Open main menu

The Skyliners are an American doo-wop group from Pittsburgh. The original lineup was: Jimmy Beaumont (lead), Janet Vogel (soprano), Wally Lester (tenor), Jackie Taylor (bass voice, guitarist), Joe Verscharen (baritone).[1][2] The Skyliners were best known for their 1958 hit, "Since I Don't Have You".

The Skyliners
OriginPittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
United States
GenresDoo-wop
Years active1958–1963, 1974–present
MembersDonna Groom
Frank Czuri
John Sarkis
Mark Groom (drummer)
Jim Gregorakis
Past membersJimmy Beaumont
Wally Lester
Jackie Taylor
Joe Verscharen
Janet Vogel

HistoryEdit

They also hit the Top 40 with "This I Swear" and "Pennies from Heaven". Other classics include "It Happened Today" (1959), "Close Your Eyes" (1961) and "Comes Love" (1962). The original group dissolved in 1963, but re-united eleven years later (without Jackie Taylor), for what would become their last charted record, "Where Have They Gone?"

In 1965, Jimmy Beaumont recorded two notable singles for the Bang label: the first, "Tell Me"/"I Feel Like I'm Falling in Love", were medium-tempo soul-styled tracks. For his second Bang 45, "I Never Loved Her Anyway"/"You Got Too Much Going for You", Beaumont transformed into an impressive soul singer, sounding nothing like his previous more pop-styled efforts, leading some[who?] to question in later years, if it actually was his singing.[citation needed] These two tracks are now considered Northern Soul collectibles. The second 45 was also issued on UK London HLZ 10059 in 1966.

Jackie Taylor was drafted in 1965.[3] In 1975 Wally Lester and Joe Versharen left the group; they were replaced by new members, Jimmie Ross and Bob Sholes.[4][5]

In 1978, the Detroit based record producer Don Davis — who produced Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., Johnny Taylor, the Dramatics, and the Dells — picked up one of his favorite groups (the Skyliners) to record in his United Sound Studios. They recorded the group's "comeback" album for the RCA subsidiary, Tortoise International Records.[6] The songs "Oh, How Happy" and "The Love Bug" were included, as was a hefty re-make of Dan Schafer's original RCA Victor single, "A Day Without You, Dear".[7]

Janet Vogel committed suicide in 1980; Cathy Cooper joined the group as a replacement.[4] She and Ross left two years later to form a duo;[4] they were replaced by Rick Morris[8] and Donna Groom.[3]

Morris retired in 1993.[8] Beaumont invited David Proch to join the group and he accepted. Also performing with the group at this time was Tom Sholes, brother of Bob Sholes. The two were local to the group; they attended St George High School in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The group became Beaumont, Groom, Proch, and Nick Pociask.[9]

David Proch (at age 44) the third person to sing tenor for the Skyliners, died on October 19, 1998, in a car accident.[10] His car collided with a truck hauling asphalt on U.S. Route 30 near Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Proch's place was taken by Dick Muse, a former member of the Laurels.[11] Rick Morris replaced Muse in 2011.[8] Frank Czuri replaced Morris in 2013.[12]In January of 2019 Jim Gregorakis replaced Nick Pociask.

Their longtime manager and producer Joe Rock, who also co-wrote "Since I Don't Have You", died on April 4, 2000, at age 63, after complications from quadruple bypass heart surgery.[13]

Four of the original members have died:
 • Janet Vogel (born June 10, 1942 in Pittsburgh) committed suicide on February 21, 1980, aged 37[14]
 • Joe Verscharen (born August 30, 1940 in Pittsburgh) died of cancer on November 2, 2007, aged 67[15]
 • Wally Lester (born Walter Paul Lester, Jr. on October 5, 1941 in Pittsburgh) died of pancreatic cancer in Southport, North Carolina on April 21, 2015, aged 73[16][17]
 • Jimmy Beaumont (born James Beaumont on October 21, 1940 in Pittsburgh) died in McKeesport, Pennsylvania on October 7, 2017, aged 76.[18][19]

Until his death, Jimmy Beaumont performed with the Skyliners in their current line-up of Nick Pociask, Frank Czuri, John Sarkis, and Donna Groom (whose husband, Mark Groom, has been the group's drummer/conductor for more than 25 years).

