Producer, Label Founder Bob Keane Dead At 87
December 2, 2009 at 5:18 AM (PT)
Longtime record producer and DEL-FI RECORDS founder BOB KEANE, who discovered RITCHIE VALENS and recorded SAM COOKE, the BOBBY FULLER FOUR, and FRANK ZAPPA, died SATURDAY from renal failure related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in HOLLYWOOD at 87.
KEANE, born ROBERT VERRIL KUHN, started as a teenage bandleader and, after serving in WORLD WAR II, changed his name and continued as a performer, leading the orchestra for comic HANK McCain's radio show before starting KEEN RECORDS in 1957. The label scored a huge hit with COOKE's "You Send Me" before KEANE left and started DEL-FI, which had a top 10 hit with FULLER's "I Fought The Law" and hits for several others, including BRENDA HOLLOWAY and CHAN ROMERO.
DEL-FI, which also included subsidiaries DONNA (which released early ZAPPA doo-wop recordings), MUSTANG, BRONCO, and STEREO-FI, was reactivated in the 1980's; the catalog was sold to WARNER MUSIC GROUP in 2003. KEANE's sons JOHN and TOM performed as THE KEANE BROTHERS and continue as composers and performers.