Doo Wop Singer "Pookie" Hudson Dies
Thu, 18 Jan 2007 14:54:51
Thornton James "Pookie" Hudson, best-known as the lead singer of doo-wop group The Spaniels, died Tuesday of complications from cancer at his home in Washington, DC, his publicist announced yesterday (January 17th). He was 72.
The Spaniels, who formed in 1952, achieved success with their 1954 hit "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight," which Hudson wrote for his girlfriend at the time, according his longtime manager, Wellington "Bay" Robinson. "He was staying awful late at the young lady's house and her parents said ... he had to go," Robinson told the Associated Press. "As he was walking home, that's what inspired him to write that song."
Hudson, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, had a brief solo career following the breakup of the original Spaniels in the 1960s. He reformed the Spaniels with a new lineup in the early '70s, and issued a new version of "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" after the song was featured in the film American Graffiti.
"He really made a blueprint for what a crooner should sound like," said Hudson's publicist, Bill Carpenter. "I think that his voice, that smooth tenor, was the voice that influenced Smokey Robinson. It influenced Aaron Neville."
Hudson continued to perform on the oldies circuit until cancer forced him to retire last fall. His last recordings were done for a Christmas CD that will be released later this year, according to Carpenter. He is survived by his wife, Delores, nine children and 16 grandchildren.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff