“Daydream Believer” Songwriter John Stewart Dies

Singer-songwriter John Stewart, whose song credits include “Daydream Believer,” died Saturday (Jan. 19) at a San Diego hospital after apparently suffering a massive stroke or brain aneurysm. He was 68. A native of San Diego, Stewart replaced Dave Guard as a member of the Kingston Trio folk group in 1961. After the trio broke up in 1967, Stewart gained critical acclaim with the 1969 album, California Bloodlines, recorded in Nashville with a cast of studio musicians that included drummer Kenny Buttrey, pianist Hargus “Pig” Robbins and multi-instrumentalist Charlie McCoy. Anne Murray’s remake of “Daydream Believer,” a No. 1 pop hit for the Monkees in 1967, reached No. 3 on the country chart in 1980. As a solo artist, Stewart scored a major pop hit in 1979 with “Gold,” a single that featured background vocals by Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Stewart’s 1995 album, Airdream Believer, included guest appearances by Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash and Nanci Griffith.