Jerry Doucette, legendary Hamilton-raised classic rock musician, has died at age 70


Published April 19, 2022 at 1:29 pm

Juno-winning classic rock musician, Jerry Doucette, passed away in Delta, B.C. on Monday (April 18) following a battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. (Dee Lippingwell Photo)

Hamilton-raised legendary classic rocker, Jerry Doucette, has died at the age of 70 following a battle with cancer.

Doucette’s friends and family confirmed the news that he passed away in hospice care in Delta, B.C. on Monday (April 18).

The Juno-winning artist was best known for the late 1970s hit ‘Mama Let Him Play’ from the album of the same name.

The name of Doucette’s biggest hit was said to be inspired by an incident in his childhood that was spent in east Hamilton.

According to a 2016 column from The Hamilton Spectator’s Graham Rockingham, Doucette’s god-fearing mother protested a young Doucette’s interest in playing the guitar. During a heated exchange with his mother on the subject, Doucette recalls in the Rockingham piece, his father — a Stelco shift worker trying to sleep at the time — chimed in with: “Mama, let him play.”

The song hit the Billboard Top 100 and Doucette and his band went on to win a Juno in 1979 for Most Promising Group of the Year. He released a total of five albums and toured extensively throughout Canada, particularly western Canada, until 2018 when he announced his retirement.

Doucette was born in Montreal in 1952 and moved to Hamilton when he was four years old. He moved to B.C. in 1972 where he has been based out of ever since.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, five children and 10 grandchildren.

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