Obituary briefs: Shadow Morton and Bishop John D'Arcy

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Shadow Morton, produced innovative '60s song hits

Shadow Morton, a songwriter and producer who for a brief, luminous period in the 1960s poured the discontents of adolescence into original hit songs, including "Leader of the Pack" and "Remember (Walking in the Sand)," died Thursday of cancer in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 71.

By all accounts possessed of a brazen, naive genius -- he played no instrument, could not read music and wrote his songs in his head -- Mr. Morton was almost single-handedly responsible for the wild success of the Shangri-Las, the New York City girl group he introduced and propelled to international stardom.

The group had its first hit in 1964 with "Remember" recorded more or less on a dare in a session frantically pulled together by Mr. Morton, who had never written a song before.

A song of lost love, "Remember" was imbued with the lush, infectious strangeness that would prove a hallmark of Mr. Morton's other hits. It employed a narrative, quasi-operatic plot, spoken dialogue, chanting, unconventional sound effects (in this case sea gulls) and lyrics that encapsulated all the ardor and angst of the teenage years.

The song was followed later that year by "Leader of the Pack," written with Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. It told the story of Betty, who falls for Jimmy, a young tough on a bike who meets a tragic end.

Bishop John D'Arcy, raised Boston sex-abuse warnings

Bishop John D'Arcy, who was ignored by his superiors in the 1980s when he warned about priests who later figured in the sex-abuse scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, died Feb. 3 of cancer at his home in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he had led the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for 24 years. He was 80.

Bishop D'Arcy, who retired in 2009, drew national attention that year when he led a boycott to protest the University of Notre Dame's invitation to President Barack Obama to speak at its commencement ceremony. Bishop D'Arcy, whose diocese encompassed the university campus, objected that the president's abortion-rights views were in opposition to Roman Catholic teachings.

-- Compiled from news services

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