Dennis Greene, a founding member of the Fifties-leaning rock group Sha Na Na and later a Columbia Pictures executive and law professor, died Saturday at a Dayton, Ohio hospital. He was 66. Greene died from a brief illness prior to his death, his nephew told the Los Angeles Times . 20 Sixties Albums You’ve Never Heard Frederick “Dennis” Greene and his Sha Na Na bandmates began performing together in the late Sixties as an a cappella group at Columbia University, where they focused on the doo-wop classics of the previous decade. The band, whose name was inspired by the syllables sung in the Silhouettes’ 1958 single “Get a Job,” quickly rose to prominence when they were recruited to precede Jimi Hendrix’s legendary set at the Woodstock festival in 1969; Sha Na Na were also briefly featured in the Woodstock documentary. The group rode the wave of Fifties nostalgia that spawned the sitcom Happy Days and the Broadway show Grease ; when the latter became a hugely successful film in 1978, Greene and Sha Na Na performed Little Anthony and the Imperials’ “Tears on My Pillow” under the guise of Johnny Casino and the Gamblers in the adaptation
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When it comes to the extraordinary life, career and legacy of Johnny Cash, just scratching the surface would be a daunting task for any documentary filmmaker. Revisiting the legend that is the Man in Black can prove challenging, especially when the central subject has already been portrayed in an Oscar-winning biopic and numerous books and TV specials. The latest attempt to solve the fascinating puzzle of one of America’s greatest entertainers is CMT’s original documentary, Johnny Cash: American Rebel . Johnny Cash’s 11 Coolest Covers Premiering on CMT Saturday night, September 12th at 9 p.m./ET — the 12th anniversary of Cash’s death — the film examines the effect, for better or worse, that Cash (the man and the performer) had on his fans worldwide, as well as on those who knew him best, his family and friends. Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow , Eric Church and John Mellencamp are among those offering commentary, and some even perform snippets of Cash’s most well-known songs. Church’s take on “The Man in Black” is especially haunting. Cash family members also offer keen insights: son John Carter Cash, daughter Rosanne Cash, and Carlene Carter, whose mother, June Carter, famously became Cash’s second wife. Some of the film’s most revelatory moments come courtesy of Rosanne, who recalls how her mother, Vivian Liberto, tried in vain to hang on to her troubled marriage to the touring musician as both his popularity and his addiction to amphetamines increased.