Obituaries: Gerry Kirby

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022
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Gerry Kirby at the 1978 Castro Street Fair. Photo: Daniel Nicoletta
Gerry Kirby at the 1978 Castro Street Fair. Photo: Daniel Nicoletta

January 18, 1951 — July 14, 2022

Gerry Kirby died July 14, 2022, in San Francisco of natural causes. Gerry was born on January 18, 1951 and was raised in Portland, Oregon, the oldest of six children. Gerry is survived by one sister, Upendora, who resides in Dallas, as well as by many extended family members, especially in the San Francisco area where Gerry had made his home since the early 1970s.

Arriving in New York City at 18 years old, Gerry's creativity in music and theater landed him a gig performing with Pearl Bailey's all-black Broadway production of "Hello Dolly." Next, he performed with an ensemble called Together, accompanied by Barry Manilow and opening for Bette Midler at the Continental Baths. He also toured Europe with Donna Summer and eventually became a regular backup singer with Sylvester. Finally, he toured internationally with his own funk, Latin, and soul band Messiah in collaboration with songwriter/singer LZ Love, et al.

There will be a private homegoing event for family and close friends in September.

Gerry had recently completed a four-part interview for Bob Ostertag's online podcast series called "You Make Me Real," which can be heard here

Updated, 11/2/22: Mr. Kirby's friend reports that "The Gerry Kirby Experience" music is now available on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, and other services.

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