WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Thornton James "Pookie" Hudson, lead singer of the doo-wop group The Spaniels, has died of cancer at his home in Washington. He was 72.
The Spaniels achieved fame with their 1954 hit, "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight," which Hudson wrote for his girlfriend at the time, Artistsdirect.com said.
Hudson had a brief solo career after The Spaniels disbanded in the 1960s. He re-formed the group with a new lineup in the early 1970s, issuing a new version of "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" after the song was featured in the film "American Graffiti."
"He really made a blueprint for what a crooner should sound like," Carpenter said.
He continued to perform until cancer forced him to retire last fall.
Hudson, who died Jan. 16, is survived by his wife, nine children and 16 grandchildren.