Friday, September 11, 2015

Dennis Greene, a founding member...

...of Sha Na Na, died at age 66. (He's the black guy in the video above.) From his obit in the Times (my emphasis):

Sha Na Na, which started as an a cappella group while Mr. Greene was an undergraduate at Columbia University, drew a large following after playing at the Woodstock music festival in 1969. Mr. Greene often performed wearing a gold lamé suit and sang lead on a number of the group’s songs.

Mr. Greene left Sha Na Na after 15 years to get a master’s degree at Harvard and a law degree at Yale. He told an interviewer in 1998 that he did not regret the decision.

“Being a rock star was never something that was particularly interesting to me,” he said. “It was a great job. I loved the singing part. The byproducts, unfortunately, were exhausting travel and the ongoing-forever politics of being in a business controlled by young adults.”

Frederick Dennis Greene was born in Manhattan on Jan. 11, 1949, and grew up in the Bronx. He attended a Roman Catholic high school before receiving a scholarship to the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, and from there went to Columbia, where he joined a group called the Columbia Kingsmen. Since there was already a band called the Kingsmen (known for their hit version of “Louie Louie”) they changed their name to Sha Na Na, inspired by nonsense syllables in the Silhouettes’ 1958 hit “Get a Job.”

Mr. Greene went on to become a vice president of Columbia Pictures and then a law professor, most recently at the University of Dayton.

By the way, I know I'm behind in my obits. Dean Jones, Martin Milner and Judy Carne also died recently.


Ed Crotty said...

My grandmother always called the obits "the Irish News".

Mike Tracy said...

Or the Irish sports page!