John Stewart, who wrote the Monkees hit “Daydream Believer” and became a well-known figure in the 1960s folk music revival as a member of The Kingston Trio, has died, according to the band’s Web site. He was 68.
Stewart suffered a massive stroke or brain aneurysm and died early Saturday at a San Diego hospital, the band announced on its official Web site.
“The world has lost one of its best men, but a man who lived well and made many people happy with his love, his wit and his music,” the announcement said.
Stewart joined The Kingston Trio in 1961. Stewart replaced the band’s founder Dave Guard, who had left to pursue a new musical direction.
Stewart spent six years leading the group, during which time the band recorded 13 albums.
After the trio disbanded in 1967, Stewart went on to an acclaimed solo career that included recording more than 40 albums.
Lew Spence composed songs for Frank Sinatra
Lew Spence, a songwriter who composed the Grammy-nominated Frank Sinatra song “Nice ‘n’ Easy” and “That Face,” a standard recorded by Fred Astaire, has died. He was 87.
Spence died in his sleep Jan. 9 at his home in Los Angeles, said his niece, Toni M. Schulman.
A onetime singer-pianist, Spence began turning his songwriting hobby into a career in the late 1940s when he was nearly 30.
He worked with a number of lyricists, including Alan and Marilyn Bergman. At 60, Spence began writing lyrics to some of his songs, and he continued songwriting until his death.
Among his best-known works are “Half as Lovely (Twice as True),” “If I Had Three Wishes,” “Love Looks So Well on You,” “Sleep Warm” and “So Long My Love.”
In addition to Sinatra and Astaire, other artists who sang Spence’s songs included Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Bobby Short, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Billy Eckstine and Dinah Shore.