By Jeff Cornell
Signe Anderson, Jefferson Airplane’s original vocalist passed away on Jan. 28. She was 74.
No cause of death was revealed but Rolling Stone is reporting that Anderson battled heath issues over the past few years and recently entered a hospice facility. What is surprising and ironic is that Anderson died the same day as her former band mate Paul Kantner, who passed away on Jan. 28 from multiple organ failure after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week.
Anderson was featured on the band’s 1966 debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off and is highlighted on the tracks “Chauffeur Blues” and “Let’s Get Together.” She left the group following the birth of her first child and last performed with the group on Oct. 15, 1966 at the Fillmore in the band’s hometown of San Francisco. She was replace by the iconic singer Grace Slick, who performed with the band the next night.
Jefferson Airplane founding member Marty Balin took to Facebook to write a tribute to the late singer. “One sweet lady has passed on. I imagine that she and Paul woke up in heaven and said ‘Hey what are you doing here? Let’s start a band.” He added, “Heartfelt thoughts to all their family and loved ones.”
The group took off in 1967 following year with singer Grace Slick. That year they released their second album Surrealistic Pillow, which spawned the classic hits “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.”
Along with their San Francisco contemporaries The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane became one of the biggest bands to emerge from the psychedelic-rock scene during the Summer of Love in 1967.
Below you can listen to Signe Anderson’s vocals on “High Flying Bird,” with Jefferson Airplane.