Gerry Rafferty’s first recorded work was the single, Benjamin Day released on Columbia in 1966 by The Fifth Column. This local band from Paisley, seven miles east of Glasgow, included his future Stealers Wheel band mate Joe Egan, although they didn’t form Stealers Wheel until 1972. In 1969 Rafferty joined Billy Connolly and Tam Harvey in Scottish folk group, The Humblebums and although they had already made one album as a duo, Harvey left leaving Connolly and Rafferty to continue with the name. In the same year as Rafferty joined they released The New Humblebums on the Transatlantic label. It was here that the song Patrick appeared, a tribute to Scottish playwright and painter John Byrne. (Patrick was a pseudonym used by Byrne in the sixties). “Patrick my primitive painter of art/You will always and ever be near to my heart”). The New Humblebums album cover was one of Byrne’s paintings.
After one more album with The Humblebums they broke up and in 1971 Rafferty made a solo album, Can I Have My Money Back? before forming Stealers Wheel with Egan. After a hit with Stuck In The Middle With You, (No.6 in the US, No.8 in the UK) Stealers Wheel released three troubled albums before becoming entangled in legal disputes that caused the band to split up in 1975 and stopped Rafferty from releasing any material at all until 1978. Finally after years of legal wrangling, Rafferty returned with his autobiographical mega hit – Baker Street. (Note that Raphael Ravenscroft’s 1979 solo album, Her Father Didn’t Like Me anyway was originally a Humblebums song written by Rafferty).
This charming early work by Rafferty shows his early talent as a singer and a songwriter. The inimitable Billy Connolly went onto to be an international star in his own right.