Singer-songwriter Richard Ziegler (aka Ritchie Adams) passed away on March 6, 2017 after a brief illness. Although Ziegler achieved most of his commercial success as the writer of the music for Bobby Lewis‘ 1961 smash “Tossin’ & Turnin'” and Englebert Humperdinck‘s signature song “After the Lovin'”, doo wopp fans revered him as the original lead voice heard on the Fireflies‘ “You Were Mine” and “I Can’t Say Goodbye.” Ziegler had left the music business years ago, but is estimated to have written over 400 songs over the course of his career.
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, the Fireflies achieved notoriety for being self-contained, at a time when it was unusual for vocal groups to play their own instruments. After their 1960 recording “I Can’t Say Goodbye” failed to duplicate the success of “You Were Mine” a year earlier, Ziegler decided to focus on writing. His most notable foray back into spotlight vocally was as the lead singer of The Archies‘ “Love is Living in You.” It was the only recording by the fictional group which did not feature the lead voice of Ron Dante. After Ziegler left the Fireflies, the group splintered, but reformed in 1992 when one of the originals re-assembled a group to perform at
rock and roll concerts in the northeast. Ziegler attended one of the groups’ shows in 1995 and joined them on stage to sing “You Were Mine”, but otherwise did not return to the spotlight after his initial success with the original group.
He was living on Long Island at the time of his death at age 78.