Jackie Lomax, the Beatles protégé who played with some of the biggest musicians of his era but never became a household name, died Sunday in England this week at 69.
Lomax's 50-year career included studio sessions with George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, CNN International reported
. He performed with several British rock groups, including The Undertakers, in the early 1960s.
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Lomax died in his sleep from an illness at the family home on the English peninsula of Wirral, near Liverpool, according to a statement released by his family.
His band crossed paths with the Beatles while performing at clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg, according to CNN International.
George Harrison wrote songs for Lomax, and he eventually signed on to The Beatles' Apple Records as a songwriter and artist.
Tony Bramwell, a former Apple Records publicist, told The Associated Press it was John Lennon who convinced Lomax to sign with the Beatles’ label.
"He was a great rocker, a solid out-and-out rock and roller," Bramwell said.
Other Beatles members backed him on his first single "Sour Milk Sea" in 1968.
The author of "The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia," Bill Harry, told the LA Times
the Beatles were "completely baffled" that Lomax's music never caught on "because Jackie had one of the rare and distinctive voices which have the potential of turning its owner into a superstar."
Lomax came to the United States later in life and played and recorded with different bands while working odd jobs.
Los Angeles producer Saul Davis told the LA Times that Lomax was the maître d' at the Hollywood restaurant the Cat & Fiddle when Davis and his wife had their wedding reception there in 1987.
"He needed to earn a living," Davis said to the Times. "He seemed OK with being there."
In 1990, Davis co-produced an album featuring Lomax’s remake of the Tim Buckley song "Devil Eyes.”
Lomax is survived by his first wife, Dionne Lomax, their daughters, Vicki, Janine, and Louise, and five grandchildren.
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