Obituary: Gerald J. Granahan, 89

by | Jan 17, 2022

Photo by Alison Cosker, courtesy of Unsplash.

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Gerald J. Granahan, 89, of East Greenwich, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, January 10. He was the husband of Mary Lou (Kiernan) Granahan.

Born in Pittston, PA, a son of the late Patrick Henry and Helen (Clisham) Granahan, he lived in East Greenwich for the last 20 years.

Mr. Granahan, a singer/songwriter/producer, started his career as the demo singer for Elvis Presley (“Jailhouse Rock” and “Teddy Bear”), then soon moved on to be a pop/rock sensation. He earned 4 Gold Records in the late 1950s before moving behind the desk to become one of the most successful record producers of the 1960s.

Most notable: “Click-Clack” by Dicky Doo & The Dont’s, “You Were Mine” by The Fireflies, and “No Chemise, Please” under his own name. And who can forget  “Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu.”

He then moved behind the scenes to become one of the youngest record executives in history, first at his own Caprice Records and then at two major labels, United Artists, Paramount and Dot, where he continued to produce dozens of hits in the ’60s and early 1970s including smash hits by Jay & The Americans and Patty Duke. He also produced the original recording of the songs “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody”, as recorded by James Ray, and “My Boyfriend’s Back” as recorded by The Angels.

Later in his career, Granahan served as Vice President of Dot Records and Paramount Records. Today, Spotify describes him as, “one of the more influential producers of Pop/rock on the East Coast.” For decades he performed as Dicky Doo and the Don’ts featuring Gerry Granahan.  He and his wife Mary Lou, a Rhode Island native, continued to travel and perform on the East Coast and raised their 3 children: Gerrianne Genga, an actor/singer/choreographer, Tara Granahan, a talk show host on WPRO, and the late Tommy Granahan.  Gerry was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Gerrianne Granahan Genga of East Greenwich and Tara Granahan Keane of Exeter; four grandchildren, Jordan Genga, Jade Genga, Morgan LeKites, and Madison LeKites; and… Jared Cannone.

He was the father of the late Thomas Kiernan Granahan, and the brother of the late Joseph Donnelly, Paul Donnelly, Vincent (Brick) Granahan, Anna Granahan, Patrick (Buddy) Granahan, Rosemary Granahan Tischler, and Harold Granahan.

His funeral will be held on Saturday, January 15, at 8:45 AM from the Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home in Warwick, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM in Our Lady of Mercy Church in East Greenwich. Visiting hours will be on Friday, January 14, from 4-7:00 PM. Burial will be in St. Patrick Cemetery in East Greenwich.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital of Memphis, TN.

An online condolence can be left with the funeral home HERE.

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