Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker, singer of A Whiter Shade of Pale, dead at 76 | CBC News

Gary Brooker, the Procol Harum frontman who sang one of the crucial enduring hits of the Nineteen Sixties, A Whiter Shade of Pale, has died. He was 76.

The English rock band stated Brooker died at his dwelling on Saturday. He had been receiving remedy for most cancers.

A press release posted on the band’s official web site stated: “With the deepest remorse we should announce the demise on February 19 2022 of Gary Brooker MBE, singer, pianist and composer of Procol Harum, and a brightly-shining, irreplaceable gentle within the music business.”

The London-born Brooker was singer and keyboard participant with the band, which had an enormous hit with its first single, A Whiter Shade of Pale. With its Baroque-flavoured organ solo and mysterious opening line — “We skipped the sunshine fandango, turned cartwheels ‘cross the ground” — the music turned one of many signature tunes of 1967.

It topped the U.Okay. album chart for six weeks, was a top-10 hit in america and in 2018 was one among six singles inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame. It appeared on the massive-selling soundtrack for the movie The Large Chill and has been coated by a variety of artists.

Brooker continued to guide Procol Harum for greater than 5 many years, by means of numerous lineup modifications and 13 albums. The band by no means had one other hit music on the identical scale, although songs like Grand Resort and Conquistador earned airplay on rock stations.

Collaborated with Beatles members

One of many band’s albums was the well-received Procol Harum Dwell: In Live performance with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 1971, one of many early examples of a rock group performing with classical musicians. The band returned to Edmonton within the early Nineties for a few performances with the orchestra.

Brooker launched 4 solo albums and collaborated with a lot of the particular person Beatles — on George Harrison’s All Issues Should Cross, Paul McCartney’s Again to the Egg and by touring with Ringo Starr’s all-star band. Brooker additionally wrote and sang for Eric Clapton’s band and appeared on Kate Bush’s 2005 launch Aerial.

In 2006, Procol Harum’s former organ participant, Matthew Fisher, sued Brooker over the well-known Hammond organ solo in A Whiter Shade of Pale. Brooker stated he wrote the Bach-inspired melody earlier than Fisher joined the band, however a decide awarded Fisher a share of the credit score and royalties, alongside Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid.

The decide stated Fisher’s contribution to the music was “substantial however not, in my judgment, as substantial as that of Mr. Brooker.”

In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II made Brooker a member of the Order of the British Empire for companies to charity.

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