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Dave Fisher, Highwaymen folk singer dies
Dave Fisher, 69, the lead singer of the Highwaymen has died. He died Friday at his home in Rye, New York of a bone marrow disease.
DAVE FISHER, 69, the lead singer of the Highwaymen has died. He died Friday at his home in Rye, New York of a bone marrow disease.

Fisher, a freshman at Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1958, along with four other fellow students formed the band. United Artists released Fisher’s arrangement of the spiritual “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore” while they were still in school. This song of the Highwaymen soared to the top of the music charts. This earned them a gold record. “Cotton Fields” and “The Gypsy Rovers” were other hits.

The group began frequently plat the Gaslight Café in the New York’s Greenwich Village section and came in contact with such greats as Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton and Buffy Sainte Marie.

They disbanded in 1964 but came together again in 1987 for a concert for their 25th college reunion. Since then, they performed 10-12 concerts a year. The band last performed in August in Massachusetts.

In addition to being a lead singer, he was writing 99 percent of the music and doing vocal arrangements for the band. Fisher was the only member of the band to make music as profession, working as songwriter, arranger and producer for movies and television shows such as “Fall Guy.”

Before Fisher died, the group was discussing a number of projects, including a PBS special and a Woodstock-like show with other performing artists. Band member Steve Butts, Group’s Banjo player, and other two surviving member were at Fisher’s bedside the before he died.

Steve Trott, who played mandolin and guitar for the group, said, “ Fisher was a genius who knew opera, classical, folk music, and every other kind of music like the back of his hand.” He further said, “He was able to put all together and meld it into the Highwaymen sound.”

The rock ‘n’ roll magazine Blitz has called the Highwaymen’s record of their 1963 concert at the MIT the best reissue or compilation of 2009, it also called its album “When the Village Was Green” one of the best releases of 2007.

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