recent Saturday evening, just before midnight, I was listening to a local weekly
Saturday night radio program that plays doo-wop, race music and rhythm and blues.
Music primarily recorded in the 1950s and 1960s.
The guy who fronts the
program on Dallas' KAAM-AM calls himself Crusin' Al.
As I was getting
ready to drift off to sleep, the last numbers of the evening were "Since I Don't
Have You" with "This I Swear" as the segue; both were by Jimmy Beaumont and the
It occurred to me that no two tunes and no vocal group are more
reflective of my teen years.
Beaumont and the Skyliners|
from Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners' press kit
Beaumont, a teenager from Pittsburgh, put his friends Wally Lester, Jack Taylor,
Joe Versharen and Janet Vogel into a group they called The Skyliners. They recorded
"Since I Don't Have You" in 1959 and arguably their second most popular song,
"This I Swear" six years later. |
Interestingly the group, still fronted
by Jimmy Beaumont, remains headquartered in Pittsburgh. But as time has moved
on so have the other original members of the group. Janet Vogle, the group's original
signature voice, passed away. Today, in addition to Jimmy, the Skyliners are comprised
of Nick Pociask, Dick Muse and Mark and Donna Groom.
In recent years,
Jimmy Beaumont has had some heart problems that have somewhat restricted the Skyliners'
appearances and travel. But nothing, absolutely nothing, has allowed nature to
even begin to tinker with the timbre of his voice and his strong falsetto.
As Crusin' Al was playing those two songs back to back, I couldn't help but think
of a summer night back then, driving the Galveston
my girlfriend and listening to "Since I Don't Have You" on my old car's radio.
My mom and dad were still young and alive, my girlfriend and I were in love, and
I had a few bucks in my pocket from my summer job as the announcer at the Pleasure
Pier. There was a big golden moon rising over the Gulf of Mexico, and our whole
lives were still in front of us.
For me, all was as OK as OK could be.
So at the stroke of midnight that recent Saturday as the last cord of "This I
Swear" sounded, I found myself adding to my prayers a special thanksgiving to
God that Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners and their haunting music have been and
have remained important parts of my life for 52 years, and asking that my girlfriend
of those days, Glenda, would be spared from her recent diagnosis of inoperable
Copyright William S. Cherry. All rights reserved
Glenda Holloway Snipes passed away on Friday, September 30, 2011. She
Cherry's Galveston Memories
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a Dallas Realtor and free lance writer was a longtime columnist for "The Galveston
County Daily News." His book, Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories, has sold
thousands, and is still available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com and other
Cherry's Galveston Memories|