Jun 21

Jim Pike, 82, Co-Founder and Lead Singer of the Lettermen, Is Dead

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20 June 2019 | By The Associated Press

 

Jim Pike, a co-founder and the lead singer of the Lettermen, a trio whose lush vocal harmonies made them one of the most popular vocal groups of the 1960s, died on June 9 at his home in Prescott, Ariz. He was 82.

 

His sister-in-law Becky Pike confirmed the death to The Associated Press on Wednesday. The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease.

 

Mr. Pike and Bob Engemann, a college friend from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, formed the Lettermen in Los Angeles in 1961 with a fellow singer, Tony Butala.

 

They were looking for a name that would resonate with young people when Mr. Engemann suggested the Lettermen, Mr. Pike’s younger brother, Gary, said on Wednesday. Mr. Butala had briefly sung with a group known as the Lettermen and got its leader’s permission to use the name, Gary Pike said.

 

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