Bobby "Boris" Pickett, 69, whose dead-on Boris Karloff impression propelled the Halloween anthem "Monster Mash" to the top of the charts in 1962, making him one of pop music's most enduring one-hit wonders - has died of leukemia.
Mr. Pickett died Wednesday at the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital, his longtime manager, Stuart Hersh, said.
"Monster Mash" hit the Billboard chart three times: when it debuted in 1962, reaching No. 1 the week before Halloween; again in August 1970, and for a third time in May 1973. The resurrections were appropriate for a song in which Mr. Pickett gravely intoned the forever-stuck-in-your-head chorus: "He did the monster mash. . . . It was a graveyard smash."
The novelty hit's fans included Bob Dylan, who played the single on his XM Satellite Radio program last October.
The hit single ensured Mr. Pickett's place in the pantheon of pop-music obscurities, said radio host Dr. Demento, whose program celebrates offbeat tunes.
"It's certainly the biggest Halloween song of all time," said Demento. "As he loved to say at oldies shows, 'And now I'm going to do a medley of my hit.' "
- Associated Press