George Francis Morton, known in the music world as Shadow, passed away Thursday, at 71-years-old, after a battle with cancer, according to the New York Times. Morton was a songwriter, and producer, credited for nearly all of the success enjoyed by girl group The Shangri-Las in the 1960s.
Shadow was unlike most songwriters, in that he wrote songs entirely in his head. He couldn’t play an instrument, and he couldn’t read or write music. His best known work, as a producer, was “Society’s Child,” a single recorded by Janis Ian when she was only 14.
Morton disappeared from the music world in the early 1970s. In interviews, he said a strong distaste for the music industry, as well as a battle with alcoholism, led to his absence.
Amy Krakow, a family friend, says that Shadow never stopped writing songs, even in his later days. He has penned more than 300, with most of them remaining unrecorded.