Canadian classic rock guitarist and songwriter Jerry Doucette passed away in good health on Monday, a family friend’s statement confirmed.
Doucette, 70, better known as “Mama Let Him Play,” was the 1977 hit from the album of the same name, which reached the top 100 on Billboard. In 1979, his band Doucette won Juno as the most promising band of the year.
Doucette was born in Montreal and raised in Hamilton, learning to play guitar at the age of six. He moved to Vancouver in 1972, where he signed The Seeds of Time and Rocket Norton Band as a solo artist on Mushroom Records.
Doucette released five albums as a solo artist between 1977 and 1999 and continued to play in small theaters in Western Canada until 2018.
Doucette’s family said in a statement that the inspiration for “Mama Let Him Play” came from what his father said to his son playing guitar after he got home from work. His mother told him to shut up, but Doucette remembered his father and told him to let him play.
He thought it would be a good title for a song, he said he finished writing the hit in an hour.
Doucette died of cancer on Monday, surrounded by her family at Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, BC. He is survived by her wife Maggie of 43, his five children, and his 10 grandchildren.