Mack Avenue label imprint Sly Dog Records has released seven titles by Kenny Rankin (who died in Los Angeles from lung cancer on June 7, 2009 at 69) for download and the titles will be available by compact disc at popular retailers on Nov. 3, 2009.
The following titles are “Mind-Dusters,” “Family,” “Like a Seed,” “Silver Morning,” “Inside,” “The Kenny Rankin Album,” and “After The Roses.” All seven CDs will be available at online digital sellers (iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, etc.).
Rankin, who grew up in New York City, came into the larger public consciousness in the early 1970s. It was the era of the singer-songwriter, and although he fit the profile, Rankin transcended that genre. Rankin brought a finely tuned sophistication and a capacity for a surprising variety of musical expression to contemporary pop music.
absorbed the many forms of music around him like a sponge. He sang a cappella in the hallways of the same neighborhood that Dion DiMucci and Teddy Randazzo lived in. It would be no surprise to his old friends when doo-wop elements surfaced later in songs such as “Roll-A-Round” on the “Inside” album.
A Greenwich Village apprenticeship brought Rankin into contact with producer Tom Wilson in 1965. At Wilson’s invitation, Rankin played rhythm guitar on “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Maggie’s Farm” for Bob Dylan’s “Bringing It All Back Home.”