Chickasaw native and local music scene icon Ray “Dr. Hook” Sawyer recently died at his home in Daytona Beach at the age of 81. Sawyer is known for his time as vocalist and percussionist for the legendary country rock outfit Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, a project that found a kindred spirit in poet/cartoonist Shel Silverstein (“Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “A Light in the Attic”).
Together, this collaboration resulted in songs including “Freakin’ at the Freaker’s Ball,” “Marie Laveau” and “Sylvia’s Mother,” which propelled the band into the worldwide spotlight. Silverstein also collaborated with Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show for the timeless, offbeat hit “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” which became an anthem for up-and-coming bands around the world.
Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show’s last publicized local performance was at Bayfest in 2003, where Sawyer was greeted by a throng of adoring fans. He leaves behind not only friends, family and loved ones, but also an unforgettable catalog of music along with countless memories associated with each song.