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Author Topic: Paul Leka, co-writer of 'Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye' dies at age 68  (Read 1163 times)
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« on: October 30, 2011, 09:11:20 PM »,0,2914658.story
Paul Leka dies at 68; co-writer of 'Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye'
October 26, 2011

It was intended to be a "throwaway" song, the seldom-played B-side of a 45-rpm record produced in a New York recording studio in 1969.

Instead, it became an A-side No. 1 hit single for a band called Steam, a song whose simple but catchy chorus became an enduring sports anthem chanted by sports fans around the world to taunt an opposing team:

"Na Na Na Na. Na Na Na Na. Hey Hey Hey. Goodbye."

Paul Leka, 68, a composer who co-wrote and produced "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," died of lung cancer Oct. 12 in a hospice near his home in Sharon, Conn., said his sister, Evelyn Kreta.

As a songwriter, producer and arranger, Leka was the co-writer and producer of the Lemon Pipers' 1968 No. 1 hit "Green Tambourine."

He also produced and arranged music for artists such as Harry Chapin ("Cat's in the Cradle"), the Peppermint Rainbow ("Will You Be Staying After Sunday"), Peter Nero, Paul Mauriat, the Left Banke and REO Speedwagon.

Then there was Steam and the song Leka referred to simply as "Na Na."

After spending two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard chart in 1969, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" took on a life of its own as the signature chant at sporting events across the country, including the Chicago White Sox, whose organist started playing the chorus in 1977.
"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" was written by Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer, all of whom had been members of a band from Bridgeport, Conn., called the Chateaus in the early 1960s.
One of four children of Albanian immigrants, Leka was born in Bridgeport on Feb. 20, 1943. He began playing piano as a child and by the age of 16 was trying to sell his own songs to music publishers in New York.

In addition to his sister, Leka is survived by his wife, Engjellushe; their son, Alexander; two children from a previous marriage, Derek and Heather; and his brother, George.

  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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