HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP):Lee Pockriss, who wrote pop hits such as Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini for an eager, youthful post-World War II generation, has died in Connecticut after a long illness. He was 87.
His wife, Sonja Pockriss, confirmed his death. She said Friday he died at home in Bridgewater on Tuesday.
Pockriss, who also worked in musical theater, co-wrote several songs with Paul Vance, including 1957's Catch a Falling Star.
In a 2006 interview, Vance called Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - about a shy young woman in a skimpy bathing suit - a "money machine".
He estimated that he made several million dollars from the song, which was recorded by 16-year-old teen idol Brian Hyland, surged to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in August 1960 and has been pop culture staple ever since.
The song has been used in such movies as Sister Act 2 and Revenge of the Nerds II and was more recently revived in a yogurt commercial.
Vance's death was erroneously reported in 2006. An Ormond Beach, Florida., man named Paul Van Valkenburgh who claimed to have written the song under the name Paul Vance had instead died.
The New York Times reported that Pockriss also worked in musical theater and wrote the music for the 1963 Broadway show Tovarich, for which Vivien Leigh won the Tony Award for best actress in a musical. Anne Croswell wrote the lyrics. The two also collaborated on Ernest in Love, a musical version of Oscar Wilde's Importance of Being Earnest.
Pockriss in 1969 worked with the lyricist Carolyn Leigh and Hugh Wheeler of Sweeney Todd to create Gatsby, a musical based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, The Times reported.
He also wrote songs for Sesame Street, including My Polliwog Ways, sung by Kermit the Frog.
Pockriss also was survived by his brother, Harold.