Singer, Songwriter and Producer Delaney Bramlett Dies in Los Angeles

Delaney Bramlett, a roots music singer, songwriter and producer best known as a founder of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, died Saturday (Dec. 27) at a Los Angeles hospital of complications from gallbladder surgery. He was 69. The Mississippi-born musician found national success in the mid-’60s on the TV music series, Shindig, as a member of the Shindogs, the house band that also featured guitarist James Burton and keyboardist Glen D. Hardin. He and his then-wife Bonnie Lynn later formed Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, opening a concert tour for Blind Faith, a British supergroup that included Clapton. Clapton briefly joined the couple’s band for a series of live shows and a 1970 album titled On Tour With Eric Clapton. Bramlett also produced Clapton’s first solo album, a self-titled project released in 1970, featuring “Let It Rain,” a song they wrote together. He is also credited with teaching Harrison how to play slide guitar and to write gospel songs, an endeavor that led to Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” Bramlett’s most successful song on the country charts, “Never Ending Song of Love,” was a Top 10 hit for Dickey Lee in 1971. Other versions were recorded by Crystal Gayle, the Osmonds, along with two noteworthy duos — Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Bramlett and Leon Russell co-wrote “Superstar,” a major hit for the Carpenters. Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett dissolved their personal and professional relationship in 1973. In recent years, he joined Jerry Lee Lewis to sing “Lost Highway,” a track on Lewis’ 2006 album, Last Man Standing. In addition to his wife, Susan Lanier-Bramlett, he is survived by four children, including Bekka Bramlett, a singer-songwriter based in Nashville.