Raphael Ravenscroft, the well-known saxophone player and session musician, has died. He recorded for many of the top groups and performers in the world, including Pink Floyd, Marvin Gaye, Mike Oldfield, Robert Plant and Bonnie Tyler, but is probably best known for his alto sax riff in Gerry Rafferty's 1978 song 'Baker Street', which became a hit around the world.
There's a persistent 'urban legend' that Rafferty originally intended the riff to be sung or played on guitar (as it was towards the end of the song). Ravenscroft was apparently in the studio to record another piece, and is said to have suggested he play the riff on alto saxophone. Whatever the truth, the result became music history and led to a surge in the popularity, use and sales of the saxophone (as well as vaulting Ravenscroft himself to prominence).