Nazareth’s Original Lead Singer, Dan McCafferty, Dies

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Dan McCafferty via Nazareth’s Facebook page

Dan McCafferty, an original member and longtime lead vocalist of the Scottish rock group, Nazareth, died today (Nov. 8, 2022) at age 76. The news was shared by their bassist Pete Agnew, also a founding member, on the band’s Facebook page, calling it “the saddest announcement I ever had to make.”

Nazareth originally formed in Dumfermline, Scotland in 1968, by McCafferty, Agnew, guitarist Manny Charlton and drummer Darryl Sweet, all members of a local band the Shadettes. The new band took their name from the Pennsylvania town referred to in The Band’s song from earlier that year, “The Weight.”

After releasing their eponymous debut album in 1971, the band broke big when, after supporting Deep Purple on tour, they released the Roger Glover-produced Razamanaz album in early 1973 to critical and fan acclaim. They then released a string of singles including “Broken Down Angel,” “Hair of the Dog,” and “Love Hurts.” The power ballad, released in 1975, reached #8 on the Hot 100 in early 1976, and hit #1 in several territories. The band has continued to release albums and tour the globe since.

In 2014, their longtime frontman had to stop touring with the band due to health reasons, later confirmed to be chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In announcing his longtime bandmate’s death, Agnew wrote, “This is the saddest announcement I ever had to make. Maryann and the family have lost a wonderful loving husband and father, I have lost my best friend and the world has lost one of the greatest singers who ever lived.

“Too upset to say anything more at this time.”

The singer, born Oct. 14, 1946, in Dumfermline, Scotland, is the second founding member to die in 2022. Manny Charlton passed on July 5.

Related: Musicians that we’ve lost in 2022

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  1. LowPlainsGrifter
    #1 LowPlainsGrifter 9 November, 2022, 01:20

    I/we had the pleasure of seeing
    Dan McCafferty and Nazareth
    around the time of
    ‘Close Enough for Rock and Roll’
    and a few albums later,
    and still in stride.
    Man, they could rock.
    A phenomenal band Live.
    I do remember when COPD
    caused him to stop touring.
    Dan McCafferty RIP 11/08/22

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  2. Mossyboy
    #2 Mossyboy 9 November, 2022, 03:19

    Totally agree one of the best rock singers ever it has been my pleasure to listen to for many years and will continue to listen to as I have all the bands LP’s on vinyl

    Reply this comment
  3. TyStick
    #3 TyStick 9 November, 2022, 10:08

    One of the elite vocals in Rock and Roll. Dan really sang from the heart. We are losing the classic rockers too fast. RIP Dan

    Reply this comment

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