One of the most original, influential and commercially successful American songwriters, Doc Pomus (1927-1991) is remembered best for the dozens of hits he wrote during rock 'n' roll's first decade. A role model for several generations of composers, Doc was renowned for his mastery of virtually every popular stye, from the gutbucket rhythm and blues of "Lonely Avenue" to the symphonic invention of "Save the Last Dance for Me" to the pop confection of "Viva Las Vegas." His songs have been recorded by everyone from Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and B.B. King to Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen.
Despite his successes, few acquaintances knew that this writer of jukebox hits led one of the most dramatic lives of his time. Born Jerome Felder to middle-class Jewish parents, Pomus was crippled by polio at the age of seven and thereafter always used crutches. His disability did not stop him singing with some of the best black musicians of the 1950s before he met Mort Shuman, who would become his partner in one of the great song writing teams of the '60s. Spanning extravagant wealth and desperate poverty, suburban family life and the depths of New York's underworld, enduring love and persistent loneliness, Doc's story remains one of the great untold American lives.
Lonely Avenue is a beuatifully written narrative that reads like a novel, fortified by full access to Doc Pomus's family and friends, voluminous journals and archives.