Bobby Pickett Cause of Death: How the Monster Mash Singer Died of Leukemia

Bobby Pickett, the singer who was best known for his 1962 hit novelty song “Monster Mash”, died of leukemia on April 25, 2007, at the age of 69. His longtime manager, Stuart Hersh, confirmed the news of his death to the media. Pickett had been diagnosed with the disease in 2006 and had been undergoing chemotherapy. He passed away at the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital, with his daughter, Nancy, and his sister, Lynda, by his side.

The Life and Career of Bobby Pickett

Bobby Pickett was born on February 11, 1938, in Somerville, Massachusetts. His father was a theater manager and Pickett developed a love for horror movies at a young age. He also learned to imitate the voices of famous actors like Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, which he later incorporated into his musical act.

Pickett served in the United States Army from 1956 to 1959 and was stationed in Korea for a period of time. After his discharge, he moved to Los Angeles and joined a band called The Cordials. He also pursued an acting career and appeared in some minor roles on TV and film.

In 1962, Pickett co-wrote “Monster Mash” with Leonard Capizzi, a fellow band member. The song was a spoof of the popular dance crazes of the time, such as the Twist and the Mashed Potato. Pickett performed the song in his Boris Karloff impression, while also adding sound effects like a creaky door and bubbling water.

The song was rejected by several major labels, but was eventually released by Gary S. Paxton, who had a previous novelty hit with “Alley Oop”. “Monster Mash” became an instant success and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in October 1962, just before Halloween. The song also featured a then-unknown pianist named Leon Russell.

“Monster Mash” became a classic Halloween anthem and was re-released several times over the years. It charted again in 1970, 1973 (when it reached the Top Ten), and 2021. The song was certified gold by the RIAA in 1973.

Pickett never achieved the same level of fame with his other songs, although he had some minor hits with “Monster’s Holiday” and “Graduation Day”. He continued to perform “Monster Mash” in nightclubs and festivals until November 2006. He also made appearances on TV shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, The Simpsons, and Dr. Demento.

Pickett also wrote and starred in a musical comedy called Monster Mash: The Movie in 1995, which featured cameos by horror icons like John Carradine and Anthony Perkins. He also published an autobiography called Monster Mash: Half Dead in Hollywood in 2005.

The Legacy of Bobby Pickett

Bobby Pickett is widely regarded as one of the most enduring one-hit wonders in pop music history. His song “Monster Mash” has been covered by many artists, such as The Beach Boys, Vincent Price, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Misfits, and Sha Na Na. The song has also been featured in many movies, TV shows, commercials, video games, and Halloween events.

Pickett is also remembered for his love of horror movies and his talent for impersonations. He was a fan favorite among horror enthusiasts and often attended conventions and festivals. He also supported various charities and causes, such as animal rights and veterans’ affairs.

Pickett is survived by his daughter, Nancy; his sister, Lynda; and two grandchildren. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.

According to CBC News, Pickett once said that he never grew tired of hearing “Monster Mash”, even though it haunted him every Halloween. “When I hear it, I hear a cash register ringing,” he said.

Doms Desk

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