Musical producer

Top music producer Gerald J. Granahan dies at 89

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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PHOTO: provided by the family

Gerald J. Granahan, 89, of East Greenwich, passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, January 10, 2022. He was the husband of Mary Lou (Kiernan) Granahan.

Born in Pittston, Pennsylvania, son of the late Patrick Henry and Helen (Clisham) Granahan, he has lived in East Greenwich for the past 20 years.

Mr. Granahan, a singer/songwriter/producer, began his career as a demo singer for Elvis Presley (“Jailhouse Rock” and “Teddy Bear”) and quickly became a pop/rock sensation. He won 4 gold records in the late 1950s before moving behind the desk to become one of the most successful record producers of the 1960s.

Most notable: “Click-Clack” by Dicky Doo & The Dont’s, “You Were Mine” by The Fireflies and “No Chemise, Please” under his own name. And who can forget “Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu”?

He then moved behind the scenes to become one of the youngest record executives in history, first at his own Caprice Records and then at two major labels, United Artists, Paramount and Dot, where he continued to producing dozens of hits in the 60s and early 70s, including the smash hits of Jay & The Americans and Patty Duke. He also produced the original recording of the songs “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody”, recorded by James Ray, and “My Boyfriend’s Back” recorded by The Angels.

Later in his career, Granahan served as vice president of Dot Records and Paramount Records. Today, Spotify describes him as “one of the most influential pop/rock producers on the East Coast”. For decades he starred as Dicky Doo and the Don’ts with Gerry Granahan. He and his wife Mary Lou, originally from Rhode Island, continued to travel and perform on the East Coast and raised their 3 children: Gerrianne Genga, an actress/singer/choreographer, Tara Granahan, a talk show host on WPRO, and the late Tommy Granahan. Gerry was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Gerrianne Granahan Genga of East Greenwich and Tara Granahan Keane of Exeter; four grandchildren, Jordan Genga, Jade Genga, Morgan LeKites and Madison LeKites; and… Jared Cannone.

He was the father of the late Thomas Kiernan Granahan and the brother of the late Joseph Donnelly, Paul Donnelly, Vincent (Brick) Granahan, Anna Granahan, Patrick (Buddy) Granahan, Rosemary Granahan Tischler and Harold Granahan.

His funeral will be on Saturday January 15 at 8:45 a.m. at Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home, 1328 Warwick Avenue, Spring Green, Warwick, with a Christian burial mass at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Church, Fourth Avenue, East Greenwich . Visiting hours will be Friday, January 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, East Greenwich.

Contributions to his memory may be made for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, TN.

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