Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Popobit: Jamie Coe

The death of Jamie Coe has been announced.

Coe was born George Colovas, and got a leg-up in the music industry when Bobby Darin spotted him playing as part of a Cavalcade of Stars show at the 1959 Michigan State Fair. Pausing only to briefly rename him - taking Jamie from one of his own songs - Darin rushed Coe off to New York and his first recording session.

Although achieving some national success - The Fool, How Low Is Low and Greenback Dollar all sold well - it was in Detroit where Coe was at his best; first fronting Jamie Coe and The Gigalos during the early 60s, and then later as manager and proprietor of Jamie's nightclub. Indeed, it was while driving back from the club which bore his name that Coe suffered his fatal heart attack.

The 71 year-old will have a private funeral, but there are plans for a public memorial service at a later date.

Former Detroit radio dj Lee Allen suggests the memorial service will be popular:

"Jamie Coe and the Gigalos were really the 'in' group, the entertainment group to see, at the old Gay Haven. He was as nice as he was talented, and he had a million friends."