The music lives on in memory of tragic city rocker

HE sang at festivals and in city pubs for decades, using any spare time he had to write new songs and perform for those he loved.

Saturday, 7th May 2016, 12:57 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th May 2016, 2:17 pm
Keith Turner with his wife Lynn and grandson Karter. Picture: contributed

But before Keith Turner lost his gruelling battle with cancer in October last year, he wanted to ensure his musical legacy lived on and wrote one final song, Life Goes On, while he was enduring the last stages of chemotherapy.

Sadly, the 53-year-old passed away before he had the chance to perform it live, but his family is planning to pay tribute to the musician for the first time later this month – with a poignant charity event.

Keith’s daughter, Coreena McIntosh, said: “My dad had a heart of gold and despite all the gruelling treatment he was going through, he never let it get in the way of his music.

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“He was well known throughout the city and he is missed by many.

“Since he passed away, it’s been a difficult time for us all, but we are finally ready to pay tribute to him in a way he’d love – and everyone is looking forward to hearing his music again.”

Mr Turner, from Leith, was the lead singer of Edinburgh rockabilly bands the FretTones and Hi-Voltage. He performed regularly in the Spiders Web in Morrison Street during his 30-year music career.

The grandfather-of-three, who originally trained as a painter and decorator, was also a member of various bands down south, including the Southern Sound.

He recorded all of his tracks with Rollin Records based in London, and his latest album, Heart of Gold, has already raised thousands for Cancer Research UK.

For the first time since his funeral, Mr Turner’s friends and family will reunite for a fundraising event in aid of Cancer Research UK and the children’s hospice at the Masonic Club, off Leith Walk, on May 20.

Around 250 tickets have already been sold for the ‘First Keith Turner Revue’ but his daughter has received messages from all over the world.

His old band members are set to perform a selection of Mr Turner’s songs, and Miss Mary Ann and the Ragtime Ramblers – who he also used to perform with – have been given the honour of singing Life Goes On live for the first time.

“Life Goes On is a very emotional song as Keith wrote it when he was going through chemotherapy,” his wife Lynn Turner said.

“It’s been available for quite some time to buy, but my aim is to try and get it featured on a Cancer Research advert or something.

“I’m like a dog with a bone – it’s such a beautiful song.”

Mr Turner was diagnosed with testicular cancer 15 years ago, but after being given the all clear, it came back three years ago to his lungs and then spread to his liver.