Dick Kniss, Bassist for Peter Paul & Mary and John Denver, Passes Away at 74

Dick Kniss, the bassist for two of the biggest folk artists in history, has passed away at the age of 74. Kniss died of chronic pulmonary disease in Kingston, NY near his home in Saugerties.

Kniss began his career playing in jazz bands but, in 1964, was hired by Peter, Paul and Mary to play on their albums and tours. He stayed with them throughout the rest of the decade, recording numerous classics with the trio including the iconic opening of their 1969 hit Leaving on a Jet Plane.

When the group broke up in 1970, Kniss began an eight year working relationship with John Denver including being listed as a co-writer on his number one hit Sunshine On My Shoulder.

In 1978, when Peter, Paul and Mary reformed, he returned to work with them, staying until Mary Travers death in 2009.

Peter Yarrow told the New York Times "Basically he was a jazz bassist who didn’t think in terms of the pop point of view and he really would develop melodic lines to complement our voices."

Paul Stookey added "He had this capacity to weave counter-melodies. He was the master of when to answer. In folk music, we’re telling a story. The guitars would begin it, but Dick was an orchestrator, and his entry often signified a particular turning point in a song."

No comments

Powered by Blogger.