Tim Hauser, who founded vocal quartet Manhattan Transfer, dies at age 72

The Manhattan Transfer (Tim Hauser second from left) perform at the San Manuel Amphitheater on April 24, 2014, in San Bernadino, California. Hauser, who founded the Grammy-winning pop-jazz vocal group, died last Thursday in Sayre, Pennsylvania,
The Manhattan Transfer (Tim Hauser second from left) perform at the San Manuel Amphitheater on April 24, 2014, in San Bernadino, California. Hauser, who founded the Grammy-winning pop-jazz vocal group, died last Thursday in Sayre, Pennsylvania, aged 72, according to reports. -- PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

NEW YORK - Tim Hauser, the singer who founded the Grammy-winning pop-jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, died last Thursday in Sayre, Pennsylvania, aged 72, according to reports.

The cause was cardiac arrest, his sister told the New York Times.

He was taken to a hospital in Elmira, New York, with pneumonia shortly after arriving for a scheduled performance in nearby Corning and was later moved to a hospital in Sayre, where he died.

Hauser formed the first incarnation of Manhattan Transfer - named for a novel by John Dos Passos - in 1969. He said he had been inspired after hearing doo-wop group Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers sing a song, a cappella.

In 1972, he was working as a New York City cab driver when he met singer Laurel Masse and later the second iteration of the Manhattan Transfer was formed with her, Janis Siegel and Alan Paul.

Before Hauser's death, the group still consisted of the same members except for Laurel, who was hurt in a car accident and who was replaced by Cheryl Bentyne.

The group's heydays were in 1979 and the early 1990s when they recorded their best-known albums including Extensions, which had a vocal version of the Weather Report song Birdland which became one of their signatures, reported the Times.

In 1981, they became the first group to win Grammys for Best Pop Vocal for The Boy From New York City - their biggest hit - and Best Jazz Vocal for a version of Corner Pocket, first performed in the 1950s by the Count Basie Orchestra, said the Washington Post.

Their 1985 album, Vocalese, which put words to 11 instrumental jazz numbers, took 12 Grammy nominations.

Survivors include his third wife and two children.