So long, Ranking Roger

Ranking Roger, a.k.a. Roger Charlery, former co-lead vocalist of the English Beat and General Public, died yesterday, the Guardian reports.

The Beat, as they were known in England, was one of my favorite groups of the 80s. I loved the group's upbeat sound, sharp lyrics and political smarts. The vocal blend and give and take between Roger and David Wakeling was special and made a statement for racial, as well as musical, harmony.

When the Beat split, Roger and David Wakeling formed General Public and had a fair amount of success. In more recent years, each of the singers led his own version of the Beat - Roger in England and David in the U.S.

Here's Roger doing his stuff: