Rab Noakes, a magnificent musician, most well-known singer-songwriter, and founding band member of Stealers Wheel passed away at the age of 75. Learn more about his passing and Rab Noakes cause of death in detail.
What happened to Rab Noakes?
According to singer Barbara Dickson, who shared the news of Scot’s passing on social media, he passed away unexpectedly in the hospital. The Scot was a native of Cupar, Fife. He was a founding member of Stealers Wheel and a solo performer who played at events including Celtic Connections and recorded more than 20 albums.
Noakes was a senior music producer for the BBC before founding his own production company. He frequently worked with other musicians, such as Dickson, who referred to him as “my beloved and old buddy.”
She also wrote on Twitter, “I am startled. The Everly Brothers, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and steadfast love of songs, especially traditional music, were just a few of the things we had in common. “Good night, Rab. I wish you a peaceful rest.
My dear and old friend Rab Noakes has died suddenly in hospital today. I am shocked. We had so much in common – The Everly Brothers, the Flying Burrito Brothers and an enduring love of songs, particularly traditional music. Sleep well, Rab. May you rest in peace. Bx #rabnoakes pic.twitter.com/BVXhJOFqCW
— Barbara Dickson (@BarbaraDickson) November 11, 2022
Rab Noakes cause of death
Rab’s untimely passing occurs only a few weeks before the celebrity was scheduled to perform on stage with Frasier Speirs on December 15 at a Polish Club in Kirkcaldy.
According to reports, Noakes died suddenly while he was in the hospital. But as per 2015 online reports, Rb Noakes states that he worried about he would lose his singing voice, but it enabled him to defeat cancer. It might be true that he passed away from cancer complications. Once got enough information regarding Rab Noakes exact cause of death we will update this page.
Rab was slated to perform at a number of festivals and on tours in January and February of next year, which would have delighted admirers across the United Kingdom. These dates are listed on the website of the late musician.
Past Illness History of Rab Noakes
The folk legend believed he might never sing again after learning he had cancer, but his singing voice got him through.
His life was completely turned upside down by the diagnosis. Rab Noakes, a folk hero, was informed he had tonsil cancer early this year and worried he could never sing again.
The 68-year-old is now on the path to recovery, though, following surgery to remove the tumor and extensive medical care.
Additionally, Rab, who co-founded Stealers Wheel with his best buddy Gerry Rafferty, acknowledges that his singing voice, which he believed he would lose, was what helped him get through. Four years after Gerry passed away from liver failure, the prolific songwriter was diagnosed with cancer. His tonsils developed a tumor, which was later determined by specialists to be malignant.
Rab’s those difficult days
It came as such a shock, and of course, my first concern was whether or not I would be able to sing once the tumor had been surgically removed. “It was a very difficult period, but I simply knew that I had to get up and carry on. Nothing else could have been done.
“I underwent two rounds of chemo and 30 rounds of radiotherapy. It was a demanding treatment that left me exhausted, but I’m fortunate to have a bright wife, and together we faced the problem head-on. “I detest hearing people discuss or combat cancer.
I didn’t carry it out. I recently strengthened myself, and I’m taking each day as it comes. “I’m very fortunate. It appears that my voice was largely unaffected. “Although I became a little croaky and hoarse, I never lost my voice, and when I sing, I still sound the same.
I struggle with my eating, but other than that, I’m still the same old me. However, there is no room for complacency, so I continue to be watched over and get scans. “In many ways, the singing was what got me through,” Rab continued.
His work is limited by illness
“I had to delay the release of an album I was just about to release, but I worked diligently on the new launch date and sleeve design while I was recovering. “I gave my music my full attention, which helped me to forget about the sickness. Even during the difficult periods, it kept me going.
Rab, a St Andrews native and husband of music producer Stephanie Pordage, added that his illness served as the inspiration for a few brand-new tunes. His professional accomplishments have now been acknowledged with a nomination for the Scottish Music Awards, also known as the Tartan Clefs, which will be held the following weekend.
“I feel honored,” he remarked. I’ve always based my songs on my personal experiences, and the last several months have given me a lot to consider. I recently composed the songs “Mindful” and “By the Day.” “Things changed every day while I was ill and awaiting the next scan, and you never knew what was ahead. I was able to create a song out of this uncertainty.
Rab’s unforgettable memories
“I’ve been singing my entire life, so the prospect of being unable to do what I do best was rather terrifying. But that is in the past, and I expect to have many more years of making music ahead of me.
