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Passings: Shadow Morton (1940 - 2013)

Producer and songwriter Shadow Morton has passed away in Laguna Beach, CA after a long battle with cancer. He was 72.

Morton started in music while in high school when he formed the doo wop group the Marquees. As a friend of songwriter Ellie Greenwich, he often would hang around the Brill Building claiming to also write songs, something that Ellie's partner Jeff Barry questioned. When Barry challenged Morton to bring in a sample of his writing, he reportedly went off and wrote Remember (Walking in the Sand) which he turned into a hit after convincing a local all-girl group, the Shangri-Las, to record it.

Morton took the record to Jerry Lieber who released it on his new Red Bird Records. The song went to number 5 nationally and set Morton on a new career path.

Morton, Barry and Greenwich wrote the Shangri-Las' next hit, Leader of the Pack along with a number of other songs that they recorded. Morton also produced the records.

Later in the decade, after he left Red Bird, he produced numerous hits for a wide array of artists from Janis Ian's Society's Child to Vanilla Fudge's You Keep Me Hanging On. Members of Iron Butterfly have also credited Morton with the producing of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida even though the official record shows Jim Hilton as producer.

In the 70's, Morton produced the New York Dolls and Isis. During the 80's, he sought help for alcoholism which took him out of the business for a number of years. He later attempted a comeback and filed suit against Polygram over the use of Leader of the Pack on the soundtrack for the film Goodfellas. He also worked later in life as a golf club designer.

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