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.