Wes Farrell, a music executive and songwriter whose four-decade career included the hit pop song Hang On Sloopy and the music for the television series The Partridge Family, died Thursday at a resort on Fisher Island, Fla. He was 56 and lived in Coconut Grove, Fla.
The cause was cancer, said his wife, Jean Inman Farrell.
Farrell was born in New York City. He entered the music business as a songwriter at the Brill Building in Manhattan, writing scores of songs before his first big hit, Hang On Sloopy (recorded by the McCoys in 1965).
Several other songs he wrote became top-10 singles, including Come a Little Bit Closer (recorded by Jay and the Americans in 1964) Come On Down to My Boat (record by Every Motherís son in 1967). He also wrote Boys, which the Beatles recorded in 1963 on their first American album.
Farrell signed Neil Diamond to his first publishing deal and produced music for the Cowsills, the Everly Brothers and Wayne Newton. He formed his own record company, Chelsea, to release Newtonís first top-10 hit, Daddy, Donít You Walk So Fast. In the 1970ís, he created the music for The Partridge Family.
Most recently, Farrell was the chief executive and president of Music Entertainment Group, an umbrella for several music organizations, including one of the countryís largest Christian music companies, the Benson Music Group.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his mother, Fay DePasquale Goldberg of Miami; a son, Wesley, and a daughter Sky; all of Coconut Grove, and another daughter, Dawn, of Santa Fe, N.M.