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Leon Redbone

Leon Redbone in 2010 at Knuckleheads Saloon in Kansas City, MO
Background information
Birth name Dickran Gobalian
Also known as Leon Redbone
Born August 26, 1949(1949-08-26)
Nicosia, Cyprus
Died May 30, 2019(2019-05-30) (aged 69)
New Hope, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Vaudevillian, ragtime, jazz, blues
Occupations musician, songwriter, arranger, producer
Instruments Guitar, Harmonica, Banjo, Piano, Throat Tromnet[1]
Years active 1975—2015
Labels Warner Bros. Records, Emerald City, Rounder, August, Blue Thumb Records

Leon Redbone (born Dickran Gobalian; August 26, 1949 – May 30, 2019) was a Cypriot-American singer, actor and guitarist. He played mostly jazz and blues.

Redbone sang the theme to the television series Mr. Belvedere.[2] He was a semi-regular musical guest on NBC's Saturday Night Live throughout the late 1970s. He last appeared on the show in 1983.[3] During the 1980s and '90s, Redbone was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He has also been a guest on A Prairie Home Companion (radio broadcast).[4]

Redbone voiced a fake snowman version of himself in the 2003 comedy Christmas movie Elf.

He retired in May 2015 due to health issues.[5] Redbone died under hospice care in New Hope, Pennsylvania on May 30, 2019 at the age of 69.[6] The cause was problems from dementia.[7]

Studio albums


  1. "Barnes and Noble review of On The Track".
  2. Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007-10-17). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present (9 ed.). Ballantine Books. pp. 903. ISBN 0-345-49773-2 .
  3. McGinn, Andrew (October 16, 2009). "Leon Redbone Has Been Performing Timeless Tunes for Decades, But He's Still Got an Air of Mystery -- And That's the Way He Likes It". Dayton Daily News (subscription needed). Retrieved 15 September 2012. "It's now impossible to envision Redbone back on "SNL." His last appearance on the show was in 1983."
  4. "Leon Redbone to perform at Clarke; Guitarist will perform a mix of folk, jazz and ragtime music". Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)(subscription needed). March 4, 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2012. "Throughout his career, Redbone has produced 11 albums and has been featured on Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion.""
  5. "Leon Redbone has Retired from Performing and Recording". Retrieved May 19, 2015. "Leon Redbone, the legendary folk/jazz/roots performer has retired from both public appearances and recording. A spokesman for the artist noted, "We share the sadness and disappointment sure to be experienced by his many fans and friends and hope they understand that his health has been a matter of concern for some time. It has become too challenging for him to continue the full range of professional activities.""
  6. Willman, Jem Aswad,Chris; Aswad, Jem; Willman, Chris (2019-05-30). "Singer Leon Redbone Dies at 69" (in en).
  7. Schudel, Matt (May 30, 2019). "Leon Redbone, eccentric musician who seemed to inhabit an earlier time, dies at 69" (in en).