Friday, January 19, 2007

Pookie Hudson (1934 - 2007)

One of the founding fathers of Doo Wop Pookie Hudson has died from cancer at the age of 72. Hudson was the lead singer of the Spaniels, who along with The Penguins became the Doo Wop pioneers when they came on the scene in 1954. Hudson wrote most of the Spaniels material including the legendary "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight. Hudson's life was one of perserverance. He had the uncanny abilty to bounce back. In the early sixties his life took a dramatic change which would take him from being a revered performer to a homeless man. But the resilient Hudson put the Spaniels back together and provided the group with new audiences which led to national tours on the oldies circuit. The Spaniels like so many R&B groups of the fifties suffered the indignation of having their songs remade by a white group shortly after their initial release and see the white group make a fortune on their record. The McGuire Sisters version of "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight" surpassed The Spaniels' version in sales. in the same way as Hound Dog (Big Mama Thorton/Elvis Presley), Shake Rattle & Roll(Joe Turner/Bill Haley & The Comets) and Ain't That a Shame(Fats Domino/Pat Boone). Hudson continued to write material for the Spaniels up until the time of his death but unfortunately the demand was for the old songs, which really is a pity when one considers the high quality of the most recent Spaniels recordings.

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