Home Music Carl Gardner, Leader of the Coasters, Dies at 83

The great rock and roll and R&B singer Carl Gardner, Sr., leader of the Coasters, died yesterday at age 83. “Carl was one of the great lead voices of the early rock and roll era,” says Sam Moore, his Atlantic Records labelmate. Gardner was also a leader in the effort to combat fake groups using the names of early groups. He fought to keep the Coasters name away from pretenders. It was a good thing, too, since the Coasters had lots of good will built up from their hits like “Charlie Brown,” “Poison Ivy,” “Yakety Yak,” “Youngblood,” “Searchin,” “Love Potion No. 9,” and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” most of which were written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYnlVu9z1UM Gardner and the original Coasters are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in its early days.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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