C. Carson Parks, singer-songwriter and publisher-owner of Greenwood Music Co., who penned Frank Sinatra hit “Somethin’ Stupid” and Mills Brothers’ “Cab Driver (Drive by Mary’s Place),” died June 22 of kidney failure at his home in St. Mary’s, Ga. BMI member was 69.
Brother of composer Van Dyke Parks and father of screenwriter Rick Parks was born Clarence Carson II in Philadelphia and graduated from the Phillips Academy, U. of Miami (on a band scholarship) and Carnegie Tech U. (later Carnegie-Mellon).
He moved to Los Angeles in the early ’60s and became a member of the such folk groups as the Steeltown Two, the Easy Riders (Kapp Records), the Southcoasters (Montclare Records), Bud Dashiell & the Kinsmen (Capitol Records), the Greenwood County Singers (Kapp Records), Carson & Gaile (Kapp Records) and, with Terry Gilkyson, he and his brother Van Dyke performed on several movie soundtracks “The Jungle Book,” “The Aristocats,” “The Alamo” and others.
“Something Stupid” was Sinatra’s first gold single and was sung with Ol’ Blue Eyes’ daughter, Nancy.
Other songs he wrote include “Open for Business as Usual,” “Real True Lovin’,” “The Longest Beer of the Night,” “With His Pants in His Hands,” “Black Dress” and “Chapter One.”
Besides his brother and son, he is survived by four other children; his wife, Gail Singleton Parks; two step-children, and another brother, Rev. Richard Parks. He is predeceased by another brother, Benjamin R. Parks.
In his honor, memorials may be made to the American Boychoir, 19 Lambert Drive, Princeton N.J. 08540.