Enigmatic musician and singer Leon Redbone, known for his Panama hat and his deadpan delivery of blues, jazz and Tin Pan Alley classics, has died. Redbone died Thursday, according to media reports. He was 69.
Redbone had retired from performing and recording in 2015, with his publicist citing health concerns at the time without providing specifics. The singer had recently been living in Bucks County, Pa., where he had reportedly been in hospice care.
Redbone released his first album, “On the Track,” in 1975 and went on to release close to 20 studio and live albums. He sang “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as a duet with Zooey Deschanel over the closing credits of the 2003 movie “Elf,” in which he also provided the voice of Leon the Snowman.
He also performed the theme songs for the TV shows “Mr. Belvedere” and “Harry and the Hendersons.”
Despite making many TV appearances, including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show,” Redbone remained reluctant to discuss his personal life, much of which remained a mystery.
Here’s a clip of Redbone performing “Shine on Harvest Moon” …