Chad & Jeremy singer Chad Stuart dies aged 79

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Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Chad Stuart (left) enjoyed a brief but intense period of fame in the US with Jeremy Clyde

British singer-songwriter Chad Stuart, who had hits in the US with the 1960s duo Chad & Jeremy, has died aged 79.

The folk-pop pair enjoyed success with songs like Yesterday's Gone, A Summer Song and Willow Weep For Me.

As part of the British Invasion, they found greater success in the US than in their home country, where Yesterday's Gone was their only top 40 single.

A statement said the world had "lost a legend" but his voice would "continue to touch our lives through his music".

Stuart, born David Stuart Chadwick in Windermere, Cumbria, met Jeremy Clyde at London's Central School For Speech and Drama, and they began performing music together in the early 60s.

Yesterday's Gone got to number 37 in the UK in 1963, but their career in Britain suffered an irretrievable blow after the press discovered Clyde's aristocratic background.

Clyde was the Duke of Wellington's grandson, and the Daily Express unearthed a photo of him as a page boy at the Queen's coronation.

"Once it came out that he was an 'aristo' it was all over," Stuart once said. "Rock 'n' roll is a means for the working class to escape their grim lot. I was middle class, and that was OK. But to be an aristocrat - forget it."

Image source, Getty Images

Their backgrounds mattered far less in the US, where fans were embracing the influx of British bands, leading Chad & Jeremy to enjoy a brief but intense period of fame across the pond.

The duo continued to knock out top 40 tracks into the mid-60s, including A Summer Song, which went on to appear in such movies as director Wes Anderson's Rushmore, Anne Hathaway's The Princess Diaries, and Men in Black III; as well as a Coors Light beer advert last year.

They even played fictional versions of themselves on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Patty Duke Show, as well appearing as themselves in an episode of the original Batman TV series.

According to The New York Times, Clyde's family connections enabled the two young men to stay at crooner Dean Martin's house in Los Angeles, and they hung out with Frank Sinatra.

In the late 60s their music followed the trend of going in a more psychedelic direction before they went their separate ways.

Stuart continued to work in music as both a producer and director, while Clyde went into acting.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Chad & Jeremy at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009

'Incredible force'

The duo eventually reformed to record and tour again, releasing new music in 1983. They made a second comeback from 2002, playing at series of nostalgic '60s British invasion-themed events, before Stuart officially retired to Sun Valley.

A statement posted on Sunday on the band's Facebook page said: "We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Chad Stuart, a father, a husband, a brother, a grandfather, a friend, a mentor, a teacher and an inspiration to many.

"We ask for love, celebration but also space while the family adjusts to life without this incredible force."

He died from non-Covid related pneumonia after being admitted to hospital following a fall, the statement added.

US pop rock act Paul Revere and the Raiders paid tribute. saying it "truly was a pleasure to tour and share a time never to be repeated with both Chad & Jeremy".

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