R.I.P. R&B classic "Wildflower" singer Donny Gerrard

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    (February 4, 2022) It was an all-time pop and soul classic which is as beloved now as it was when it came out a half century ago. “Wildflower” was the signature hit of the group Skylark, and Donny Gerrard was the lead singer who brought it to life. We’re sad to report that Mr. Gerrard has died at age 75. He had been under hospice care at his Santa Fe, New Mexico home.

    Red Light Management’s Adam Ayers posted the following notice: “Our dear brother Donny passed away early this morning at home, peacefully, surrounded by family.”

    (February 4, 2022) It was an all-time pop and soul classic which is as beloved now as it was when it came out a half century ago. “Wildflower” was the signature hit of the group Skylark, and Donny Gerrard was the lead singer who brought it to life. We’re sad to report that Mr. Gerrard has died at age 75. He had been under hospice care at his Santa Fe, New Mexico home.

    Red Light Management’s Adam Ayers posted the following notice: “Our dear brother Donny passed away early this morning at home, peacefully, surrounded by family.”

    Skylark was the brainchild of future superproducer David Foster, and "Wildflower" was a surprise 1972 hit, climbing to the top of both the pop and soul charts. The song was later covered by many artists, with a cover becoming a hit for New Birth. As The O’Jays’ Eddie Levert said when his trio covered the song in 1974, “The first time we heard this song, it sounded like a white guy trying to do a black thing. But we found out later it was a black guy trying to do a white thing.”

    Skylark was no more by the mid-70s and Gerrard had a brief solo career on Elton John’s Rocket Records, landing moderate hits with "Stay Awhile With Me" and “Baby Don’t Let It Mess Your Mind.”

    Gerrard also became an important backing singer for John, Neil Diamond, Bob Seger and many other stars. He was also part of the all-star Canadian cause song, “Tears Are Not Enough,” and collaborated often with legendary songstress Mavis Staples. We last heard him solo on record with his 1999 album of standards, The Romantic.

    Donny Gerrard played a supporting role in literally dozens of hits, but may be best remembered as the voice of an absolute all-time classic song. Rest in Peace.

    By Chris Rizik

    Thanks to SoulTracker Bill for letting us know

     
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