Dr. John performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 30, 2017, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, file)

Dr. John performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 30, 2017, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, file)

‘Dr. John,’ funky New Orleans ‘night-tripper’ musician, dies

He blended black and white music with a hoodoo-infused stage persona and gravelly bayoudrawl.

By Kevin Mcgill / Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — The family of the Louisiana-born musician known as Dr. John says the celebrated singer and piano player who blended black and white musical influence with a hoodoo-infused stage persona and gravelly bayou drawl, has died. He was 77.

A family statement released by his publicist says Dr. John, who was born Mac Rebennack, died early Thursday of a heart attack.

His spooky “Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” slithered onto the pop-dominated market in 1968, startling listeners with its sinister implications of other-worldly magic.

In a career marked by drug addiction, he later had a Top 10 hit with “Right Place, Wrong Time.” He collaborated with numerous top-tier rockers, won multiple Grammy awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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