Wayne "Lightning Red" Bak

Lightning Red (Wayne Bak), musical artist, died July 6th, 2016 at the age of 67 of heart problems and prostate cancer. He was a blues artist who performed nationally and internationally, touring England, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Scandinavia, Croatia, Germany, Holland, and Australia.


He was an electric guitarist and singer, fronting his own band for 50 years. Red was a prolific songwriter, and recorded 8 albums of original music. His entire life was shaped by an insatiable passion for the blues – it’s all he ever played. He is considered a great blues artist by many across the world.


Red and his wife came to Austin in 1977 from the Chicago area. After living out-of-state for 8 years, they returned back home to Austin in December 2015. Red is survived by his wife of 42 years, Deborah Vanko, a sister, Janice Brennan of Illinois, a sister Joan Bakalar and her daughter, Stacey of New Zealand.

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