Stanley Adams, a lyricist whose words to songs placed them high among the nation's hits during World War II and whose presidency of ASCAP featured transitions from ballads to blues to bop, died Thursday in Manhasset, N.Y.
A spokesman for the American Society of Composers Authors & Publishers, said Adams was 86 and died after a short illness.
Known nationally as author of the hit "What a Difference a Day Makes," recorded by Andy Russell, Dinah Washington and Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Adams was first elected ASCAP president in 1953. He served three years and was reelected in 1959, serving until 1980.
During his tenure, ASCAP joined the national trend toward country-Western music, opening an office in Nashville, helped lead a congressional revision of U.S. copyright laws and signed a joint royalty agreement with the Soviet Union that provided payment to U.S. and Soviet composers.
As a lyricist, Adams experienced overnight success, teaming up with Fats Waller on one of his first songs, the hit "Rollin' Down the River."