Eagles founding member Randy Meisner dead at 77

Meisner was part of the Eagles in the band's early days and was a singer on the hit song "Take It to the Limit."
The Eagles perform.
Posted at 8:23 PM, Jul 27, 2023

Randy Meisner, founding member of the Grammy award-winning American band the Eagles, has died, the band announced on Thursday. He was 77.

Meisner died on Wednesday night in Los Angeles after suffering complications with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the band said in a statement. 

Meisner, one of the original members of the award-winning country-rock group, was a bassist and vocalist. He was a singer on their hit song "Take It to the Limit."

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Meisner was the original bass player for the country-rock group Poco, which the Eagles called a pioneering group that was part of a "musical revolution" started in Los Angeles in the 1960s.

Meisner joined Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Bernie Leadon in creating the Eagles in 1971, and played a significant role in a list of the group's albums including "Eagles," "Desperado," "On The Border," "One of These Nights," and the widely known "Hotel California."

In a statement on his death, the band said, "Randy was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band. His vocal range was astonishing, as is evident on his signature ballad, 'Take It to the Limit.'"

Earlier in his career, Meisner was a bassist and singer with Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band.

The Eagles were a major part of the rock scene of the early 1970s, recording with Linda Ronstadt before she released her 1972 self-titled debut album. 

The Eagles are credited with catapulting country rock onto the national scene, a genre which was previously considered to be a local alternative in the 1960s.

The band was named one of the Kennedy Center honorees in 2015, pushing the award off until the year after because band member Glenn Frey was ill. Frey died in 2016.

Meisner was born on March 8, 1946 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. 

The Eagles said funeral arrangements for Meisner were still "pending," by Thursday. 

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted Meisner in 1998. In a statement the organization said, "Randy Meisner’s melodic basslines and falsetto vocals contributed to the band’s first four albums. Meisner co- wrote some of the band’s most enduring hits, including their first million-seller 'Take it to the Limit' and 'Try and Love Again.'"

The statement said, "Described by bandmate Don Felder as a man with 'a great heart and a loving soul,' Meisner’s high harmonies are instantly recognizable and cherished by Eagles fans around the world."