Switch off the lights and The Skyliners vinyl record memories will send you back to 1959 to a special time and place when life was so innocent.
Full of new discoveries, like good traditional food, drive-in movies, classic cars, beehive hairdos, and cool multi-colored striped shirts for the boys. Life was good...
Taken from their self-titled album, enjoy this memorable Skyliners ballad as we return to the Doo-wop era and showcase one of our all-time oldies favorites, "Since I Don't Have You." The original lineup included Jimmy Beaumont, Wally Lester, Jack Taylor, Joe Verscharen, and Janet Vogel.
It was highlighted by lead singer Jimmy Beaumont's powerful vocals, and the counterpoint between his falsetto and Janet Vogel's soprano, on her final chorus, when Beaumont repeats the word "YOU" 13 times.
Legend has it that the original song was set to fade to the music, but Janet ad-libbed the song's memorable ending in high "C" as a joke during rehearsals.
It made for such a beautiful ending and the group liked it so much they made it a permanent part of their arrangement. Recorded with the Lenny Martin Orchestra, the song had a sophistication that extended to the use of strings and horns that surrounded the singers so beautifully.
Many of us grew up during a time in history when this song was so popular. It was Friday and Saturday night sock hops and the vinyl record memories of great songs like this 1959 classic. What a wonderful time to be a teenager. Memories fade but for many of us, this music era will always be special.
More than a dozen labels rejected the song before it was released by a local Pittsburgh label, Calico Records in late December 1958.
In short order it went to No. 1 in Pittsburgh, prompting an invitation to “American Bandstand.”
The song is considered by many oldies fans to be one of the best "heartbreak" ballads ever recorded. I agree...
This video is from the 1999 1st Doo Wop reunion concert on PBS, and was recorded at The Benedum Center, in Pittsburgh PA.
How good was Donna Groom that night in 1999. She backed up on "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", with that incredible opera sound, on the same show.
In recent years Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners have been a substantial part of the PBS Specials (DooWop50, Moments to Remember, Cavalcade of Music, My Music).
The video below was also recorded on the same program in May 1999 at the Benedum Center for Performing Arts in Pittsburgh, PA. Enjoy another Skyliners favorite, "This I Swear" from 1959.
As a testament to its longevity, "Since I Don't Have You" is frequently played on the radio; the song was featured in several films including American Graffiti and Mischief, and was also played on the TV series Happy Days.
Many of us still prefer listening to this beautiful song on an original 45rpm record, and of course on a good turntable.
Jimmy Beaumont, the golden-voiced singer of the Skyliners, died Saturday, October 7th, 2017, in his sleep at his home after a career that lasted nearly 60 years.
A humble and soft-spoken star, Beaumont
was still singing as recently as Sept. 17, 2017, when the Skyliners
performed a concert in New York. One of the most beautiful classics from 1959 that still receives generous airplay on many stations around the world.
Jimmy Beaumont was 76.
Thanks for the memories, Jimmy. Your song was a big part of my teenage life and the happy times we grew up in.