Bob Rafkin: Songs of a Lifetime


Editor’s Note: Bob Rafkin passed away peacefully on May 2, 2013. We hope this tribute to his life’s story and music honors him well. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

His journey has been a fascinating trip through an amazing era of music. Bob was one of the musicians drawn to the Greenwich Village scene in the ’60s. He was awestruck by the quality of the artistry of Bob Dylan. He was captivated by his style of storytelling through song and new this was how he wanted to spend his life. He formed a folk-rock group called The American Patrol.

But music is a fickle industry. Song took Bob to Los Angeles where he became an in-demand session player. He put his artistry to album for Gene Vincent, The Everly Brothers, Randy Newman, Arlo Guthrie and Joni Mitchell.

He continued to polish his songwriting skills and attracted the attention of The Byrds, who covered the Rafkin song, Lazy Waters in their album, Farther Along. He also was commissioned to score a documentary for PBS.

But the LA lifestyle did not provide the fertile soil Rafkin needed to stay enriched. He moved to Florida and immediately began to focus his music and his life. He’s since recorded eight CDs that have struck a chord with many listeners. His songs are a rare combination of introspective storytelling and sublime technique.

While making beautiful music, he’s also had to overcome illness. First, he struggled with prostate disease, only to be diagnosed with colon cancer.

Rafkin is a sonic treasure. His songs quickly feel like old friends. His life experience has been a fascinatiing journey. This story will introduce you to the sounds and struggles of Bob Rafkin. Enjoy!

To learn more about Bob Rafkin:

Watch and listen to him play some of his favorites.

Listen to Bob on the Growing Bolder Radio Show.