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GARY DECARLO,
1942-2017

The co-writer of one of pop music’s most enduring buzz-off anthems, a song that has been sung for decades in countless sports venues and recently on the floor of Congress, has died.

Gary DeCarlo, the lead singer of Steam who co-wrote their 1969 #1 hit "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," died from cancer in hospice care in Connecticut. He was 75.

Working with producer Paul Leka, DeCarlo recorded "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" for Mercury’s Fontana imprint as a B side for one of the four songs they had cut that were targeted as singles for De Carlo’s solo career. “Kiss Him Goodbye" was a song DeCarlo had written with a former band mate in Connecticut, Dale Frausher.

Rather than issue the track under DeCarlo’s name, Mercury invented the name Steam, promoting the song nationally after it gained traction in the South. Fontana created a group of musicians to tour as Steam, leaving out the song’s creators.

DeCarlo retired from music, returning in 2012 to live performances and issuing a new record in 2014.

 

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