Thursday, June 29, 2017

R.I.P.: "Na Na Hey.." Singer/Writer Gary DeCarlo

Gary DeCarlo, who sang and co-wrote the 1969 hit "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," has died from cancer.

He was 75, accoridng to Billboard.

DeCarlo's friend Pat Horgan announced the news Wednesday (June 28) via Facebook. He told TMZ the musician passed away in hospice care in Connecticut with his wife by his side. DeCarlo had lung cancer.

Last year, a GoFundMe crowd-sourcing campaign was launched to help pay for DeCarlo's medical expenses.

"I try to stay positive," he told the Connecticut Post last year, "but there is always the thought that you won't get cured."

In 1969 "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks and went on to become one of the nation's most enduring sports anthems. Despite writing and singing on the track, DeCarlo lived his life in relative obscurity. After he and two fellow studio musicians wrote, produced and recorded the song, Fontana Records assembled a band called Steam to perform it live and who were credited as the song's performers.

DeCarlo wrote the song with fellow studio musician Dale Frashuer and producer Paul Leka. The song was attributed to the group Steam, though there was actually no band with that name at the time. The group featured on the cover of the single, and who lip-synched to DeCarlo’s vocals for promotional performances, were hired guns who had nothing to do with the creation of the song.

"That hurt me," DeCarlo told the Connecticut Post. "I remember driving to the railroad station hearing the song on the radio and just wanting to yell out the window 'That’s me!..I fell into a deep depression.'"

A 2011 documentary by Pittsburgh radio host TJ Lubinsky called My Music: '60s Pop, Rock & Soul on public television helped to acknowledge DeCarlo's due credit on the song.

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