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Remembering Chan Romero: 'Hippy Hippy Shake' Singer dead at 82

Chan Romero, the musician behind “Hippy Hippy Shake,” which became a staple for The Beatles, died aged 82 on April 21 2024. 

Remembering Chan Romero: 'Hippy Hippy Shake' Singer dead at 82© Chan Romero, the singer behind "Hippy Hippy Shake," a staple of The Beatles during their live performances, has died at the age of 82 (Credit: Mark Guerrero @ YouTube)

Chan Romero, the musician known for his 1959 hit "Hippy Hippy Shake," passed away at 82 on April 21 2024. His song was famously covered by bands like The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Beatles, who made it a staple in their live performances. 

As a young boy, Chan loved country music, especially Hank Williams. His musical tastes expanded when he heard Elvis Presley on the Grand Ol’ Opr”. Presley's performance of "Hound Dog" on The Steve Allen Show was a game-changer for him; he knew he wanted to make music. 

At 17, Chan hitchhiked to Los Angeles, and the next year, he wrote "Hippy Hippy Shake." An uncle introduced him to Sonny Bono, who was then working at Specialty Records. Bono asked him to refine the song and return, but Chan had to go back to Montana to finish school and never saw Bono again.

Back home, Chan formed a rock 'n' roll band. His manager, Don Redfield, sent a tape of Chan's music to Bob Keane, who had managed Ritchie Valens. Keane signed Chan up, and he became close to Valens's mother, even staying in her son's old room. Chan performed annually at a concert held in Valens's memory.

When "Hippy Hippy Shake" was released in 1959, Chan's career took off. He toured with Jerry Lee Lewis, and Paul McCartney heard the song and performed it with The Beatles. In 1964, The Swinging Blue Jeans took the song to No. 2 in the UK.

Chan toured with The Beach Boys that same year and even played with the Crickets, Buddy Holly's former band. However, he couldn't replicate the success of "Hippy Hippy Shake." In 1967, Chan became a born-again Christian and founded Warrior Records, releasing his gospel material. 

Story by Benjamin Jackson:NationalWorld 

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