boston.com News your connection to The Boston Globe

Ersel Hickey, 70, songwriter, rockabilly singer in 1950s

NEW YORK -- Ersel Hickey, a rockabilly singer best known for ''Bluebirds Over The Mountain," has died at age 70, according to a longtime friend.

Mr. Hickey had been hospitalized at New York University Medical Center after surgery to have his bladder removed because of a tumor, according to Johnny Vallis, a friend and sometime publicist for the singer. He died after coming down with an infection, Vallis said.

Mr. Hickey, a native of Brighton, N.Y., started singing in his teens as a solo act and also with R&B groups.

His first record, released in the late 1950s, was ''Then I'll Be Happy/Baby You're No Good."

He is best known for his 1958 hit ''Bluebirds Over the Mountain," which he also co-wrote. It was rerecorded by The Beach Boys a decade later.

He also wrote songs for other artists including Jackie Wilson's ''The Millionaire" and LaVern Baker's ''A Little Bird Told Me So."

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES
 
Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives