Dream Weaver Singer, Gary Wright Dies At 80

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The singer Gary Wright, well known for his top-charting tunes “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive,” passed away on Monday. He was 80 years old. Dorian Wright, Wright’s son, told Variety that it was true.

According to his son Justin, Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s illness were to blame.

He was a founding member of the British band Spooky Tooth and was in high demand as a session musician from the late 1960s on. He played on all of George Harrison’s solo albums, including his seminal 1970 debut, “All Things Must Pass,” and on early singles by Ringo Starr, Tim Rose, B.B. King, Nilsson, and many others.

Even so, he will be best known for the mid-1970s hits mentioned above, which were a part of a style of synthesizer-driven hit single of the time (Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle” is another example) and which saw him perform on numerous music shows while decked out in satin and playing a keytar.

The Dream Weaver, his first album for Warner Bros., was released in 1975. Although the lead song was a slow starter, by the following spring it had become a tremendous smash, and Wright had established himself as a major star. But it took him over two years to release “The Light of Smiles,” and his future endeavors fell short of his earlier achievements.

“Really Wanna Know You,” from 1981, was his final single to reach the charts.

However, he made a surprise appearance in the 1992 movie “Wayne’s World,” singing a re-recorded version of “Dream Weaver.” In the years that followed, Wright specialized in instrumental and soundtrack work. However, he eventually returned to more traditional rock music and released a series of albums, the last of which, “Connected,” was released in 2010. He frequently performed on tour with Ringo’s All-Starr Band, Spooky Tooth, and as a solo artist.

Chaka Khan recorded a fiery rendition of “Love Is Alive” for her 1984 smash album “I Feel for You,” while artists as diverse as Jay-Z and Tone-Loc have sampled his songs throughout the years.