'Baker Street' saxophonist Raphael Ravenscroft dies

Raphael Ravenscroft, the British musician behind arguably the best-known sax solo in pop-rock history – Gerry Rafferty's hit ‘Baker Street’ – has died at the age of 60. The Exeter-based saxophonist, whose legendary solo on the 1978 track is celebrated the world over, died after being taken into the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital early on Sunday 19 October.

Ravenscroft, born in Stoke-on-Trent on 4th June 1954, found fame almost overnight following the release of Baker Street in the late 70s. He had already appeared on one disco album by Maxine Nightingale, ‘Right Back Where We Started From’ (1976), as an arranger but emerged as one of pop-rock’s most prominent saxmen with his enduring eight bar riff that propelled Rafferty's song to chart success and inspired an entire generation of saxophonists.

More recently, Ravenscroft became a celebrated member of his local community in Exeter after he organised a charity gala concert in the summer of 2014 in memory of local schoolgirl Nicole Hartup who died after falling from a wall in May this year.

Raphael Ravenscroft Credit: Scarlett Raven