Eugene Pitt, founding member of doo-wop outfit The Jive Five, has died. He was 80 years old.
A post on The Jive Five’s Facebook page confirmed the news. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce, on behalf of the Pitt family, the passing early this morning of the legendary lead singer of Eugene Pitt & The Jive Five, Mr. Eugene Pitt.”
“Eugene had been ill for some time, but was in good spirits with love for his family, friends and fans,” the post continued. “My heart breaks for his family and close friends. I ask for people to respect the family’s privacy at this time. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date. The best of the best has joined the heavenly choir.”
In 1959, The Jive Five was formed by Pitt, rounded out by Jerome Hanna, Norman Johnson, Richard Harris, and Billy Prophet. Together, they released a handful of classic doo-wop/R&B singles throughout the ’60s, including “My True Story”, “What Time Is It?”, and “Never, Never”.
However, the outfit was probably best known for its nearly 10-year run writing jingles for Nickelodeon beginning in 1985. Most famous of them all: the TV network’s soulful, a cappella theme song “Nick Nick Nick Nick na Nick Nick Nick Nickelodeon.”
Terry Stewart, once President & CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, reportedly called Pitt “the most underrated soul singer in America.”
Revisit the famed Nickelodeon theme song below, followed by a pair of Jive Five hits.