From The New York Times:
Shadow Morton, a songwriter and producer who for a brief, luminous period in the 1960s poured the discontents of adolescence into original hit songs, including “Leader of the Pack” and “Remember (Walking in the Sand),” died on Thursday in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 71.
The cause was cancer, said Amy Krakow, a family friend.
By all accounts possessed of a brazen, naïve genius — he played no instrument, could not read music and wrote his songs in his head — Mr. Morton was almost single-handedly responsible for the wild success of the Shangri-Las, the Queens girl group he introduced and propelled to international stardom.