A famous musician Wichita claimed as its own has died, and he’s being mourned today not only by locals but by many well-known music stars across the country.
Mike Finnigan, a famous keyboardist and session musician who was also a former KU basketball player and onetime Wichita resident, died Wednesday in Los Angeles, friends are reporting. Finnigan, who was 76, had been hospitalized and was fighting kidney cancer in recent weeks. Finnigan and the Phantom Blues Band had been scheduled to perform on Sept. 3 at Knuckleheads in Kansas City, Missouri.
“There are great players and then there are people who are just touched,” said Drake Macy, a local musician whose father, Ed Macy Sr., was one of Finnigan’s early Wichita band mates. “Mike was definitely one of those. He just had an approach that no one else did. I’ve loved a lot of great singers in my day, but Mike Finnigan, in my opinion, is the best singer to this point who has ever walked the planet.”