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Nelda Fairchild

1929 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Nelda Fairchild Obituary

Songwriter Nelda "Sunny Bingo" Fairchild passed away peacefully in her sleep in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 3, 2015, from complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Nelda was born Aug. 26, 1929, in Burley, Idaho. She and her sister, Ella "Teena," began performing at ages 4 and 5 as a sister act on radio shows. As teenagers living in southern California, they worked regularly and were cast members on Foreman Phillips' musical variety show in Compton, Calif. By the 1950s, they were appearing as The Southern Belles, appearing on Town Hall Party with Merle Travis and other early TV music stars.

Her first marriage at age 15 in 1944 was to Jack B. Farnsworth. He fought in the South Pacific during World War II, was disabled by malaria and came home as a war hero. They divorced, leaving Nelda a single mother of a 4-year-old son, Jack D. Farnsworth.

She met and married Richard "Bing" Bingo in 1950. Together they had two children, Jill and Frank, and Nelda's songwriting and poetry proliferated. She was often on the road selling her songs and singing in bars and lounges with a small band. Nelda variously wrote and performed as Ned Fairchild and Sunny Bingo.

Nelda's best known work is the 1957 rock 'n' roll hit "Twenty Flight Rock," on which a co-writing credit was given to rock and roll pioneer Eddie Cochran. Paul McCartney and John Lennon both said that McCartney was invited to join Lennon's band, The Quarrymen, because he knew the chords and words to "Twenty Flight Rock," a much admired staple of the bands forming in England at that time. In 2006, she published the autobiographical book "Sing or Cry: My Life in Verse."

Nelda was preceded in death by her husband, "Bing," and her son, Jack.

She is survived by her son, Frank Bingo of Seattle, and daughter, Jill Bingo of Las Vegas.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the humane society.

Published in Post Register from May 6 to May 7, 2015
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