August 19, 2009 – 4:08 am

RAY SAWYER R.I.P. 1937 - 2018

Ray Sawyer, the Dr Hook & The Medicine Show member who sang the 1973 Shel Silverstein-penned hit “The Cover of ‘Rolling Stone,’” has died in Florida on December 31, 2018. Sawyer retired in 2015 and died after a short illness. He was 81. The Alabama-born Sawyer – who founded the group with Dennis Locorriere, Billy Francis and George Cummings – was a member of Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show from 1969 to 1981. A few years before the band’s formation, Sawyer lost his right eye in a car accident; Sawyer wore an eyepatch that made him resemble the Peter Pan villain Captain Hook, which served as the inspiration for the Dr Hook moniker. In 1970, Dr Hook & The Medicine Show’s demo tapes wound up in the hands of author and songwriter Shel Silverstein, who recruited the band to become a vessel for his music: The group would turn Silverstein-written tracks like “Sylvia’s Mother” and “The Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’” into hits and released two albums of Silverstein-penned songs, 1971’s Dr Hook and 1972’s Sloppy Seconds.

Locorriere said in a statement to Rolling Stone, “Although I hadn’t been in contact with Ray for many, many years it does not erase the fact that we were once close friends and shared an important time in both our lives. Deep condolences go out to his family at what must be a difficult time.” - Rolling Stone

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Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Houseboat Jam 1972 [no label, 1CD]

Shel Silverstein’s Houseboat, Sausalito, San Francisco, CA, 1972. Very good audio extracted from Danish TV.

Between 1972 and 1980, Dr Hook had moved from the tear-drenched, lump-in-your-throat Sylvia’s Mother to the discofied Sexy Eyes. No one cried sell-out because no one gave a damn?

More likely, it might have been because of the personable nature of the group or the wacky demeanour they project on stage (imagine your singer wearing an eyepatch, though vocalist Ray Sawyer did it by choice because of a 1967 car accident) that for this band, anything is possible. The wikipedia calls them a “pop-country rock band” though their being called an “American beat group” can be quite a hoot.

Silverstein, who introduces the group on the show, was a Playboy cartoonist and songwriter (his credits included the first two Dr Hook albums and the hit, Sylvia’s Mother), and he got the group to play on the soundtrack of his Dustin Hoffman movie, Who Is Harry Kellerman And Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?

For a long time, fans either relied on their worn-out copy of their VHS tape or their memory to re-live this show. Now thanks to Sohigh, who after 17 years, finally managed to get a copy of the audio tracks in a trade and share it on the Dime site. So let’s sit back and remember the time when the group was still known as Dr Hook And The Medicine Show (before it was shortened to just Dr Hook).

For those still in the dark, there is no Dr Hook in the band though one can imagine the number of times Sawyer (eyepatch=pirate=Peter Pan=Captain Hook) has been mistaken for the titular character.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Intro By Shel Silverstein (1.7MB)
Track 02. Sylvia’s Mother (5.7MB)
Track 03. Marie Lavaux (4.0MB)
Track 04. Carry Me Carrie (7.1MB)
Track 05. Shel Silverstein (1.5MB)
Track 06. High Flying Eagle (6.8MB)

Click here to order the 2007 Dr Hook compilation, Hits And History.


  2. One of Dr. Hook’s former members — Rik E. — has worked at Bananas at Large in San Rafael, CA ever since the demise of the Medicine Show.

    True fact not found on Wikipedia.

    By soldout in san francisco on Aug 27, 2009

  3. Hello big-o. Many thanks on this Thanksgiving day here in the U.S.A. for your wonderful service you provide.Great selection of music. You Rock !!

    By bill on Nov 25, 2011

  4. thank u for reposting this. im sure i have it but just in case ill dl it again thanks to sking’s efforts. hes so kind. aint he? thanks bigo.

    By darth on Mar 18, 2012

  5. Top!
    Thank you very much.

    By steve on Dec 6, 2012

  6. You say we can “download” these mp3’s…But I am trying to find a way how. Wrong use of words there. Could you by any chance tell us how to actually download these songs so we can put them on our iTunes? Thanks.

    By Matthew on Nov 8, 2013

  7. matthew - right click each one and then save target as. then put it in a folder of your choice. u might want to create a folder and name it accordingly so u can find it when u wish to.
    there is also the option of using a download manager. this is how i do it. that way i take the address of the page and copy it into my program and all the songs dl instantly in a few seconds. i create a folder and i move the songs into it. it sure helps when there are 20-100 songs to dl. then i only have to do it with essentially one click.

    By darth on Nov 8, 2013

  8. darth, which download manager program do you use? I’ve seen several out there, but some, like iLivid, look like scams. I’d love to have faster downloads.

    By Jack Straw on Nov 8, 2013

  9. I’ve been searching for this audio for ages! Thank you BigO for posting. The file for Sylvia’s Mother is missing from the link, are you able to re-post? Thanks again, you rock!

