PORTLAND, Oregon (CelebrityAccess) — Signe Toly Anderson, a singer best known as one of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane, died at her home on January 28th in Oregon. She was 74.
Anderson, who survived a battle with cancer in her thirties, died from complications of obstructive pulmonary disease, her daughter said. Her death was on the same day as that of her bandmate Paul Kantner.
A native of Oregon, Anderson, who was born Signe Toly, performed with local folk and jazz groups while in high school. She moved to San Francisco in her early twenties, and began appearing at a popular folk club, the Drinking Gourd where Marty Balin heard her sing, prompting him to invite her to join the group that would become Jefferson Airplane.
However, by the time the group released its first album, Anderson had had her first child and found the touring life to be too stressful and after a farewell show at The Fillmore in 1966, she left the band, replaced by Grace Slick.
'You have to look at the priorities in your life, the reality in your life,' Anderson told Portland radio station KGON in 2011. 'I had to wait in the San Francisco airport in July of 1966 for 36 hours before we got on the airplane and flew to Chicago. All the diapers were gone.'
'I don't regret having left,' she added.
After leaving the group, she returned to Oregon, performing with a local group Carl Smith and the Natural Gas Company.
Anderson was married twice, to Merry Prankster Jerry Anderson and to Michael Alois Ettlin, who died in 2011. She is survived by two children and three grandchildren. – Staff Writers