Prospect High alum who made 'Gloria' popular dies of stroke
Jimy Sohns, the man who made "Gloria" popular, has died.
The Roselle man suffered a stroke July 22 and died Friday at Alexian Brothers Hospice Residences in Elk Grove Village. He was 75.
"Everyone loved him," said Raechel Sohns Stebbins, his daughter and only child. "He was one of the kindest rock 'n' roll stars you could ever meet."
Sohns, who grew up in Prospect Heights, and three fellow Prospect High School students formed Shadows of Knight in 1964 -- the name of the band was a nod to the high school known as "Home of the Knights," Sohns Stebbins said.
"He was the king of garage rock; that's what everyone knew him for," the 51-year-old Schaumburg woman said. The band gained notoriety playing at The Cellar in Arlington Heights, she added.
Sohns Stebbins said her father loved music. His last performance was 10 days before his stroke, she said.
"His love for music never gave up," she said. "He played so much."
The band, which formed in 1964 when Sohns was just 16, shot up the charts with their hit "Gloria" in 1966. The group was featured that same year on "American Bandstand" and Dick Clark's "Where the Action Is," in the same week of Easter 1966.
In addition to "Gloria," the Shadows of Knight had three other No. 1 -- "Oh Yeah," "I Got My Mojo Working," and "On the Dark Side," which was the opening song in the film "Ford vs. Ferrari," Sohns Stebbins said.
Sohns was inducted into the Chicago Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
Though Sohns loved his music, he also was a talented baseball player in high school and had offers from colleges to join their teams, Sohns Stebbins said. He remained an avid baseball fan and cheered on the Cubs, Sohns Stebbins said.
Sohns Stebbins said her father moved back to Illinois from Florida after she had her two children, Jimy Sohns Stebbins, 19, and Justin Stebbins, 21, who lovingly called him "Papa Jimy." Her youngest son was born on her father's birthday.
Sohns Stebbins, who described her father as her "Superman," spent much of the last week with her father while he was in hospice. Though initially hesitant to take her father to hospice, she said she is grateful for the care her father received in his final week.
"It was just the most beautiful place," she said. "He was at peace. This isn't goodbye. It's till next time.'"
A public visitation service will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Michael's Funeral Home, 800 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg. Sohns Stebbins said she plans to fulfill her father's dream and spread some of his ashes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Sohns also is survived by his longtime girlfriend, Kathy Strahan of Roselle, and his former wife, Susan Stone of Chicago.