Redbone singer and guitarist Lolly Vegas dies at 70


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Lolly Vegas, 70, the lead singer and guitarist for Redbone, a Native American rock band that had a million-selling hit in 1974 with the bouncy ‘Come and Get Your Love,’ died in his sleep Thursday at his home in Reseda.

He had lung cancer and had been in poor health since suffering a stroke 15 years ago, said the band’s manager, Michael Stone.


Redbone rode the tight, driving style of ‘Come and Get Your Love’ to No. 5 on Billboard’s pop singles chart, but most of the band’s songs had less of a dance feel and more of a swamp-rock sound. The band first gained notice with ‘Maggie’ in 1970 and ‘The Witch Queen of New Orleans’ in 1971.

In concert, Redbone often dressed in traditional Native American attire, and some of the group’s songs, including ‘We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee,’ emphasized the members’ Indian background.

Vegas was born Oct. 2, 1939, in Coalinga, Calif., and grew up in Fresno. He and his brother Pat, a singer and bassist, were session musicians who performed together as Pat and Lolly Vegas in the 1960s at Sunset Strip clubs and on the TV variety show ‘Shindig!’

The brothers also were prolific songwriters whose ‘Niki Hoeky’ was covered by Aretha Franklin, Bobbie Gentry and P.J. Proby.

In addition to his brother Pat, Vegas is survived by his wife, Risa; his mother, Eloise Vasquez; two other brothers, Ramon and Rudy; and three sisters, Linda, Marie and Theresa.

A viewing is planned from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, at Lorenzen Mortuary, 19300 Sherman Way, Reseda. Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 11, with a benediction planned at 7:30 p.m. at Lorenzen Mortuary.


The funeral will be held March 18 at Lisle Funeral Home, 1605 L St., Fresno.

--Claire Noland