“I’ve been touring since my double album, I’m Walkin’ Here, was released in October. I have not yet finished. Rab has shared the stage with some of the biggest musicians in Scotland throughout the course of his lengthy and fruitful career, including Barbara Dickson and Rafferty.
The two became inseparable for a while, singing together and having late-night parties. Rab will never forget this time period.
“Gerry and I were like-minded people,” he remarked. We used to be able to play for hours during the day and stay up late talking, singing, and writing songs. I have many wonderful recollections of those times when we were a mobile gathering.
“We were hanging around one-night bouncing ideas off one other when we came up with the name Stealers Wheel. The moniker stayed because we both liked it.
Gerry & Rab’s Friendship
In the summer of 1971, something happened. Before I decided to quit and strike out on my own, the band took off, and we had a great time touring. For the following 30 years, Gerry and I worked together intermittently while maintaining our close friendship.
“We could always pick up where we left off. He was such a gifted player and was so easy to play with. Although Rab had left the soft rock band before Stuck in the Middle With You was released, he was thrilled when Quentin Tarantino utilized a dance version of the song in his 1994 film Pulp Fiction, establishing the song as a classic.
“Stuck in the Middle With You has lived an unbelievable life,” he declared. It was played on radio stations all through the 1980s, but when Tarantino adopted it, it entered a new age. It merely demonstrates how a song can connect people of all ages.
Rab’s first public appearance
When Rab made his first public appearance, he was only six years old. “I took my family’s passion for music to a whole new level,” he added, adding that his parents had wonderful voices and could carry a tune.
“I took singing lessons when I was very young, and I clearly recall my first performance in front of an audience. As I got older, I took music a little more seriously. I taught myself the guitar and violin, and I started playing at events and in schools. “When I was 16, I relocated to Glasgow to work for the Ministry of Pensions as a civil servant rather than as a musician. My music career began in London after I received a promotion.
Full-time Music career
“After some time, I was able to quit my job and pursue music full-time. Midway through the 1960s, London was in full swing. Being in the industry at the time was ideal. “In 1970, I produced Do You See The Lights, the first of many records that I would go on to record. My most well-known work is the LP Red Pump Special, which recently marked its 40th birthday.
I continued to release recordings throughout the 1980s, but as competition in the industry increased, I found myself working behind the scenes at radio stations until I eventually became head of entertainment for BBC Radio Scotland.
Together with his wife, Rab currently manages Neon Productions, a TV, radio, and record label. Additionally, he is a candidate for the SSE Scottish Music Awards’ Best Traditional Scottish Musician prize. The occasion, which will take place on Saturday in Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket, is the primary source of funding for Nordoff Robbins, Scotland’s sole music therapy charity.
The money raised is used for such a worthwhile cause, stated Rab. Nordoff Robbins is using the healing properties of music to great effect. “I’ve enjoyed every second of my lengthy and diverse career. I don’t anticipate ever ceasing to sing.
Rab Noakes: Who was he?
Robert Noakes was a Scottish singer-songwriter who lived from May 13, 1947, until November 11, 2022. Noakes was raised in Cupar after being born on May 13, 1947, in St. Andrews, Fife.
Noakes collaborated with Lindisfarne, who included his songs “Turn a Deaf Ear” and “Together Forever” on their albums Nicely Out of Tune and Fog on the Tyne, respectively.
On her CD Do Right Woman, Barbara Dickson also included “Turn a Deaf Ear,” which Noakes also sang. On Gerry Rafferty’s debut solo album, Can I Have My Money Back, Noakes also contributed guitar and backup vocals, most notably on the song “Mary Skeffington,” which is dedicated to Rafferty’s mother.
He joined Stealers Wheel soon after these sessions, though he departed the band before they had finished recording their debut album. In 1970, Noakes released his first solo album, Do You See The Lights, with the help of his former collaborator Robin McKidd on electric guitar and Scots jazz bassist Ronnie Rae. The songs “Too Old To Die,” “Together Forever,” and “Somebody Counts On Me” were included in this recording.
Noakes was scheduled to perform at the Great Western Express Lincoln Festival on May 26, 1972, according to an article in the British music magazine NME published in May of that year. In addition to Warhorse and Gnidrolog, other performers in the “Giants of Tomorrow” marquee were Budgie, Skin Alley, Tea & Sympathy, John Martyn, and Skin Alley.
The summer of 1974 saw the single release of “Branch,” one of Noakes’s best-known songs from his album Red Pump Special, which was produced by Elliot Mazer and recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. Despite receiving a lot of airplay on BBC Radio 1, “Branch” failed to chart on the UK Singles Chart.
At Starling Sounds, which is headquartered at Tittenhurst Park in Ascot, the former home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono which at the time was owned by Ringo Starr, Terry Melcher produced the 1978 album Restless.
Following were the albums Rab Noakes (1980) and Under the Rain (1984), but it wasn’t until 1994 that Standing Up was released.
Later, Noakes went on tour with the Varaflames, which also included Pick Withers, Rod Clements, and Fraser Speirs on harmonica.
Senior producer for BBC Radio Scotland’s music programs
Noakes was promoted to senior producer for BBC Radio Scotland’s music programs. He departed to create the production business Neon. His CD Unlimited Mileage, once more featuring the Varaflames, was released in November 2007.
Standing Up Again, recorded in 2009, and Just in Case, recorded in 2007, were both released on CD in 2012 after previously only being made accessible as downloads.
He issued the album I’m Walking Here in 2015. Many of the tracks on his 19th solo album, which he released in 2017, recount his career as a musician and songwriter. The double album has 26 tracks on it. A tribute to a 1920s minstrel singer, “Out of Your Sight,” a new composition that displays his gift for melody and love of Americana, and a moving lament for Rafferty are all included in the first set.
The majority of the second album is made up of “interpretations” (he detested the word “covers”) of songs by artists ranging from early Cliff Richard to Garbage and Beck, as well as the skiffle classic “Freight Train,” on which Jimmy MacGregor joined him, and a beautifully rendered rendition of the traditional “The Two Sisters.” On July 20, 2017, he was a guest on Eggheads.
Founder of Stealers Wheel Rab Noakes passes away unexpectedly as condolences to the late vocalist flood social media:
Several other high-profile figures from Scotland’s arts scene have paid tribute to the late star in the wake of his death.
Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis wrote online: “An iconic and generous musician and a gentleman. It was always a joy and an education to be in his company. “Fois shiorraidh dha anam.” (Eternal rest for his soul)
BBC Scotland director Steve Carson said: “All of us at BBC Scotland are deeply saddened to hear the news about Rab Noakes. “His contribution to music in Scotland cannot be overstated, alongside some remarkable programs he made here at the BBC. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and with all his fans across the nation”
Kathy said, today’s news came way too soon but I’m just being selfish because I want to chat and sing with you with you some more, I feel sad tonight, goodnight Rab Noakes, rest in peace
Lindinfarnae Band tweeted, We’re incredibly sorry to hear of the passing of our wonderful friend and colleague, Rab Noakes.
From Rod Clements: “Devastated to hear of the death of my old friend and longtime partner in crime Rab Noakes, from the consequences of cancer treatment 2 yrs ago. Life will be different without you Rab, but your songs will remain.”
From Ray Laidlaw: “Rab was one of our oldest and dearest pals, responsible for so many fantastic songs, including a couple of firm favorites with Lindisfarne fans. We’ll miss him.”
From Jacka: “This is really sad news. Rab was a friend well over half a century and a great songwriter. I remember first seeing him perform in The Duke of York pub in Wallsend in 1969 and recognised his talent then. He became a big influence on all of the band and we recorded several songs of his which our albums were all the richer for I raise a glass in his honour.” We’re all thinking of his family at this very sad time. RIP Rab x
Heartbroken to hear of the passing of Rab Noakes. He was always so encouraging, generous with his time and unbelievably kind, welcoming and supportive. A complete honour to have spent time in Rab’s company, together in the Musicians Union committee. Privileged to have gotten to share a stage with him.
Alan Taylor said,
Hi All, I’ve just heard the sad news that my dear friend Rab Noakes has died in hospital. Rab and I go way back to the 70’s – we’ve travelled together and gigged together and it’s a huge loss – personally and professionally, as he was so well-liked on the scene.
To quote from one of his best songs, “Gently Does It” (which I recorded): “And a few years ago you’d been on this road so long I hear they’re building a highway to take you home”. Safe travelling my dear friend, Allan
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Hi, I am Lavanya Sankar, a part-time teacher and a full-time content writer with almost two years of experience in writing. My writing expertise lies in the areas of research, health, and medical blogging. As a lifelong learner, I am constantly curious about learning new things and passionate about sharing knowledge with people through my writing and teaching.
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Is this what you are doing now? Capitalising from someones death so you can run adverts?