Monday, February 21, 2005

MUSICALOBIT: The death has been announced of John Raitt, musical stalwart.

aitt's first role for Rodgers and Hammerstein was as Curly in a travelling production of Oklahoma - a part he got despite misgivings over his stature (he successfully argued that there was no reason why Curly couldn't be tall); he then had the part of Billy Bigelow written around him for Carousel.

Raitt sometimes joked in later years that he was better known as being Bonnie Raitt's father than in his own right; he would sometimes appear live with her, doing one of her songs (Blowing Away) and one of his (Hey, There).

Raitt, who was 88, was married three times; the last marriage was in 1981, after he discovered by chance that his high school sweetheart, Rosemary Kraemer, had recently been widowed. He was still touring and appearing at the Boston Pops well into his ninth decade.

Buyable: Oklahoma! - best musical ever; this is the soundtrack from the movie so doesn't feature Raitt. But it does have O, What A Beautiful Morning.