Sanford Clark, the early rockabilly star who influenced both Elvis Presley and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, has died at the age of 85 after battling both COVID-19 and cancer.

Clark reportedly died at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Missouri, on 4 July 2021.

He was born on 24 October 1935, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where he gave his earliest musical performances in the early 1950s. He scored his biggest hit, “The Fool,” in 1956, reaching #7 on Billboard’s Top 100 chart. Presley would go on to record the song, as would the Animals.

Clark scored several other minor musical successes in the 1950s and 1960s, but subsequently left the music business to work in construction. He continued to record off and on for his own label, Desert Sun Records, over the years.

He is survived by his wife, Marsha, and several children.