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.