Leon Redbone has died at the age of 69.
Hiding behind his dark sunglasses and mustache all his career, the enigmatic singer-songwriter remained a mystery through his four decade career. His idiosyncratic music, which harkened to a bygone era of ragtime, blues and jazz, gained him a small but devout following.
That fanbase included Bob Dylan, who broke him to fame in 1974, and Jack White, who released the compilation Long Way From Home: Early Recordings on Third Man Records in 2016. In between he recorded over a dozen albums, became a frequent performer on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and voiced “Leon the Snowman” in the 2003 film Elf.
Saying that “He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover, and a simple tip of the hat,” a farewell on his website reads: “…Leon Redbone crossed the delta for that beautiful shore at the age of 127… To his fans, friends, and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ‘Oh behave yourselves. Thank you… and good evening everybody.'”
To learn a little more about Leon Redbone, check out the 15-minute documentary, Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.