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.
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The song tugs at your heartstrings & touches you the way a great song, done beautifully should!
It was simple and good back then never thinking it would end. Cruising the drive-in restaurants where guys with duck tails met gals with pony tails. It was Burgers and Fries and Cherry Pies in a world we used to know. Read my Burgers & Fries story here.
The true story of a teenage crush and how a young man was inspired to write his song about the girl he left behind. Read the Fireflies story.
The Fireflies 1959
"You Were Mine."
The "Marcels" were named after a popular hairstyle of the day. A great song, a great group and the live video will have YOU dancing in the aisle. Read more ...
A truly beautiful song with words that reflect the long lasting meaning of love.
"But just tell me you love me and you are only mine ...
And our love will go on 'til the end of time." Read more ...
The song "Dream" reminds us of those glamorous movie stars of the '40s,' 50s, and early '60s. The one thing they all shared was a level of glamor we still aspire to today. This is a song everyone should have in their music collection. Read more ...
This Darling Lorraine page returns to 1959 and the remarkable story about a determined song writer. Includes memorable video clip with original lead singer. Read more here.
Vee-Jay records were responsible for some great music in the 50s and 60s and "Duke of Earl" was one of their mega hits. However, Gene Chandler almost prevented this from happening until Vee-Jay stepped in and offered him a choice. Read more ...
Watch as the original "Diamonds" perform live for the last time, this great American classic. Read more...
The Jackie Wilson Story looks at the life and career of this deeply troubled artist and his 1958 signature song, "Lonely Teardrops." Read more...