Nazareth frontman and founding member Dan McCafferty dies, aged 76

9 November 2022, 12:23

By Mayer Nissim

Nazareth bassist Pete Agnew confirms the passing of his former bandmate.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Former Nazareth frontman Dan McCafferty has died at the age of 76.

The news of Dan's passing was confirmed by the group's bassist Pete Agnew on the official Nazareth Instagram page.

"This is the saddest announcement I ever had to make," Agnew said.

"Maryann and the family have lost a wonderful loving husband and father, I have lost my best friend and the world has lost one of the greatest singers who ever lived.

"Too upset to say anything more at this time."

Dan and Pete formed Nazareth in Dumfermline, Scotland in 1968 with guitarist Manny Charlton and drummer Darrell Sweet, with all having previously been members of mid-'60s covers band The Shadettes.

The took their name not from the bible, but from the US borough in Pennsylvania namechecked in The Band's 1968 classic 'The Weight'.

Nazareth released their self-titled debut album in 1971, and broke into the album charts with their third record Razamanaz, which was produced by Roger Glover of Deep Purple.

Nazareth in 1972
Nazareth in 1972. Picture: Getty Images

They had a run of hit singles, including 'Broken Down Angel', Bad, Bad Boy' and 'Hair of the Dog', as well as successful covers of Tom Rose's "Morning Dew', Joni Mitchell's This Flight Tonight' and The Everly Brothers' 'Love Hurts'.

The last of those was number one in several countries and was the band's sole US top 10 hit.

McCafferty developed COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and left the group in 2014 after the release of their 23rd studio album Rock 'n' Roll Telephone.

He gave his blessing for the band to continue without him, and he was replaced first by Linton Osborne, and then by Carl Sentance, who has recorded the 2018 album Tattooed on My Brain and this year's Surviving the Law with the group.

While he could no longer perform live, McCafferty continued to work int the studio, releasing 2019's Last Testament album.

Last Played Songs