Stampeders’s Ronnie King Succumbs To Heart Attack

And so we lose another key figure of Canada’s music legacy. 

Bass guitarist/vocalist Ronnie King passed away at Peter Lougheed Hospital in Calgary on Monday. As part of the enduring trio of King, Rich Dodson and Kim Berly. King was a present figure in a band which has toured constantly since their breakout single “Carry Me” became a hit in 1970.

Since then, the band has scored numerous hits with “Sweet City Woman”. “Oh My Lady”. “Devil You” and King’s own vocal contributions “Wild Eyes”, “Hit The Road Jack” and “Call Me Lightening”. King was 76 years old.

When Music Express caught the band in concert at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre, King admitted he wasn’t in the greatest of health and his movements were restricted, but he battled on. He was set to tour with The Stampeders this Spring, and his death has come as a complete shock to Berly and Dodson.

“The sudden drastic turn in his health took us all by surprise,” said Berly on the band’s website. “As little as three weeks ago he was looking forward to doing one final tour with The Stampeders and was in a positive and optimistic state of mind. Sadly, it was not to be”.

“Ronnie, Rich, and I began making music together in the spring of 1966 and shortly thereafter left Calgary to pursue the dream of pop stardom in Toronto. The dream became reality five years later with the release of ‘Carry Me’ followed by our breakout hit ‘Sweet City Woman’.”

“For the last fifty-six years, the Stampeders have entertained Canadians from coast to coast with Ronnie’s irrepressible humour and willingness to do anything for a laugh setting the tone.
We, who shared the stage of life with him, were, no doubt, the recipients of an extra-large dose of his larger-than-life persona, and we will miss him.”

“The tour that was intended to be his final bow will now, instead, be our tribute to, and celebration of, our beautiful friend and partner. The show must go on. Ronnie would have wanted it that way.”

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