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

2 comments:

Ed Crotty said...

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

Mike Tracy said...

Or the Irish sports page!