Paul Revere, Rocker Who Founded the Raiders, Dies at 76

Paul Revere

Paul Revere

Paul Revere, the keyboardist who founded Paul Revere & the Raiders, a band whose Top 10 hits were staples of 1960s AM radio, died on Saturday at his home in Garden Valley, Idaho. He was 76.

His death was announced on the band’s website. The cause was cancer, the band’s manager, Roger Hart, told The Associated Press.

In July, Mr. Revere wrote on Facebook that he was taking a break from touring because of health issues. “It breaks my heart to have to stay home while the band goes out without me to our next block of dates,” he said. “You don’t even know how much it kills me.”

The Raiders often performed in Revolutionary War-style costumes, and Mr. Revere was known for his tri-corner hats. Its hits, with Mark Lindsay on lead vocals, were upbeat 1960s pop-rock, encompassing the near-garage surliness of “Kicks,” the folk-rock of “Him or Me — What’s It Gonna Be?” and the orchestrated pop of the band’s biggest hit, “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian),” which reached No. 1 in 1971 and sold over a million copies.

Mr. Revere was the band’s organist and was known for his manic energy onstage. In an online tribute, the band remembered him from a fan’s perspective as “a larger-than-life dynamo of high-energy slapstick, outrageous and spontaneous humor and a genuine childlike joy.”

Born Paul Revere Dick on Jan. 7, 1938, in Harvard, Neb., Mr. Revere spent more than 50 years in the music business. He decided on a career in music as a teenager, and later formed a band called the Downbeats. He renamed it the Raiders in 1960.

Mr. Lindsay joined in 1958, and five years later the band recorded “Louie Louie,” written by Richard Berry and originally recorded by Richard Berry and the Pharoahs. The Raiders’ version was overshadowed by the Kingsmen’s, which reached No. 2.

After catching the attention of Dick Clark, the group appeared regularly on “Where the Action Is,” the ABC spinoff of “American Bandstand.” In 1966, it appeared on an episode of “Batman,” and performed the following year on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

The band went through a number of members over the years. By 1968, Mr. Revere and Mr. Lindsay were the last original members, and Mr. Lindsay left to embark on a solo career in 1975.

Mr. Revere’s survivors include his wife of 35 years, Sydney, and a son, Jamie. Two longtime Raiders have also died: the drummer Mike Smith in 2001, and the guitarist Drake Levin in 2009.

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