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Gary S. Paxton
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    (May 18, 1939-July 16, 2016)
    Born in Coffeyville, Kentucky
    Birth name was Larry Wayne Stevens
    Singer, songwriter and record producer
    As ‘Flip’ of Skip & Flip, recorded the singles ‘It Was I’ (1959) and ‘Cherry Pie’ (1960)
    As a member of the Hollywood Argyles, recorded the single ‘Alley-Oop’ (1960)
    Recorded the gospel albums ‘The Astonishing, Outrageous, Amazing, Incredible, Unbelievable, Different World of Gary S. Paxton’ (1975), ‘Terminally Weird/But Godly Right’ (1978) and ‘The Gospel According to Gary S.’ (1979)
    Produced the singles ‘Monster Mash’ by Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and ‘Sweet Pea’ and ‘Hooray for Hazel’ by Tommy Roe.
    He flunked out of high school.
    He was married to a woman in Tucson and engaged to women in Seattle and Tacoma when he dumped all three to head for Hollywood.
    He promoted one of his records – ‘Elephant Game (Part One)’ – by staging a parade on Hollywood Boulevard featuring an elephant pulling a VW. He was arrested when the elephant began defecating in the street.
    A musician who visited him recalled, ‘I had never seen so many drugs in my life as I saw at the house.’
    When he became a born-again Christian, he joined the hippie-ish Jesus Movement.
    He had a fling with Tammy Faye Bakker.
    He called himself ‘an armpit in the body of Christ.’
    He said about his adoptive family’s lack of musical ability, ‘I felt like Steve Martin in ‘The Jerk.’
    A neighbor sexually molested him for about two years, starting when he was seven.
    He suffered spinal meningitis at age eleven, which was initially misdiagnosed as polio.
    He had #1 hits as both a performer (‘Alley-Oop’) and a producer (‘The Monster Mash’).
    He won a Grammy for Best Inspirational Recording (1976).
    He was shot three times and beaten with a pipe by hitmen hired by a country singer who wanted to get out of a contract with him (December 29, 1980).
    While he was recuperating in the hospital, his partner in a recording studio embezzled $500,000.

Credit: C. Fishel

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