Passings: David Yorko, Guitarist For Johnny & the Hurricanes

by VVN Music

David Yorko, whose guitar lit up such Johnny & the Hurricanes records as Red River Rock and Beatnik Fly, has died at the age of 73. He had been in poor health and suffering from emphysema.

Born in Rossford, OH, David became interested in music in his early teens, taking up guitar as his instrument.

Johnny & the Hurricanes were already an established band with one hit to their name, 1959's Crossfire, when Yorko dropped out of school to join as their guitarist. The first single on which he participated was Red River Rock which became the band's biggest hit, going to number 5 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B Singles in the middle of 1959. In total, Johnny & the Hurricanes placed nine singles in the Hot 100 through the beginning of 1961.

Before he was even out of his teens, Yorko had made a number of appearances on TV including American Bandstand and had toured through many parts of the world; however, he became one of the first to leave the Hurricanes and returned to Rossford where he played in a number of local bands including the BG Ramblers, Kay Yeager and the Dominoes, Dave and the Orbits, The Fascinators and the Downtowners.

David eventually settled down to a long career at Libbey Owens Ford Glass Company from 1967 until he retired in 1997. He reportedly only performed two times during the latter two-thirds of his life.

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