Robert Palmer--Journalist--Dies at Age 52
November 20, 1997



NEW YORK, NY - Noted music journalist Robert Palmer, age 52, died today (20) at the Westchester County Medical Center of complications from liver disease. Palmer died at 6:00 AM Eastern Time with his wife, JoBeth Briton, at his side as he listened to some of his favorite music. At his wishes, the body is to be cremated.

A memorial service in his honor will be held at Tramps music club, 51 West 21st Street, New York City on Sunday, November 23, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Robert Palmer Fund For Artistsí Aid, which has been organized to assist others in similar circumstances to Palmer, who had no medical insurance.

To send donations, flowers and cards please send them to:

Robert Palmer Fund For Artistís Aid
c/o Augusta Palmer
155 Lafayette Street 3C
Brooklyn NY 11238

Robert Palmer was admitted to the Westchester County Medical Center on September 16 and after preliminary tests was placed on the liver transplant waiting list as of September 30. He was originally admitted to Little Rockís University of Arkansas Medical Center on August 31 in critical condition with both liver and kidney failure. Doctors there were able to stabilize his condition and improve his kidney function enough to enable his transfer to the New York facility, in hope of receiving a new liver. His condition dated back to 1985, when he initially contracted a serious case of hepatitis, after which he suffered a relapse a few years later.

Benefits had been held to raise money for Palmerís medical expenses in New York, Los Angeles, Oxford, Mississippi, and New Orleans, where he had been living for the past five years. A number of other benefits were in progress at the time of his death.

According to the Westchester County Medical Center, 954 people in the United States died awaiting liver transplants in 1996. While 1,875 livers were donated that year, the liver transplant waiting list for 1996 contained 7,467 people.

Robert Palmer was a music critic at The New York Times from 1976-1988, and had been a long-time contributing editor at Rolling Stone. He was the author of a number of books, including 1981ís Deep Blues and 1995ís Rock & Roll: An Unruly History. He also wrote and co-directed the documentary, The World According to John Coltrane, and served as chief consultant on the highly-acclaimed 10 hour mini-series for television, Rock & Roll, which was produced by WGBH (Boston) and the BBC. In addition, he produced a number of artists for the Fat Possum blues label, including R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Cedell Davis. At the time of his death, he was a regular columnist for Live! Magazine.

"Bob and I were both so uplifted by the tremendous outpouring of love, support and generosity from friends all over the world," said JoBeth Briton. "It was Bobís wish - and my hope - that people will continue to band together to help one another in times of need. This fund is being started in the hope of beginning that process, as well as to celebrate everything Bob did while he was here."

Contact: Mark Pucci


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