West Chester resident Jerry Hludzik – a renowned musician, songwriter, and producer who grew up near Hazleton – has died at the age of 68 after a long struggle with frontotemporal dementia, according to a report from Broadway World.
Hludzik was a star athlete in high school but that reputation was supplanted by his status as a promising rock musician.
His first major hit came when he joined The Buoys. The rock band’s controversial song “Timothy” – which was reportedly based on the Sheppton Mine Disaster that occurred near Hludzik’s hometown in 1963 and attracted worldwide media coverage – reached No. 17 on the Billboard Top 40.
After The Buoys disbanded in the mid-’70s, Hludzik and Bill Kelly, also a member of the band, formed the Jerry-Kelly Band, which was renamed Dakota for its second album.
In 1980, the duo returned to the Billboard charts with the single “If It Takes All Night,” which reached No. 78. The band also secured the coveted, opening-act slot on Queen’s The Game Tour.
Read more about Jerry Hludzik from Broadway World here.