The Chicago Sun-Times report that Terry Callier was found dead at his home yesterday. He retreated from the public eye due to illness in recent years and had been splitting his time between his hometown of Chicago and England.
Known for blending jazz, soul and folk idioms and a deeply emotive style, Callier signed his first record deal at 17 and toured with Gil Scott-Heron and George Benson in the 1970s, but he eventually left music to work as a computer programmer at the University of Chicago. It was the re-discovery of his rich catalogue of work by young British artists like Beth Orton and Massive Attack that sparked a rejuvenation of his career in the late 1990s and 2000s, with his 2009 album ‘Hidden Conversations’ his last. The Sun-Times also quote from an interview with Terry Callier from 1996:
“People respond to me because I’m a throwback to an older tradition that believed you should do more than sing a song for an audience, that you should make people feel something. You can make accessible music and still sing about love and peace and truth and life and death. In the end, those are the only things that matter.”
Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.