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One year ago: Kenny Rankin

June 7, 2010 |  7:01 am

Rankin Kenny Rankin, a singer, songwriter and musician who died a year ago today, received the ultimate compliment from Paul McCartney for Rankin's versions of the Beatles songs "Blackbird" and "Penny Lane."

McCartney asked Rankin to sing a medley of Beatles songs when McCartney was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987.

Rankin, who was 69 when he died of lung cancer, played in Bob Dylan's backup band, opened for comedian George Carlin and was a frequent guest on "The Tonight Show."

Writing in The Times in 2000, jazz critic Don Heckman said Rankin had the "unusual improvisational skills and innate capacity to deliver a melody with a strong sense of swing."

You can find the news obituary published June 9, 2009, here.

Photo: Kenny Rankin in 1988. Credit: Los Angeles Times