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July 15, 2019 7:59 am  #1

Freddie Keeler Has Died

Although not directly a radio topic, Freddie was indeed someone who was played on the radio in this market; as part of David Clayton Thomas & The Shays.  For those who did not grow up; with the "Toronto" sound the name Fred Keeler may seem unfamiliar. For those like myself, his name is synonymous with one of the most grittiest funkiest guitar players ever to come out of this region.He was lead guitarist; in the 60's with David Clayton Thomas & The Shays. Yes the same David Clayton Thomas that would go on to be lead singer of Blood Sweat & Tears. Intentionally; or not he definitely had the Robbie Robertson sound. You have to back to The Hawks to remember how Robbie was playing in those days. Both he and Freddie played with a wild gritty style.Later Freddie auditioned for Steppenwolf. Didn't work out. On this site there is a feature on the Toronto Band Jericho. Members Frank DiFelice, from Brantford, Ontario, on drums, Denny Gerrard on bass, lead guitarist and singer Fred Keeler from David Clayton Thomas' first group, the Shays, and keyboard/accordion player and singer Gordon Fleming. Fleming was also in The Shays.

Freddie became rather reclusive for the last few years and I'm told he lost his hearing; but when we were both younger he would invite me over to his home; where he lived with his Mother and she would cook us a meal. He was a very quiet. kind sweet man. How I will miss him.

Freddie died yesterday June 14, 2020.

Last edited by John D (July 15, 2019 8:01 am)


July 15, 2019 8:01 am  #2

Re: Freddie Keeler Has Died

Sorry for your loss John...wishing you comfort...


The world would be so good if it weren't for some people...

July 15, 2019 8:15 am  #3

Re: Freddie Keeler Has Died

DCT & The Shays had one fairly big hit in Toronto. It was called "Take Me Back" and it was a pretty good tune. Maybe something for Dale's "Oh Wow" station. Great record.

I'm sorry to hear you lost such a good friend, John. I suspect you may see a few pics of him in the video below.



July 30, 2019 10:26 am  #4

Re: Freddie Keeler Has Died

John, there will be a tribute/Celebration of Life service for Fred on Saturday August 10 at 2 PM. The location is "The Bridge - A Church for All Nations" and it’s located at 477 Kingston Road, Pickering. It’s just west of Whites Road on the south side of Kingston. Anyone who knew, played with, or remembered Fred will be warmly welcomed.