Gene Hughes, a country record promoter who first gained fame as the lead singer of the Casinos, died on Feb. 3 of complications from an October car accident. He was 67.
As children, Hughes and his brothers sang on street corners and at their church. They formed a band with friends and adopted the ”doo-wop” style popular in the 1950s. Hughes dropped out of high school after the 10th grade to join the Army, but he received a medical discharge after about a year and a half. He then returned to Cincinnati and formed the Casinos.
In 1967, the Casinos hit No. 6 on Billboard’s pop charts with the song, “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye.” That tune placed the nine-member group in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s “One Hit Wonders” room. The band’s follow-up single, “It’s All Over Now,” was written by Don Everly of the Everly Brothers, but only reached No. 65.
Hughes spent the past 20 years working as a country music promoter in Nashville. His record promotion company, Gene Hughes Promotion, handled accounts with RCA, MCA, Columbia, Warner Bros. and Capitol.