Keith Allison Death – Keith Allison who was a well known pop musician has reportedly died at home in Sherman Oaks, California. Keith’s passing was announced on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. He was born on August 26, 1942, in Coleman, Texas and grew up in San Antonio. He was a prominent musician, a multi-talented songwriter, singer and an actor who added a lot of credits to his name. He loved everyone and was loved by everyone. He was a member of “Paul Revere & The Raiders” from 1968 to 1975 on bass, guitar, organ, vocals and song writing.
Keith Allison had performed with some big names and acts some of them are; Rick Nelson, Harry Nilsson, Roy Orbison, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Ringo Starr, The Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, The Righteous Brothers, , Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry, The Monkees and Boyce & Hart. In addition to his music career, he had also appeared in many movies and TV shows. He wrote and sung the title song of the movie “Where Does It Hurt?” in 1971 which stars Peter Sellers, and also scored it. He also went on tour with Johnny Rivers on bass and guitar in 1974 and 1975.
In 1976, Keith Allison recorded the song “Sail Away” with Harry Nilsson and played on Nilsson’s album which was produced by Steve Cropper. He played guitar on Ringo Starr’s “Bad Boy” and a year after was the musical director for Ringo Starr’s TV special “Ringo” in 1978. Keith wrote and recorded four songs for the movie “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” starring friend Dennis Quaid in 1980. He acted in many popular TV shows in the 90’s some of which are “Blossom”, “7th Heaven”, and “The Wonder Years”. He was ordained as an Ambassador of the Buddy Holly Foundation in 2015 along with Don Everly. He was the beloved husband of his wife, Tina Stern and dedicated father of son Ryeland Allison, Daughters Allison Gonzalez and Brenda. Keith Allison obituary and funeral service will be announced by the family.
Alison Martino – “Gutted to hear about the passing of our friend and musician Keith Allison. He not only left a massive mark in pop culture as a member of “Paul Revere & the Raiders”, but he also left a permanent mark in our hearts forever. So many great times with Keith. He was the life of the party.
Unfortunately, Keith hadn’t been feeling well recently and was supposed to play a song he had co-wrote written with Mike Nesmith called “Auntie’s Municipal Court” at the Monkees concert this past week. I sure wish he had gotten that chance. I’m so grateful I texted him about that just recently. Kieth’s stories regarding the music business were always fascinating to listen to. We spent a lot of time talking on the phone during lock down. This news is very hard to process. I’ll never forget the night he played at my piano for us all back in 2018 before attending the Nesmith show at the Troubadour.
Thank you Alex Hart, @micky_dolenz & @donnadolenz for introducing us and sharing so many great times together over the past years. Keith was a great friend to all. Thinking of Tina Allison. It just wasn’t his time”
Ronnie Dark – “Keith Allison….1942-2021
I’ll never forget the first time you called my phone a few days before our Wax Museum interview, March 2010.
“Hi Ronnie, this is Keith Allison” in that warm Texas voice of his.
Of all of the Raiders I’ve met over the years, I always felt a kinship with Keith, he was one of rock and roll’s great utility players…need a bassist for a tour? Call Keith. Need a lead player to work with the Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart tour…call Keith. Music was his lifelong passion.
Keith excelled at so many things: songwriting, performing, and he didn’t get many chances to make his own records, but they are some of the best garage pop rock of the 60s. I highly recommend scouring the used record bins for the album he produced for Ronnie Hawkins in 1979 “The Hawk” for United Artists Records.
Keith would keep you on the phone for HOURS laughing at all of his stories, and boy did he love to talk. Our first on air interview with him was almost two straight hours. We would chat with Keith two more times over the years (especially if something Raider related came up, like a reissue etc). And he loved Paul Revere. He called me a couple days after Paul’s passing to see how I was doing.
“Me..?” I said “I’m concerned for you.” Keith wouldn’t hear of it. His goal was always to make the best peace of EVERYTHING and bring joy to people through music.
The last time I heard from him was Christmas time 2019. We wished each other well and were looking forward to another on air interview in the future.
Then the pandemic happened (still happening) and now Keith is gone. He was a hero to me. ALL of the Raiders are heroes to me. And each one we’ve lost has weighed heavily on my soul. But Keith’s has been the toughest to take.
If you’d asked the chubby kid in 1991 who scored the “Sweet Little Rock n’ Roll” 45 from a record vendor that I’d not only get to speak with Keith Allison, but be his friend someday, I would have said no way.
