Singer and guitarist Leon Redbone is pictured in a Paris restaurant, Sept. 15, 2005. Redbone, known for reviving pre-war songs in his own unique style, died May 30, 2019, relatives announced on his website. (Photo by JEAN-PIERRE MULLER / AFP)
Singer and guitarist Leon Redbone is pictured in a Paris restaurant, Sept. 15, 2005. Redbone, known for reviving pre-war songs in his own unique style, died May 30, 2019, relatives announced on his website.

Singer Leon Redbone, famous for performing folk songs, obscure ragtime tunes and old-time American music, died Thursday after several years of poor health, his family said.
 
No details of his death were available, and even his age was in question. Redbone was always coy and mysterious about his origins and background.  
 
He was believed to have been 69, but his website said he was 127 when he "departed our world with his guitar, his truest companion Rover, and a simple tip of his hat." 
 
Redbone was known for performing in a white suit, large hat and dark glasses, strumming a guitar. With his deep, gravelly voice, he sang old tunes that might have been long forgotten if he hadn't revived them. 
 
Along with performing in concerts and on TV variety shows, Redbone lent his distinctive voice to commercials and theme songs for situation comedies. 
 
He gave up performing in 2015 because of his health.