Today In Pop Music (October 20, 2015)


TODAY IN POP MUSIC HISTORY (PART I)
THE HEAD SKYLINER TURNS 75


They were one of Pittsburgh’s finest…doo-wop and vocals all rolling into one. The Skyliners electrified us with hits in the late 50’s and early 60’s starting with this their biggest hit in early 1959…
 
Lead singer Jimmy Beaumont turns 75 Wednesday. According to Wikipedia, he still performs with today’s Skyliners’ lineup.
 
Here’s a dynamic live version of the Skyliners’ “Since I Don’t Have You”…
 
 
Not to be outdone with one great ballad hit, the Skyliners did it again in the summer of 1959…and check out the dramatic vocals of Janet Rapp in the fade…
 
 
The Skyliners were just ballads as this late 1959 hit proves…and get ready to sing “Shooby-Doo-Wop”…
 
 
Finally, the Skyliners’ last Top 40 hit from 1960…
 
 
Only two original Skyliners members are alive…Beaumont and Jackie Taylor. Janet Vogel committed suicide in 1980 while two other originals died of cancer–Joe Verscharen (2007) and Wally Lester (2015). Joe Rock, the group’s long-time manager and producer, died in 2000 from complications of quadruple heart surgery.
 
Did “Since I Don’t Have You” sound familiar to you? Maybe it’s because you’ll remember the song as a remake for the “American Pie” guy in 1981…
 
 
For more on the Skyliners…
 
 

Preview YouTube video The Skyliners – This I Swear (1959)

Preview YouTube video “It Happened Today” The Skyliners

Preview YouTube video The Skyliners-Pennies From Heaven

Preview YouTube video DON McLEAN: “SINCE I DON’T HAVE YOU” (1981)


 TODAY IN POP MUSIC HISTORY (PART II)
“SUGAR SHACK” RULES THE POP CHART


This week in 1963, this was the #1 song…
 
 
“Sugar Shack” by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs spent five weeks at #1 in the fall of 1963. JImmy turned 76 last month. Some sources say he was born in 1940 but others say it’s 1939, which I tend to believe. The Fireballs only met with modest success with two minor top 40 hits before Jimmy Gilmer joined and got billing with the group’s name on “Sugar Shack.”
 
As you’ll hear here, Jimmy and the song sounded every bit as good in 1999…
 
 
The followup to “Sugar Shack” sounded remarkably similar…
 
 
Meanwhile, you might remember the group for this 1968 Top tenner, when they were known again as the Fireballs…
 
 
For still more on the Fireballs…
 
 

Preview YouTube video Jimmy Gilmer – Sugar Shack (Live)

Preview YouTube video Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs – Daisy Petal Pickin’

Preview YouTube video THE FIREBALLS BOTTLE OF WINE ATCO RECORDS

TOMORROW:
WE START THE COUNTDOWN OF
THE TOP 10 HALLOWEEN SONGS

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