Thursday, April 14, 2016

Passings: Mike Lazo, Lead Singer For the Tempos (1932 - 2016)

Mike Lazo, the lead singer for the group The Tempos, died on Tuesday at a nursing facility in Pittsburgh after a long illness. He was 83.

Lazo began his singing career while still a child, appearing on the Betty Dugan radio program on KDKA in Pittsburgh.

It was while he was in the service in Korea that he met future Tempos bandmate Gene Schacter. Upon return from the war, they recruited Jim Drake and Tom Monito and, in 1959, recorded the original version of See You in September. The song, written by Sid Wayne and Sherman Edwards, only went to number 23 in the U.S. and was overshadowed by a version by the Happenings seven years later, but it's popularity was resurrected in 1973 when it was included on the soundtrack of American Graffiti.

The Tempos never were able to find another hit and, while they continued to perform at local Pittsburgh events for another six years, they broke up in 1965. Lazo went on to a solo career in the area under the name of Mike Daye and, during the 70's, became a permanent MC at Pat McBride's Supper Club in North Hills, PA.

Mike continued to perform until the late 2000's when emphysema made it impossible for him to sing.

Lazo is survived by a daughter and a granddaughter.