At age 92, Leon Hughes, the final surviving original member of the rhythm and blues group The Coasters from the 1950s, passed away.
Family members informed Tupaate Ug that Hughes passed away peacefully on March 1 from natural causes at his home in Watts.
The initial lineup of the Coasters, which included Hughes, Carl Gardner, Bobby Nunn, and Billy Guy, was assembled in Los Angeles in 1955. They put out a number of popular songs over the course of three years, including “Yakety Yak,” “Down in Mexico,” “Poison Ivy,” and “Charlie Brown.”
When “Yakety Yak,” along with the R&B/Doo Wop oldies “Stand By Me,” “Lollipop,” and “Rockin’ Robin,” was included on the soundtrack for Rob Reiner’s coming-of-age movie “Stand By Me” in 1986, it saw a revival.
The Coasters received their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1987.
Hughes only spent a brief time with the original lineup. After a bout of illness that affected his singing voice, he departed the band in 1957, according to his daughter. Later in life, he fronted many iterations of The Coasters and toured on lengthy tours for many years.
The Coasters were admitted to the Hollywood Doo Wop Hall of Fame in 2014. He received a Certificate of Appreciation from the US House in the same year, which was given to him by Representative Maxine Waters (D-California).
Hughes was a mentor to upcoming artists in addition to performing.
He assisted several neighbors who had their own organizations and had a music rehearsal area in the backyard of his house, Hughes Lofton said.
Six grandkids and two living children survive Hughes.
On March 31st, a memorial service will be held at Harrison Ross Mortuary in Los Angeles. RIP Leon Hughes