Singer-songwriter Leon Redbone died yesterday. No cause of death was given. He was 69. Leon Redbone was a quirky character, who specialized in old-school vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley-style music. Not the kind music that you’d think would make him a star, but he became one anyway, appearing several times as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live”, and landing frequent appearances with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show” into the 1980s.
Later popular success had him singing the themes for TV’s “Mr. Beledevere” and “Harry & the Hendersons,” along with contributing a duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with actress, Zooey Deschanel for the “Elf” soundtrack, for which he also voiced the animated character of Leon the Snowman.
Leon Redbone officially retired in 2015, with a representative then citing unspecified health concerns as the reason for his being unable to continue performing or recording. A post on his website confirming his death contained a dose of the whimsical humor and fiction he was known for, and was almost certainly prepared in advance by Leon Redbone himself.
It read, “It is with heavy hearts we announce that early this morning, May 30th, 2019, Leon Redbone crossed the delta for that beautiful shore, at the age of 127. He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover, and a simple tip of his hat. To his fans, friends, and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ‘Oh behave yourselves. Thank you…. and good evening everybody.’”