Keith Allison
Keith Allison

Singer, Songwriter, And Recording Artist Keith Allison Dead At 79

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SHERMAN OAKS, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Keith Allison, a songwriter, musician, actor, and singer who performed with acts such as Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Monkees, Harry Nilson, Alice Cooper, and Ringo Starr, among others, died November 17 at his home in Sherman Oaks, California. He was 79.

His passing was announced by Alex Hart, son of the Raiders longtime manager Roger Hart.

It is with deep sadness to announce the passing of Keith Allison. We all here in the Raider family are terribly heartbroken. Keith will always be a Raider. Our love goes out to Keith’s wife Tina, son Ryeland, daughters Allison and Brenda, and all the grandchildren. Keith was a friend to all, and everyone loved Keith. His presence will be strongly missed. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and expressions regarding ‘Guitar’ Keith.

Born in Coleman, Texas, in 1942, Allison began performing in clubs and local bands in the 1950s, including the Keith Allison Combo. In 1962, he signed on as musical director and guitarist for Ray Peterson and then joined The Crickets with his cousin, Jerry Allison on drums.

After relocating to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s, he grew his profile with an appearance on Dick Clark’s “Where The Action Is” at the Whisky A-Go-Go when he was mistaken for Paul McCartney.

According to a published obituary, Keith was invited back to become a permanent cast member for Action along with other members of Paul Revere & The Raiders.

He also performed with The Monkees and contributed several songs to their catalog, including ‘Headquarters,’ ‘Head,’ and co-writing credits with Michael Nesmith on “Aunties Municipal Court.”

As well, he provided guitar and harmonica on Sonny & Cher’s hit “The Beat Goes On” and released a solo album, ‘In Action,’ via Colombia Records.

He also officially joined Paul Revere & The Raiders in 1968, providing bass, guitar, organ, vocals and taking on some songwriting duties with the group.


His songwriting credits with The Raiders include “Freeborn Man” which he co-wrote with Mark Lindsay.

In 1971 Keith wrote and performed the title song for the film “Where Does It Hurt?” starring Peter Sellers and he also played Hinkley, a minor character in the film.

From 1975 to 1977 Keith played guitar and served as the bandleader for the supergroup for ‘Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart’ and on Capitol Records album and recorded the live album “Live In Tokyo” while touring with them in Asia in 1976.

In 1977 Keith played Guitar on Ringo Starr’s “Bad Boy” and signed on for a stint as the musical director for Ringo Starr’s TV special “Ringo.” His other acting credits include appearances on television shows such as “Blossom”, “7th Heaven”, and “The Wonder Years” as well as playing the role of  Captain James J. White in the Civil War film “Gods and Generals” in 2003.

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. A year later, he joined the Crickets for their final show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.

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.

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