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Passings : George 'Wydell' Jones

'Rama Lama Ding Dong' songwriter

October 04, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

George "Wydell" Jones, 71, who wrote the doo-wop hit "Rama Lama Ding Dong" and performed it as a member of the Edsels, died of cancer Sept. 27 at his home in Youngstown, Ohio, his son, Steffon Jones, told the Associated Press.

The song -- originally released as "Lama Rama Ding Dong" -- peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961. The Youngstown-based Edsels also included Harry Green, Larry Green, Jimmy Reynolds and Marshall Sewell.

During their heyday, which lasted about as long as that of the Ford model for which they were named, the Edsels performed at the Apollo Theater in New York and appeared on "American Bandstand."

George Jones Jr. was born in Richmond, Va., and as a child moved to Youngstown, where his father worked in a steel mill.

After high school, Jones joined the Air Force, where he sang in a vocal group with other servicemen.

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