Farewell “Guitar” Keith Allison, your music will live on forever.
“Taking a train because I’m tired of flyin’, rollin’ down south on the Seaboard Line..”
Keith Allison – “Keith Allison
August 26, 1942 – November 17, 2021
It is with deep sadness we announce the untimely passing of Keith Allison on the evening of November 17, 2021, at home in Sherman Oaks, California.
Born Sydney Keith Allison on August 26, 1942, in Coleman, Texas, and raised in San Antonio. Keith Allison was a multi-talented songwriter, musician, singer and actor with a long list of credits. Keith knew everyone, and everyone loved Keith.
Keith Allison recorded and performed with some of the biggest names and acts such as Roy Orbison, Ringo Starr, Sonny & Cher, The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers, Chuck Berry, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Monkees, Boyce & Hart, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper, Rick Nelson, The Crickets and Johnny Rivers just to name a few. He also appeared in many movies and TV shows as an actor and musician.
Keith Allison has been entertaining since the late 50’s where he was in local bands and club performances with Clarence (Gatemouth) Brown, Doug Sahm, Augie Meyer performing in the Keith Allison Combo. Moving into the 60’s Keith was Musical Director and Guitarist for Ray Peterson from 1962-1965. In 1964-65 Keith was a member of The Crickets along with his cousin drummer Jerry Allison.
Keith’s success took off when he arrived in Los Angeles in the mid-sixties. It was at a taping for Dick Clark’s “Where The Action Is” at the Whisky A-Go-Go that really put Keith on the map, when the camera panned catching him in the shot, and the audience swore Paul McCartney was at the taping. The phone rang off the hook at Dick Clark Productions, “if not McCartney, then who was that?”. Keith was invited back to be a part of “Action” becoming a permanent cast member along with friends Paul Revere & The Raiders.
Keith contributed to a lot of memorable music including The Monkee’s self-title debut, ‘Headquarters’, ‘Head’ and co-writing “Aunties Municipal Court” with fellow Texan Michael Nesmith on ‘The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees’. Keith played Guitar and Harmonica on Sonny & Cher’s “The Beat Goes On”. In 1967 Columbia Records signed and released the album Keith Allison ‘In Action’.
Most notable, Keith was a member of Paul Revere & The Raiders from 1968 to 1975 on bass, guitar, organ, vocals and writing credits. Keith co-wrote with Mark Lindsay “Freeborn Man”, considered one of the top bluegrass songs of all time, recorded and performed live by scores of artists.
In 1971 Keith scored the film “Where Does It Hurt?” starring Peter Sellers, as well as wrote and sung the title song. In 1974 and 1975 Keith toured with Johnny Rivers on bass and guitar. In 1976, recorded “Sail Away” with Harry Nilsson and played on Nilsson album produced by Steve Cropper.
From 1975 to 1977 Keith was on guitar and band leader for ‘Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart’ and on Capitol Records album and live album “Live In Tokyo” while touring with them in Asia in 1976.
In 1977 Keith played Guitar on Ringo Starr’s “Bad Boy” followed by 1978 as musical director for Ringo Starr’s TV special “Ringo”. In 1980, Keith wrote and recorded four songs for the film “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” starring friend Dennis Quaid.
In the 90’s Keith went on to act in several popular television shows such as “Blossom”, “7th Heaven”, and “The Wonder Years”. In 2003 Keith played Captain James J. White in the film “Gods and Generals” starring another friend Robert Duvall.
In 2007, Keith was inducted as a member of Paul Revere & The Raiders into the Oregon Music
Hall of Fame.
In 2015, Keith was inducted as an Ambassador of the
Buddy Holly Foundation along with Don Everly, and was
presented with a replica Buddy Holiday J45 guitar
presented by Jerry Allison.
In 2016, at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Keith played
guitar and sang with The Crickets for their final performance.
Since 2000, Keith has been a permanent guest member of the Waddy Wachtel Band.
Keith is survived by his wife Tina Stern of 40 years, Son Ryeland Allison, Daughters Allison Gonzalez (Husband Rob) and Brenda Meck (Husband Rich), Sister Cherri Hicks (Husband Don), Judith Allison & Don Reo, eight grandchildren Zephyr, Skyler, Gavin, Adrian, Madeline, Isabella, Makyla, Mercedes, and six great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Keith’s Life will be announced at a future date.”
Photo Credit; Alison Martino