Jim Pike, co-founder of The Lettermen vocal group, dies aged 82

Jim Pike, co-founder of The Lettermen vocal group, dies aged 82

Jim Pike, one of the co-founders of The Lettermen, one of the most popular American male pop vocal group in the '60s, died June 9 at his home in Prescott, Arizona. He was 82 years old. As reported by AP, Pike's sister-in-law, Becky, said the cause of death was due to complications from Parkinson's Disease.

Pike and Bob Engemann, his college buddy from Brigham Young University, formed The Lettermen in Los Angeles in 1961 with fellow singer Tony Butala and the group registered its first hit single with 'The Way You Look Tonight'. The band would then go on to place 19 more singles on Billboard's Hot 100 over the next 10 years, of which the most popular ones were 'Goin' Out Of My Head' and 'When I Fall in Love.'

The Lettermen signed with Capitol Records in 1961 and their first single, 'The Way You Look Tonight,' was No. 13 on the Billboard. They also recorded some hit numbers such as 'When I Fall in Love' (1962) and 'Theme from a Summer Place' (1965). Engemann resigned in 1967 and was replaced by Pike's younger brother, Gary Pike. 

According to IMDb, The Lettermen have included prominent names in their group.  Members included Tony Butala, Jim Pike, Bob Engemann, Gary Pike, Don Pike, Robert Poynton, Don Campeau, Ralph "Chad" Nichols, Mark Preston, Ernie Pontiere, Donovan Scott Tea, and Darren Dowler.

Pike also published an autobiography titled, 'My Lettermen Years: The Journey To Hell and Back!' in September 2012. 

(With inputs from AP)

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