fred-frederator-studios: Eugene Pitt   I’ve been singing all the great Eugene Pitt & The Jive…


R.I.P. Eugene Pitt  

I’ve been singing all the great Eugene Pitt & The Jive Five Nickelodeon doo-wops (more about them here) to myself for the past 24 hours, since I got the sad news of Eugene’s passing, so I thought I’d share a few. Of course, if you’re a certain age –somewhere around 40– you probably already know them. Older or younger, not so much. But with its initial explosion of popularity, Eugene Pitt was the sound of Nickelodeon. 


“Hon De Laud Hup Hivel Up Nick..” 

“Aren’t you glad {You’re watchin’!} you’ve got your Nickelodeon?” 

There’s a lot one can say about this extraordinary talent, but Terry Stewart, ex-CEO of the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame and Marvel Comics, said it best. 

“Eugene Pitt is the most underrated soul singer in America.” 

My ex-partners Alan Goodman and Tom Pomposello could only completely agree. We’ve always been excited, but completely confused, that The Jive Five were more famous for our work together on Nickelodeon than for their own fabulous recordings (their greatest hits playlist is below). 

In fact, it was Alan’s persuasion that convinced Nick’s power that were that a 30 year past-its-prime musical style should represent the channel to the children of the world. 

When management was skeptical Alan went right for it. He opened his mouth and, quoting The Marcels’ arrangement of chestnut “Blue Moon,” sang:

Bom-ma-bom, a-bom-bom-a-bom, ba-ba-bom-bom-a-bomp, b-dang-a-dang-dang, b-ding-a-dong-ding.

“What kid isn’t going to love that right away?” Alan asked.

Case closed. 

Eugene Pitt was introduced to us by music advertising copywriter-turned-music producer Marty Pekar. His Ambient Sound label was busy resurrecting the careers of doo-wop singers during the 80s, and we asked his advice for an a cappella group for some of our work. 

“The only one I could recommend, in good conscience,” said Marty, “would be Eugene Pitt. He’s not only fantastic, he’s really smart. He’ll have ideas of his own and make sure the band is rehearsed and on time. A rarity with singing groups.” 

Marty was right, and we started a decade long relationship that was exceptional. 

Here’s a few of Eugene bonuses. Check out this post about the day that Eugene worked with Aaron Neville and Keith Richards, recording Eugene’s composition “My True Story.” You can hear the Jive 5 rendition, and some of their greatest hits in the playlist below. 

Keith Richards and Eugene Pitt, 2013

And then there’s a unique performance of the group that Alan just digitized from a funky VHS he has. It’s the very first Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards at Universal City. Alan and our partner/producer Albie Hecht decked the Jive 5 out in Nickelodeon orange performance tuxedos and they gave a unique, exuberant rendition of the awards rules. Choice! 

Eugene Pitt, a big part of defining Nickelodeon for you back in the day.