The Cheers Singer Gil Garfield Dies


Vocalist-songwriter and his trio charted Billboard with '50s hits 'Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots' and 'Bazoom! I Need Your Lovin'.'

Gil Garfield, a member of the 1950s vocal group The Cheers, died Saturday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer. He was 77.

The Cheers recorded a Top 10 single, Leiber & Stoller's "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots," in 1955. The trio -- Garfield, Sue Allen and Bert Convy (later an actor and game show host) -- hit the Billboard charts again with Leiber & Stoller's "Bazoom! I Need Your Lovin'," and they recorded several demos of other Leiber & Stoller tunes.

In the '60s, Garfield collaborated on words and music with Perry Botkin Jr. and others, including Harry Nilsson, on such recordings as "Wonderful Summer," "Paradise" by the Ronettes and "Passion Flower." He was completing a semi-autobiographical musical at the time of his death.

Born in Los Angeles on May 20, 1933, Garfield graduated from North Hollywood High School and was a business major at USC. While in college, he began singing in area nightclubs before the Cheers got together.

Garfield is survived by nephew Ryan Collier and his partner of 10 years, publicist Mike Hiles. He had a liver transplant nine years ago and was a generous supporter of the Dumont UCLA Liver Transplant Center and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.

Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles.