The Shangri-Las songwriter George ‘Shadow’ Morton dies aged 72

Morton is best known for co-writing 'Leader Of The Pack'

George ‘Shadow’ Morton, a producer and songwriter best known for his work with 1960’s girl group the The Shangri-Las, has died aged 72.

A family friend told the New York Times that Morton had passed away at his home in Laguna Beach, California on Thursday (February 14). His cause of death was cancer.

Morton was born in Virginia in September 1940 but was raised in Brooklyn, New York and then Hicksville, Long Island where he formed doo-wop group The Marquees while still at school.

However, it was his work with 1960’s girl-group The Shangri-Las where he found fame and fortune. The first track he ever wrote was ‘Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand’)’, which became a Top 5 hit for the Queens-based group. Morton went on to write most of their chart-topping hits including ‘Leader Of The Pack’ and ‘Give Him A Great Big Kiss’.

Morton was also a producer and was known for helming Janis Ian’s ‘Society’s Girl’ and ‘Too Much Too Soon’ by protopunks the New York Dolls. Morton quit the music business in the late 1970’s and had a second career designing golf clubs.

George ‘Shadow’ Morton is survived by his three daughters, three grandchildren and his sister Geraldine.