It is with great sadness that we need to announce that Rocke Grace passed away on Thursday, July 23rd. A Huron, South Dakota native and while still in high school, Rocke got his start in Rock and Roll as the keyboard and vocalist with local Huron band The Natives. After moving to the Sioux Falls area in the late 60’s he soon found his place in popular local bands including the Trees and Rushmore. While living in Kansas, Rocke was a member of the Young Raiders, the Blue Things and The Flippers. Rocke found his biggest achievement in music as part of Joe Walsh’s band Barnstorm and co-wrote Rocky Mountain Way.
He is a gold, multi-platinum, and diamond-selling songwriter. His soulful composition “Midnight Moodies” is featured on the same album as “Rocky Mountain Way.” His songs have been recorded by The Eagles, Eric Clapton, Ozzie Osborne, Dave Matthews, Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl, Michael Bolton, Ringo Starr, Stephen Stills, Kid Rock, Little Richard and many more. Rocke’s musical genius has been heard in many movies: “Spy Game,” “Beverly Hillbillies,” “Defiance,” “Devil’s Reject” and others. He has appeared on Midnight Special, Dick Clark, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Drew Carey. Rocke has worked or recorded with UFO, G, Tom Mac, the Pointer Sisters, Max Karl, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Dianne Reeves, Alphonse Mouzon, Robert Fleishman, and Robin Ford.
Rocke was inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. He received two additional honors from the SDRRHF in 2018 for The Young Raiders and in 2019 for The Trees. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Halls of Fame in Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas.
The SD Rock and Roll Music Association extends our deepest sympathies to Rocke’s family.