Scottish singer-songwriter Rab Noakes dies aged 75

Scottish singer-songwriter Rab Noakes has died aged 75.

Noakes died Friday in hospital after a career spanning more than half a century, with more than 20 albums to his credit.

First playing professionally in 1967, he became a founding member of folk rock band Stealers Wheel and performed at festivals such as Celtic Connections.

Val McDermid, the best-selling crime writer who, like Noakes, hails from Fife, has paid tribute to the man she has known since she was a teenager.

“In tears at the news of the death of Rab Noakes. Known and loved this generous, talented and open man since I was 14, I have never known a kinder soul. Or a better guitarist,” she said.

Fellow singer-songwriter Barbara Dickson also remembered the man she played with.

“My dear and old friend Rab Noakes passed away suddenly in hospital today,” she said.

“I’m shocked. We had so much in common – the Everly Brothers, the Flying Burrito Brothers and an undying love for songs, especially traditional music. Sleep well, Rab. Rest in peace.”

Before setting up production company Neon with his wife, Noakes worked for the BBC for eight years.

Steve Carson, Director of BBC Scotland, said: ‘All of us at BBC Scotland are deeply saddened to hear the news of Rab Noakes.

“His contribution to music in Scotland cannot be overstated, alongside the remarkable programs he has produced here at the BBC.

“Our hearts go out to his family and friends, and to all of his fans across the country.”

BBC Radio Scotland broadcaster Bryan Burnett said: “Such sad news about our own Rab Noakes. A huge loss.

“He hired me at Radio Scotland and as a producer he taught me a lot about country-pop music which we both loved.”

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