What do you remember most about Gary Wright, “Dream Weaver” singer and frequent nameless hero of many musical performances throughout the 1970s?
Here in the aftermath of his death at age 80, here are some things you may not know about the Spooky Tooth (!) founder.
As a session musician, Wright played on albums for George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson and more stars in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Wright was a founding member of the pioneering rock group Spooky Tooth in the late 1960s.
With 1975’s “Dream Weaver,” Wright scored a huge hit single that exemplified the synth-driven soft rock sound of the mid-1970s.
Wright’s music often had a vaguely mystical or cosmic vibe, with synth atmospherics and lyrics about love and spirituality.
Though his music was radio-friendly, Wright maintained an unconventional image with his long hair, satin clothes and keytar.
“Dream Weaver” remains an iconic classic rock staple that has been widely sampled and covered over the decades.
Wright’s album The Dream Weaver was a major crossover success, selling over 2 million copies.
Despite his initial breakthrough, Wright struggled to match the success of “Dream Weaver” with later releases in the late 1970s.
In 1992, Wright made a surprise cameo singing “Dream Weaver” in the hit comedy film Wayne’s World.
In his later years, Wright toured extensively as a solo act and with Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band.
R&B stars like Chaka Khan and rappers such as Jay-Z have covered or sampled Wright’s classic hits over the years.
Late Style Shift
In the 2000s and 2010s, Wright returned to more traditional rock music with his solo albums.
Wright’s last studio album, Connected, was released in 2010 when the musician was in his late 60s.
As an original member of Spooky Tooth, Wright helped pioneer the blending of rock and soul in the late 1960s.
Wright’s versatility and talent on keys made him one of the most in-demand session players of the early 70s.
Wright had an enduring artistic relationship with ex-Beatle George Harrison, playing on all his 1970s solo records.
In addition to his solo success, Wright performed and recorded with fellow rock legend Ringo Starr.
Up until his later years, Wright continued to perform live, including with Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band.
Wright’s musical gifts live on through his talented sons, who have forged their own careers in the industry.