Doc Pomus; Songwriter of Presley Hits

Doc Pomus, a wheelchair-bound songwriter who penned more than two dozen hits for Elvis Presley and scores for other popular groups during a 40-year career, died Thursday in Manhattan.

He had been suffering from lung cancer, said a representative of his publishing company, BMI. He was 65.

Either alone or with his cousin Mort Shuman, Pomus wrote such hits for Elvis Presley as “Little Sister,” “Viva Las Vegas,” and “Suspicion.”

He also wrote “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Teen-Ager in Love,” “This Magic Moment” and “Can’t Get Used to Losing You.”

Born Jerome Felder in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, he began his career as a teen-ager, playing and singing blues in neighborhood clubs. He said he took his stage name so his parents would not recognize the name on marquees.


In 1955 he teamed with Shuman and became one of the pre-eminent songwriters of the 1950s and early 1960s.

In recent years he collaborated with Los Angeles-based songwriter Kenny Hirsch on the theme song for Easter Seals, “One More Time,” which was recorded by Ray Charles.

Pomus had contracted polio at age 5 and had spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.