Leonard “Lennie” Baker, a member of the band Sha Na Na, died Wednesday in Weymouth, Mass., his nephew David Baker confirmed Friday in an obituary on the website of a local funeral home. He was 69.
“Lennie was a people person. He had many friends and truly enjoyed time spent with all of them. His generosity was abundant. He was always willing to share all he had with friends and family,” David Baker stated in the obituary.
Baker was remembered as a vocalist and saxophone player for the retro rock ‘n’ roll group Sha Na Na, which originated in the late ’60s and was known for its ’50s-inspired covers and costumes. Baker joined the band in 1970 and performed with them for three decades, retiring from the music business in 2000. As a member of Sha Na Na, he toured the world and hosted a syndicated variety show — also called “Sha Na Na” — with his bandmates from 1977-1981.
Baker, along with the rest of Sha Na Na, also appeared in the movie musical classic “Grease” in 1978, starring as Johnny Casino & The Gamblers, the band that performs “Blue Moon” in the iconic high school dance scene.
After retiring from Sha Na Na, Baker continued to sing and play the saxophone with a local band called the Spellbinders.
Baker is survived by his three brothers, Lee Baker Sr., Leon Baker and Larry Baker; three nephews; a niece; and nine great-nephews and nieces.