DiscographyEdit

SinglesEdit

Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Label & number Chart positions Album
U.S. Billboard U.S. Cashbox U.S. R&B
1959 "Since I Don't Have You"
b/w "One Night, One Night"
Calico 103/104 12 7 3 The Skyliners (1959)
"This I Swear"
b/w "Tomorrow"
Calico 106 26 31 20
"It Happened Today"
b/w "Lonely Way"
Calico 109 59 43 Since I Don't Have You
1960 "How Much"
b/w "Lorraine from Spain" (from Since I Don't Have You)
Calico 114 98 Non-album track
"Pennies from Heaven"
b/w "I'll Be Seeing You"
Calico 117 24 24 The Skyliners (1959)
"Happy Time"
b/w "Believe Me"
Calico 120 Non-album tracks
1961 "I'll Close My Eyes"
b/w "The Door Is Still Open"
Colpix 188
"Close Your Eyes"
b/w "Our Love Will Last"
Colpix 613 105
1962 "Everyone But You"
b/w "Three Coins in the Fountain"
Cameo 215
"Comes Love"
b/w "Tell Me"
Viscount 104 128
1963 "Since I Fell for You"
b/w "I'd Die"
Atco 6270
1965 "The Loser"
b/w "Everything Is Fine"
Jubilee 5506 72 88 34
"Get Yourself a Baby"
b/w "Who Do You Love"
Jubilee 5512
1966 "I Run to You"
b/w "Don't Hurt Me Baby"
Jubilee 5520
1974 "Where Have They Gone"
b/w "I Could Have Loved You So Well"
Capitol 3979 100
1976 "The Day the Clown Cried"
b/w "Our Day Is Here"
Drive 6250
1978 "Oh How Happy"
b/w "We've Got Love on Our Side"
Tortoise International 11243 96 The Skyliners (1978)
"The Love Bug (Done Bit Me Again)"
b/w "Smile on Me"
Tortoise International 11312
1990 "You're My Christmas Present"
b/w "Another Lonely New Year's Eve"
Classic Artists 123 Non-album tracks

AlbumsEdit

  • The Skyliners -- Calico CLP-3000 (Mono only) -- 1959
  • Since I Don't Have You -- Original Sound OSR-LPM 5010 (Mono)/OSR-LPS-8873 (Stereo) -- 1963
  • Once Upon A Time -- Kama Sutra KSBS-2026 -- 1971
  • The Skyliners -- Tortoise International BXL1-2749 -- 1978

Jimmy Beaumont solo singlesEdit

  • "The End Of A Story" / "Baion Rhythms" -- Colpix 607 -- 1961
  • "Ev'rybody's Cryin'" (Billboard #100) / "Camera" -- May 112 -- 1961
  • "I Shoulda Listened To Mama" / "Juarez" -- May 115 -- 1962
  • "I'm Gonna Try My Wings" / "Never Say Goodbye" -- May 120 -- 1962
  • "Give Her My Best" / "I'll Always Be In Love With You" -- May 136 -- 1963
  • "There's No Other Love" / "Please Send Me Someone To Love" -- Gallant 3007 -- 1964
  • "Love Is A Dangerous Game" / "Just A Little Closer" -- Gallant 3012 -- 1964
  • "I Feel Like I'm Falling In Love" (Billboard #123) / "Tell Me" -- Bang 510 -- 1965
  • "You Got Too Much Going For You" / "I Never Loved Her Anyway" -- Bang 525 -- 1966

Janet Vogel solo single as Janet DeaneEdit

  • "Another Night Alone" / "I'm Glad I Waited" -- Gateway 719 -- 1963

Awards and recognitionEdit

The Skyliners were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.[20]

On August 11, 2019, a section of road in McKeesport PA's Renziehausen Park, Tulip Drive, was renamed Jimmy Beaumont Blvd. With Beaumont's family present, the dedication ceremony took place at the park's Lions Bandshell and was followed by a concert with the current Skyliners.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1999. Menomonee Falls, Wisc.: Record Research. ISBN 089820139-X.
  2. ^ "Frank Czuri | Jimmy Beaumont and The Skyliners". Theskyliners.com. Archived from the original on November 19, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Jimmy Beaumont, Skyliners: A Hometown Success Story". The Pittsburgh Press. February 23, 1989.
  4. ^ a b c "Jimmie Ross - Pittsburgh Music History". Sites.google.com. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  5. ^ "ROBERT M. "BOB" SHOLES Obituary: View ROBERT SHOLES's Obituary by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Legacy.com. September 3, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  6. ^ "Tortoise International Records". Discogs.com. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  7. ^ "Dan Schafer 1976 RCA single & jukebox strips". DanSchafer.com. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c "Rick Morris | Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners". Theskyliners.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  9. ^ Pore-Lee-Dunn Productions. "Interview with The Skyliners". Classicbands.com. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  10. ^ Rock, Doc. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1998 - 1999". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  11. ^ "Old Mon Music: Dick Muse & The Laurels". Oldmonmusic.blogspot.com. August 27, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  12. ^ "Frank Czuri | Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners". Theskyliners.com. Archived from the original on November 19, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  13. ^ Rock, Doc. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2000". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  14. ^ Rock, Doc. "The Dead Rock Stars Club - The 1980s". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "THE SKYLINERS". Joetroiano.wordpress.com. May 27, 2010. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  16. ^ Mervis, Scott (April 24, 2015). "Obituary: Walter 'Wally' Paul Lester / Original singer for the Skyliners | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Post-gazette.com. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Walter Lester. "Walter Lester Obituary - Southport, NC | Post-Gazette.com". Legacy.com. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  18. ^ Press, The Associated (October 9, 2017). "Pittsburgh music legend Jimmy Beaumont of the Skyliners dies at 76". Wtae.com. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  19. ^ "JAMES BEAUMONT Obituary - McKeesport, PA | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Legacy.com. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  20. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame | The Skyliners". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved June 29, 2018.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit