Keith Allison dead at 79: Paul Revere and the Raiders star who worked with Ringo Starr & the Beach Boys passes away

FORMER Paul Revere and the Raiders star Keith Allison passed away at 79, as the remaining rock band members pay tribute to the beloved guitarist.

"It is with deep sadness [we] announce the passing of Keith Allison," Paul Revere and the Raiders said in a statement.

"We all here in the Raider family are terribly heartbroken. Keith will always be a Raider. Our love goes out to Keith's wife Tina, son Ryeland, daughters Allison and Brenda, and all the grandchildren.

"Keith was a friend to all, and everyone loved Keith. His presence will be strongly missed," the band added.

Allison reportedly died on November 18; however, his cause of death remains unknown.

Allison had been associated with several groups throughout the years before reluctantly joining Paul Revere and the Raiders in 1968.

The guitarist came to the band's attention after being hired as a permanent audience member for Dick Clark's TV show Where the Action Is.

His strong resemblance to Paul McCartney was another factor in his recruitment.

Working alongside band members Crickets, Roy Orbison, Sonny & Cher and others, the group put out hit singles like Let Me, Arizona, Kicks, and Hungry.

Allison remained with the band until 1975 when they were using the shortened title of the Raiders.

After he departed the band, Allison went solo and released his first album Keith Allison in Action.

He pursued a career in acting, then returned to music, joining the Waddy Watchel Band and appeared on Jerry Lee Lewis' 2007 LP Last Man Standing.

"I've had a great time," Allison said told Classic Bands.

"I've enjoyed the highs and lows. It's like a roller coaster. But it's always been that way, up and down and up and down and up and down."

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