Dennis Greene, a founding member of the rock and roll/doo-wop group Sha Na Na and former Columbia Pictures exec, died Saturday at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio. He was 66.
According to the LA Times, Greene died after a brief illness.
Greene reached fame as part of Sha Na Na, the group known for “Tears on My Pillow” and “Born to Hand-Jive.” Both songs were on the soundtrack of the 1978 film “Grease,” along with other tracks performed by the group including “Those Magic Changes,” “Hound Dog,” “Rock & Roll Is Here to Stay” and “Blue Moon.”
Sha Na Na appeared as a band called Johnny Casino and the Gamblers in the film, along with appearances in the 1970 documentary “Woodstock” and the group’s television series, “Sha Na Na.” The variety show aired from 1978 to 1981.
After 15 years with the group, formed at Columbia University, Greene left Sha Na Na to pursue a master’s degree at Harvard and a law degree at Yale.
He went on to become vice president of production and features at Columbia Pictures, where he worked on Spike Lee’s “School Daze,” and later became president of Lenox/Greene Films. Greene eventually settled in law. He worked as a professor at multiple universities, including University of Dayton, Florida A&M University and Ohio State University.
Greene is survived by his brothers Michael and Gerald.
Watch Greene perform with Sha Na Na in “Grease” below.