Who was Gary Wright? What Happened to Gary Wright ?
Gary Wright Tribute: Gary Wright, aged 80, peacefully departed from this world at his Locust Grove residence on August 28, 2023. Hailing from upstate New York, Gary’s early memories were intertwined with the enchantment of Oneida Lake. His educational journey led him to Oswego State University, where he earned his degree in History & Education.
Following a brief period as an educator in Geneva, N.Y., Gary’s life took a significant turn when he was commissioned into the United States Marine Corps. His unyielding commitment and dedication led him to serve for 21 years, eventually retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. His journey didn’t conclude there; post-retirement, Gary generously shared his expertise as a corporate trainer at GEICO.
In June 1970, Gary embarked on a lifelong voyage of love when he married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Hewitson. Together, they explored the world, thanks to his distinguished service in the USMC.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Neal. He is survived by his cherished wife, Barbara, and leaves behind a legacy of love through his five children: Eric (Heather), Andy (Andrea), Stephen, Sarah Sullivan (Brendan), and Scott (Brittany). His brother George, along with 14 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, hold his memory close to their hearts.
Gary Wright, ‘Dream Weaver’ Singer, Passes Away at 80
Gary Wright, the renowned musician recognized for his chart-topping tracks “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive,” has left us. He reached the age of 80. The news of Wright’s passing was confirmed by his son Dorian to Variety; however, the cause of his death remains undisclosed.
A deeply soulful vocalist and a versatile keyboardist, Wright was a founding member of the U.K.-based band Spooky Tooth. He also established himself as a sought-after session musician from the late 1960s onwards, contributing to George Harrison’s solo albums, including the groundbreaking 1970 debut “All Things Must Pass.” He also played with Ringo Starr on his early singles and later with Starr’s All-Starr Band. Additionally, he lent his musical prowess to works by Nilsson, Tim Rose, B.B. King, and many others. Nonetheless, his enduring legacy resides in the mid-1970s hits mentioned above, which embodied a vaguely mystical, synthesizer-driven style emblematic of that era. Similar to Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle,” these hits featured prominently on music shows, with Wright donning satin attire and captivating audiences with his keytar.
Born in New Jersey, Wright initially pursued acting and appeared on Broadway in a rendition of “Fanny.” Eventually, he decided to explore medicine and journeyed to Berlin to study, all while continuing to play with bands. During a 1967 European tour with Traffic, Wright crossed paths with Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, Traffic’s label. A mutual friend in Traffic/Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller further solidified their connection. Impressed by Wright’s talent, Blackwell convinced him to relocate to London. There, Wright joined forces with pianist Mike Harrison and drummer Mike Kellie to form Spooky Tooth, with Wright assuming the roles of lead vocalist and organist.
While Spooky Tooth’s first two albums, “It’s All About” and 1969’s “Spooky Two,” didn’t achieve significant chart success, they generated substantial buzz within musical circles. The band members became sought-after session musicians, and their songs were covered by numerous artists. Despite the group’s initial creative misstep with their third album, “Ceremony,” Wright’s departure from the band in 1970 marked a new chapter.
Signing with A&M Records, Wright released the acclaimed solo album “Extraction” in 1970. Players from that album, including drummer Alan White and bassist Klaus Voorman, introduced Wright to the Beatles’ orbit. Wright’s association with George Harrison led to collaborations on several projects, and he played on all of Harrison’s solo albums. This partnership extended to appearances on television, such as the “Dick Cavett Show” in 1971.
In the subsequent years, Wright reunited with Spooky Tooth and released two albums. He continued his collaborations with Harrison, sharing an interest in Eastern religions, and even traveled to India together in 1974.
Following another split of the reformed group, Wright settled in New York and partnered with power manager Dee Anthony. He signed with Warner Bros. Records and released “The Dream Weaver” in 1975, featuring a title track inspired by his trip to India with Harrison. The single gained gradual momentum and eventually became a major hit, propelling Wright to stardom. However, subsequent releases did not attain the same level of success. His final charting single was “Really Wanna Know You” in 1981.
In subsequent years, Wright focused on instrumental and soundtrack work. He made a surprise appearance in the 1992 film “Wayne’s World,” re-recording “Dream Weaver.” He also returned to conventional rock music and released albums, with his last one, “Connected,” arriving in 2010. Wright reunited Spooky Tooth again in 2004 and remained active in touring as a solo artist and with Ringo’s All-Starr Band.
Wright’s songs continued to be covered by artists like Chaka Khan and sampled by musicians ranging from Jay-Z to Tone-Loc.
Gary Wright Obituary
In the wake of Gary Wright’s passing, our community bears the weight of his absence, and it’s only natural to traverse the spectrum of emotions during this period. What holds paramount significance now is our united support for one another, the sharing of cherished memories, and the quest for solace within the collective embrace forged by the enduring legacy of Gary Wright. By standing together, we can unearth solace and fortitude through commemorating a life that has indelibly touched our hearts.
In the days to come, the obituary for Gary Wright will be meticulously updated once accurate particulars are at hand. We extend an earnest invitation to family, friends, and every member of our community to congregate and honor this extraordinary soul, paying homage in a manner befitting their remarkable journey. Let us unite in commemorating the life of Gary Wright, with a deep recognition of the profound influence they’ve woven into the tapestry of our lives.