John M. Pocisk, 65; Was Johnny Paris in Johnny & the Hurricanes


John M. Pocisk, 65, who in the 1950s and ‘60s was known as Johnny Paris in the rock group Johnny & the Hurricanes, died May 1 at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, said his son, Jeff.

Pocisk, a tenor saxophonist, formed his first band while in high school, and his next group, the Orbits, developed a following. When they backed a vocal group on a demo tape, a management agency noticed them and the group became Johnny & the Hurricanes.

Hits followed, especially “Red River Rock,” which sold more than a million copies and reached No. 5 on the U.S. charts and No. 3 in Britain. The group also was known for the songs “Reveille Rock” and “Beatnik Fly.”


The group played at the Star Club in Hamburg in 1962, headlining a gig that included a then-little-known English group called the Beatles.

Pocisk lived in Germany in the late 1980s and into the 1990s before returning to Ohio, where he grew up.