Thursday, July 26, 2012

Orleans Singer Larry Hoppen Has Died

Larry Hoppen, co-founder, drummer, guitarist and singer with Orleans, passed away Tuesday (July 24) at his home in Central Florida. He was 61.

 A Bayshore, Long island native, Larry was living in Ithica, New York (attending Ithica College) when he dropped out to play in a band called Boffalongo with future Orleans pianist Wells Kelly. Larry was asked by John Hall to move to Woodstock, New York and form Orleans, which eventually included Wells, Jerry Marotta and Larry's brother, Lance. 

After much struggle finding a record label (eventually Asylum) and getting their records heard, the group broke through with the #55 tune "Let There Be Music," from their third album, in 1975. It was followed by two smash hits, "Dance With Me" (#6-1975) and "Still The One" (#5-1976). John and Jerry left the group in 1977 and the Hoppen brothers continued on, signing with Infinity Records and recording one last big hit- "Love Takes Time" (#11-1979). 

When Infinity, and later Radio Records, went bankrupt in the early '80s, Orleans continued to tour, but with no more hit singles. Though still involved in Orleans' projects, Larry performed with the "Voices of Classic Rock" tour beginning in 1997.