums and appeared frequently on the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test, where, due to their friendship with producer Mike Appleton, they became the standby act for anyone who had to cancel at the last minute.

Nazareth remained a popular touring act in Europe, notably Germany, despite their lack of chart success in the 1980s and 1990s. During the hard rock era, they were also victims of the record industry’s unethical activities.

In 1989, McCafferty told Swedish rock journalist Michael Erikkson, “We’ve had our ups and downs, and a few lawyers got rich along the way.”

“Two supervisors completely messed us over on separate occasions. Now, we have no idea how many records we’ve truly sold.”

Guns N’ Roses cited Nazareth as a major influence on their 1993 album The Spaghetti Incident? and covered Hair Of The Dog.

After contracting chronic obstructive lung illness in 2014, McCafferty was compelled to resign.

“I can’t sing as well on tour as I once could,” he told Classic Rock. “I believe that if you can’t do the job, you shouldn’t be there. I’m sorry, but I can no longer sing an entire set live.”

Nevertheless, he continued to record in the studio and 2019 produced his final solo album, Last Testament.

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