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Mavis Staples Performs At La Cigale

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It’s one thing to hit charts at number one but the true testament of the greatness of a song is if that song is being sung for generations to come, and Donny Gerrard’s spirit will live on forever through his lead vocals on the classic hit ‘Wildflower’ but it is with great sadness that it is being reported that the ‘Skylark’s’ lead singer, Donnie Gerrard, has passed away at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer.

Let her cry, for she’s a lady, Let her dream, for she’s a child, Let the rain fall down upon her, She’s a free and gentle flower, growing wild.

Donny Gerrard died on Thursday, February 3, and had been under hospice care amid a battle with cancer, publicist Bill Carpenter

Vancouver native Donny Gerrard joined the group the ‘Skylark’s’ a pop/rock band in the early 70’s formed by Ronnie Hawkins’s backup groups with the help of  legendary composer/arranger David Foster and signed with Capitol Records, releasing a self-titled album in 1972.   “Wildflower” with the lead vocals of Donny Gerrard was the groups biggest hit , reaching number #1 in Canada on the RPM Adult Contemporary chart, it reached number 10 on the Canadian RPM singles chart before making it to the United States peaking at number 9 on Billboard Charts living their for 21 weeks and has sold over a million copies.  “Wildflower” has been covered by many artists, including Color Me Badd,  Johnny Mathis, Lisa Fischer, Gary Morris, Creative Source, New Birth, The O’Jays, Marlena Shaw, Lana Wolf, and Silk just to name a few.  ‘Wildflower’ derived from a poem written by one of the members of the Skylark’s however the name of the song is not mentioned anywhere in the song.

After the ‘Skylark’s’ very brief success, Donny Gerrard, signed as a solo artist with Elton John’s Rocket Record Company but found a home as a backup singer for other legends such as, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Cher and Mavis Staples.

In 1985, David Foster reconnected with Donny Gerrard to lay his fiery vocals on The highly Grammy Nominated, receiving 1 Grammy Award  St. Elmo’s Fire soundtrack.

Donny Gerrard continued to perform with The Staples live, and his vocals can be heard on several Mavis Staples, albums with his final known contribution was on her album We Get By, released in 2019.

Donnie Gerrard is survived by his wife, Myra, sons Cooper Gerrard and Traie Payne.

We will be keeping the family, friends and colleagues of Donnie Gerrard uplifted in our prayers.

Sam Sylk Show with Bijou Star

Source: Radio One Digital

Prayers: Singer Donny Gerrard Known For Classic Hit ‘Wildflower’ Has Died  was originally published on wzakcleveland.com