His shrieking falsetto was among the most distinctive voices in all of pop music. Was also one of the first solo performers of the rock era to compose his own material. Born Luigee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco, attended Moon Township High School, studied music and vocal technique. Between 1959 and 1962, in collaboration with a variety of Pittsburgh-area bands, cut a series of records for small local labels. Met Twyla Herbert, a classically trained musician, and became songwriting partners. In 1962 penned "The Gypsy Cried," recorded on two-track in Christie's garage. The single became a local phenomenon, and was released nationally, peaking at number 24 on the pop charts in 1963.
After relocating to New York and working as a backup vocalist, wrote and recorded "Two Faces Have I," landing in the Top Ten. Shortly after its release, began a two-year stint in the Army and in 1966 returned and picked up right where he left off with his biggest hit yet, "Lightnin' Strikes." His next smash, 1966's "Rhapsody in the Rain," was notorious for being among the more sexually explicit efforts of the period. Scored one last Top Ten hit in 1969 with "I'm Gonna Make You Mine." Drug problems plagued Christie during the early 1970s, and after getting clean at a London rehab clinic, he dropped out of music, working variously as a ranch hand, offshore oil driller and carnival barker. By the 1980s, he was appearing on oldies tours, and in 1997 issued Pledging My Love, his first new material in over a quarter-century.