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January 30, 2005

David Lerchey, member of doo-wop group Del Vikings, dies at 67

Associated Press:

David Lerchey, a founding member of one of the first integrated vocal harmony acts, the Del Vikings, died Saturday, his family said. He was 67. Lerchey suffered from cancer and pulmonary problems and died at a veterans hospital, said his wife, Linda Lerchey. The Del Vikings were formed by five airmen in 1955 at an Air Force in Pittsburgh, said Harvey Robbins, founder of the Doo-Wopp Hall of Fame of America. Three members were black, Lerchey was one of two white members. "David Lerchey was a wonderful singer, he was a courageous individual, he certainly carried himself on the stage with dignity and pride," Robbins said. Lerchey sang baritone and tenor.

The Del Vikings appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1957, Robbins said, the same year they had two No. 1 hits: "Whispering Bells" and "Come Go With Me." Other Del Vikings hits included "Cool Shake," "A Sunday Kind of Love," "Summertime" and "Bring Back Your Heart." The group was inducted into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame in 2003. Lerchey gave his final performance last summer in a concerned organized by the Hall of Fame at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. He sang with the other known surviving group member, Norman Wright, who continues performing as the Del Vikings with his sons. "We all knew that David was struggling over the last several years, and yet when he hit the stage his spirit was still as it was as a teenager," Robbins said. Lerchey is survived by his wife, two sons and a stepdaughter.

Posted by acapnews at January 30, 2005 6:31 PM