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Pearls Before Swine frontman Tom Rapp has died

The American singer and songwriter was 70 years old

Tom Rapp died on 11 February in Melbourne, Florida. Born in North Dakota in 1947, Rapp was given his first guitar at a young age after his family had moved to Minnesota. His family later moved to Pennsylvania and then on to Florida.

Rapp had a short but influential career as the founder and frontman of psychedelic folk rock outfit Pearls Before Swine. The group formed while Rapp was at school with fellow pupils Wayne Harley, Roger Crissinger and Lane Lederer. They went on to release their debut album One Nation Underground in 1967 (reissued in 2017 by Drag City). They followed it with five more albums, keeping the Pearls Before Swine name even though band members varied, before Rapp left to embark on a brief solo career in the early 1970s.

He later returned to education and became a civil rights lawyer. In 1999 he released a solo album called A Journal Of The Plague Year (Woronzow).