- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 9, 2006

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — John M. Pocisk, who in the 1950s and ‘60s was known as Johnny Paris in the rock group Johnny & the Hurricanes, died May 1 at the University of Michigan Hospital. He was 65.

His group had such hits as “Red River Rock” and “Beatnik Fly.”

He had been in the hospital for nearly two months, but his illness and cause of death won’t be released until an autopsy is finished, his son Jeff said.

Mr. Pocisk was a tenor saxophonist who frequently toured Europe.

He formed his first band while in high school, and his next group, the Orbits, developed a following. When they backed a vocal group on a demo tape, a management agency noticed them, and the group became Johnny and the Hurricanes.

Hits followed, especially “Red River Rock,” which sold more than 1 million copies and reached No. 5 on the U.S. charts and No. 3 in Great Britain.

The group played at the Star Club in Hamburg in 1962, headlining a gig that included the then-little-known English group the Beatles.


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