The most famous sax solo of all is no more

The most famous sax solo of all is no more


norman lebrecht

October 21, 2014

You’ll know it when you hear it.

raphael ravenscroft

Raphael Ravenscroft was the player. He was paid £27 (about $40).

The singer, Gerry Rafferty, went on to earn around £80,000 a year in royalties.

Raphael’s death was announced today. He was 60.


  • Stephen says:

    To give Gerry Rafferty his due – he wrote the song.

  • Mervon Mehta says:

    “Most famous sax solo of all time”? John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, David Sanchez, Wayne Shorter (to name just a few) may disagree. I’d even nominate David Sanborn’s solo on Bowie’s “Young Americans” over your choice.

  • Mikey says:

    Silly me! and there I was thinking you meant the one in Rachmaninov’s “Symphonic Dances”, or in Prokoviev’s “Alexander Nevski” or “Lieutenant Kije”, or in Ravel’s “Bolero”.

    If this is the “most famous” sax solo, I’d say that the world of sax players is terribly stunted and limited.

  • Paul D says:

    I don’t know if it is the most famous sax solo, but you certainly could not escape it on pop stations in 1978. I would say it is one of the most famous “hooks.”

  • William Safford says:

    “You’ll know it when you hear it.” — You’re right.

  • bob says:

    he said most famous not best. although maybe there are some equally recognizable.

    but what a shame he earned so little. needed the union to represent him.