John 'Marmaduke" Dawson - New Riders of the Purple Sage

John "Marmaduke" Dawson, who formed the New Riders of the Purple Sage with Jerry Garcia in 1969 and passed away on Wednesday after a long bout with stomach cancer. He was 64. The original New Riders of the Purple Sage consisted of Dawson, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and David Nelson. Garcia player pedal steel guitar.

After opening for the Dead in 1969 and 1970, Buddy Cage, Dave Tolbert and Spencer Dryden gradually replaced the Dead members, and NRPS took off on their own. Their self-titled debut with the sagauro cactus on the cover is among the greatest country-rock albums ever. All ten songs - from "I Don't Know You" to "Louisiana Lady" - are classics.

New Riders of the Purple Sage were part of the successful years of Americana music during the 1970's.