Skip to main content

Obituaries: Ellie Greenwich, John E. Carter, Tom Jameson, Larry Knechtel, Eddie Jasper Daye and Adam Goldstein

Farewell to Ellie Greenwich, John E. Carter, Tom Jameson, Larry Knechtel, Eddie Jasper Daye and Adam Goldstein.

Ellie Greenwich, who wrote such classic pop songs as “Chapel of Love,” “River Deep, Mountain High” and “Be My Baby” with Phil Spector, died Aug. 26. She was 68.

A member of the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Greenwich was considered one of pop’s most successful songwriters. Spector wasn’t her only collaborator. She also had key hits with her ex-husband Jeff Barry, including the dynamic song “Leader Of The Pack.”

She got her start working for songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. She had her first chart success with the Jay And The Americans song “This Is It,” which she wrote with Doc Pomus and Tony Powers.

Besides her other work, Greenwich also worked as an arranger and singer, a role that saw her working with such artists as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

• • • • •

John E. Carter, an R&B lead tenor and two-time inductee into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, died Aug. 21. He was 75.

Carter, who was known for his falsetto, was the last surviving founding member of the Flamingos. The classic doo-wop group gained fame with such hits as “Golden Teardrops” and their reworking of the pop classic “I Only Have Eyes for You.”

Carter left the Flamingos in 1960 to join the Dells. The Dells’1954 breakout hit, “Oh What A Night,” sold more than a million records when it was reissued in 1969 with Carter on falsetto lead.

• • • • •

Tom Jameson, who wrote the perennial doo-wop favorite, “Summertime Summertime” and recorded it with his group, the Jamies, died of cancer July 19 at age 72.

“Summertime, Summertime” spent 11 weeks on the pop charts after it was released in 1958. Through the years, the song has taken on a life of its own. In 1960, it sold another quarter of a million copies, and when it was released for the third time in 1962, it spent eight weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 and hit #38. Jameson’s composition was also recorded by the Fortunes, the Doodletown Pipers, Hobby Horse, Jan & Dean, Mungo Jerry and Sha Na Na.

• • • • •

Larry Knechtel, a Grammy award-winning keyboardist who accompanied big-name musicians such as Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and the Dixie Chicks, died Thursday. He was 69.

He earned a Grammy award for his arrangement of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” played keyboard on the Dixie Chicks’ Grammy award-winning album Taking the Long Way and performed on the Hammond organ for the group’s tour of the same name.

• • • • •

Eddie Jasper Daye, founder and bass lead of the R&B and soul vocal group the Four Bars, died Aug. 6 after a long illness. He was 79.

The Four Bars dissolved in the late 1960s, but Daye and his late wife, performing as Eddie And Denise And The Good Time Band, were a popular draw in the ’80s and beyond in D.C.-area venues. In his later years, Eddie’s signature tune, “(I’m Not A Dirty Old Man, I’m Just A) Sexy Senior Citizen” gained frequent airplay on Washington’s WPFW radio.

— Todd Baptista

• • • • •

Adam Goldstein, popularly known as DJ AM, a disc jockey who became a celebrity in his own right with high-profile romances and a glamorous