Veteran singer GENE PUERLING has died of complications brought on by diabetes. He was 78. Puerling, who led influential vocal quartet The Hi-Lo's, passed away at a San Francisco-area hospital in northern California on 25 March (08). His skills as a vocal arranger are widely credited with influencing the harmonies of numerous bands, including The Beach Boys and The Mamas + The Papas. Born Eugene Puerling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1929, he moved to Los Angeles in 1950. The Hi-Lo's formed in Hollywood in 1953 and were soon touring with Judy Garland. They were signed to Frank Sinatra's Reprise record label in the 1960s. The band split in 1964, but regrouped in the late 1970s and continued to perform together into the 1990s.