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Bobby Keys, sax great with Joe Ely and Rolling Stones, dies

Peter Blackstock
pblackstock@statesman.com

Native Texan saxophonist Bobby Keys, best known for his work with the Rolling Stones but beloved to Austin audiences for his long tenure with Joe Ely, died Tuesday morning at his home in Tennessee after battling cirrhosis. He was 70.

Keys toured and/or recorded with many popular music greats, including John Lennon, B.B. King, Barbra Streisand and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Born in Slater, a small town near Lubbock, Keys was a link between Ely and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Buddy Holly, as the two of them acknowledged in this clip from a live performance at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth in 2009: