George “Shadow” MortonLyricist, Producer | 2006
George “Shadow” Morton became known as one of the most inventive producers of the 1960s. Nicknamed “Shadow” because of his elusive character, Morton brought imagination to recording sessions that resulted in classic songs such as “Leader of the Pack” and “Society’s Child.” He grew up in Brooklyn and Hicksville, and while a member of the 1950s vocal group The Marquees met budding songwriter—and fellow teen—Ellie Greenwich. While visiting the office of Greenwich, who would become a hit-making member of the Brill Building team, Morton told Greenwich’s workmate, Jeff Barry, that he was a songwriter. Barry asked Morton to bring him some hits. Calling his bluff, Morton recruited two sets of sisters from Queens to be his new discovery, The Shangri-Las. However, on the way to the studio, Morton realized he had no song for the group. He wrote the classic “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” in 20 minutes, launching both his career and that of the Shangri-Las. Morton successfully transitioned from the vocal pop sounds of the early 1960s to the psychedelic rock albums that closed the decade. His work with fellow Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame inductee Vanilla Fudge helped take the band into the Top 40 single and album charts. And his contribution to the debut album by West Coast band Iron Butterfly, who recorded at Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, brought the phrase “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” into a generation’s collective musical consciousness. Morton died in February 2013 in Laguna Beach, California.