    By Richard on Nov 23, 2013

  10. Hey Everyone… I’m doing some research for a book and was wondering if anyone has any info on the tour that Dr. H did with Cheech and Chong in the early-mid 70’s…specifically 1973-74 in Miami Beach. Any info is greatly appreciated. Hope posting this here isn’t against any rules or an inconvenience. Thank you!
    [email protected]

    By Elle Dee on Apr 5, 2017

  11. Rumor has it Ray had a big un

    By U L E on Jan 2, 2019

  12. Go Away ULE, do you even have a life? Glad to see Darth’s comments tho.

    By Deadwing on Jan 2, 2019

  13. sadly - nowadays all you have to do is be a low life scumbag (and blow up the Boston Marathon) to get yourself on the cover of Rolling Stone - which, based on it’s current content - may not be around much longer~

    By gmb on Jan 2, 2019

  14. RIP, Ray Sawyer. I can’t believe I’d dl this back on Aug 27, 2009, now it’s Jan 1, 2019. And I still wish I had “Cover of the Rolling Stone.” I think I saw their CD in the Wal-Mart cut-out bin for $5…gotta see if they still have it…

    By ScarRad on Jan 2, 2019

  15. Ray had a giant Coc ‘ and worked me over good backstage after a concert in 73 . He was very long with a nice thick girth . Fortunately for me and especially him this all occurred a year before I became a playboy playmate in 74 . After that you had to be super famous to get me backstage. Dr Hook was only moderately famous

    By Bebe on Jan 2, 2019

  16. Rod Stewart was my first backstage fuck following my playboy appearance. He was huge ‘ they don’t call him Rod for nothing.

    By Bebe on Jan 2, 2019

  17. So now it’s 3.
    Daryl Dragon & Bob Einstein died today.

    By sking on Jan 3, 2019

  18. I saw Darryl Dragon at the AV Fair with Al Jardine’s band, “Beach Boys Friends, Family and Fun”. Al had a great group, 2 of Brian’s daughters, 2 of Al’s sons, and others. Brian and Mike had to put a stop to it though.

    By ScarRad on Jan 3, 2019

  19. sorry, Daryl.

    By ScarRad on Jan 3, 2019

  20. Daryl played with the Beach Boys before he and Toni had their success. Sadly, they divorced 40 years later. But when he got ill, she came back to help take care of him and she was by his side when he died.

    By ScarRad on Jan 3, 2019

  21. Remember what a huge hit Love will keep us together was in the summer of 75 . I’ll also remember that summer for Thank God I’m a country boy by John Denver , ABBAs SOS , KC and the sunshine band , get down tonight, and that’s the way I like it uh huh uh hua

    By Bill on Jan 3, 2019

  22. In 75 Elton John was still the biggest star on the planet , biggest thing since the Beatles , with hit after hit and 6 consecutive number one albums , a phenomenon. 75 was also the summer of Jaws , when everyone was scared to go to the beach . Muhammad Ali was king of boxing as well as his many apearences on all the talk shows , really miss his wit , humor as well as his time with Howard Cosell

    By Bill on Jan 3, 2019

  23. The Big Red Machine was the best team in baseball with Rose , Bench , Perez , Sparky Anderson etc . A time when pitchers still went the distance unlike today’s 4 / 5 inning wimps and specialization that destroyed the game . . Roger Staubach , Terry Bradshaw , Ken ( Snake ) Stabler were footballs top qbs and the Cowboys , Steelers , Raiders were always in the playoffs and Super Bowls .

    By Bill on Jan 3, 2019

  24. Remember sitting in front of my tv watching the great match race between The great undefeated filly Ruffian and The Kentucky Derby winning colt Foolish Pleasure . Remember the shock and sadness after she broke down while starting to pull away from the colt . Later that night she had to be put down after waking up and kicking off her cast . It was front page national news at that time . Horse Racing was very big back then . She would have beaten him , I’m sure of it . Millions wept . To this day I tear up remembering that race and what transpired.

    By Bill on Jan 3, 2019

  25. Music and certain albums and songs are more than just that . When you hear a song and or a certain album . It reminds you of everything that was going on in your life and the world at that time . These many deaths of so many icons the last several years has been devastating. They can’t be replaced. The world is so different today . And not in a good way . R. I P Captain Daryl Dragon , thanks for the memories and your contribution to many good memories of our youths . It was a great era .

    By Bill on Jan 3, 2019

  26. Bill thank you for not bringing up my name again,and you dont seem to have moved out of 70’s or are we going to have to endure your year by year whining about how the world changed,A tip it’s losers like you that have bought the changes that have taken away any freedom of speech and actions that we may have had…i bet you shop at your local mall etc…….

    By Tom Petty's Ghost on Jan 4, 2019

  27. Mr Ghost , why so angry? Or would you rather read about penises? Many of us don’t care for the plastic superficial fake modern world . Especially those of us old enough to remember a better time .

    By CJ on Jan 4, 2019

  28. Perhaps you are a millennial “ born in the two thousands . That might explain why you’re so defensive about your era

    By CJ on Jan 4, 2019

  29. Tom Pettys ghost / You are an asshole!!

    By Pat Grooms on Jan 4, 2019

  30. There is a good Dr Hook from 1974 available from The New JDP if you don’t mind Filefactory. Thanks go to him for his DVD audio rip.

    By sking on Jan 4, 2019

  31. So no remarks about Bob Einstein? Remember Officer Judy? Super Dave Osbourne? Their is a good clip here.

    By sking on Jan 4, 2019

  32. Tom Pettys ghost / You are an asshole!!Thanks Bill that’s the most sense you have made in a while!BTW I was born in good old 1952…and times could not be better….

    By Tom Petty's Ghost on Jan 4, 2019

  33. Bill ‘ I remember that match race too . It was Sunday afternoon ‘ July 6 / 75 . It was on a show called CBS sports spectacular. It was hyped as male vs female. A time when women’s lib was raging. Two years earlier Billie Jean King had played ( and beaten) that old man Bobby Riggs in a televised tennis match ‘ so this male vs female thing was in full bloom . I was a teenager at the time and the horror of seeing that beautiful black horse break her leg on the track has stayed with me all these years . Was never able to watch a race after that . Remember the Jockey crying while being interviewed. So sad .

    By Jerry on Jan 4, 2019

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