2003-08-14 23:55:54 UTC
apart, and I would run into him years later when our son's played on
the same little league team. Hell of a guitarist.
Roger Voudouris, a Sacramento singer-guitarist whose 1979 pop-rock
tune "Get Used to It," became a Top-40 hit, died in his Land Park home
He was 48.
Mr. Voudouris died of natural causes, with tests pending to determine
the specific reason, his family said Monday.
Remembered for his dynamic stage performances -- both as a solo artist
and with a two-man band -- Mr. Voudouris also gained fame as a
songwriter, record producer, poet and music scorer for films.
"It seems hard to believe that he's gone," his brother, Steve
His former manager, Jeffrey Berger, called Mr. Voudouris's death "a
"Roger was an absolutely brilliant artist," he said.
Mick Martin, a local blues musician, said Mr. Voudouris was one of the
few Sacramentans ever to have a song in the Top 40.
"He was a teen idol," Martin said. "He was a pinup guy, huge among
teenage girls for a while."
Blessed with what one critic later described as "supreme
self-confidence," Mr. Voudouris resolved as a youngster to be a
After achieving his dream, he briefly lived in Los Angeles for
business reasons before returning to his beloved hometown.
"No matter what he did, Sacramento was it for him," Steve Voudouris
said. "He lived most of his life in Sacramento. He liked the pace
Berger agreed, saying: "Sacramento was Roger's home. He never lost his
attachment to it."
Mr. Voudouris' blockbuster was "Get Used To It," a song he recorded
for Warner Bros. Records in 1979.
Powered by a strong guitar and aggressive lyrics, the tune climbed to
No. 21 on the Billboard Top 100. Its central lyrics:
"Get used to it
'Cause I'll be around
Yeah, ya better get used to
All my love"
Keen competition prevented the song from moving higher, Steve
"Get Used To It" was bigger overseas. In Australia, for instance, it
reached No. 1, Steve Voudouris said.
John Roger Voudouris was born in Sacramento in 1954.
"Some form of music was always in the house," Steve Voudouris said.
The boys' father, Spike Voudouris, who was of Greek descent, played
jazz guitar and listened to soothing classic guitar records along with
fiery Flamenco songs.
His wife, Eve, a Texas native, exposed her children to the music of
Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers and various rockabilly bands.
Amid this musical cacophony, Mr. Voudouris began playing guitar at age
7, his brother said.
As a teenager, Mr. Voudouris spent his days at C. K. McClatchy High
School and his nights performing on stage at The Elegant Barn and
In 1972, playing under the name John Roger, Mr. Voudouris was the
opening act at the University of California, Davis, for Mose Allison,
a legendary blues pianist and singer.
Mr. Voudouris "was just a kid ... nobody had ever heard of him," said
Dennis Newhall, a veteran Sacramento rock radio announcer. "And then
he started to play. He blew me away.
"He played classical, acoustic guitar, didn't even sing, and he was
amazing," he said.
In the early 1970s, Mr. Voudouris frequently traveled to Keystone
Korner, a famous San Francisco Jazz club, to see the Sun Ra Arkestra,
Herbie Hancock and other stars.
In the mid-1970s, Mr. Voudouris and pianist-singer David Kahne formed
Voudouris and Kahne, a duo that was signed by Capitol Records.
The duo toured the nation before breaking up. Kahne became a famous
record producer, and Mr. Voudouris went solo, signing his record deal
with Warner Bros..
Mr. Voudouris retired from recording and performing about 1982, but
later launched his own record company, Artful Balance.