The Skyliners

The Skyliners Biography

The Skyliners

The Skyliners are a Pittsburgh-based American doo-wop group. Jimmy Beaumont (lead), Janet Vogel (soprano), Wally Lester (tenor), Jackie Taylor (bass voice, guitarist), and Joe Verscharen made up the original band (baritone). The Skyliners’ biggest success was “Since I Don’t Have You,” which they released in 1959.

“This I Swear” and “Pennies from Heaven” were other Top 40 hits for the Skyliners. “It Happened Today” (1959), “Close Your Eyes” (1961), and “Comes Love” (1962) are among the other favorites (1962). The original group disbanded in 1963, but reformed eleven years later (without Jackie Taylor) for “Where Have They Gone?” which became their final charting single.

Jimmy Beaumont recorded two major singles for the Bang label in 1965: the first, “Tell Me”/”I Feel Like I’m Falling in Love,” had medium-tempo soul-styled tracks; the second, “I Feel Like I’m Falling in Love,” featured slow-tempo soul-styled tracks.

Beaumont developed into an exceptional soul vocalist for his second Bang 45, “I Never Loved Her Anyway”/”You Got Too Much Going for You,” sounding nothing like his prior, more pop-styled attempts. Later on, several people wondered if it was really him who was singing. These two tracks are now considered collectibles in the Northern Soul genre. In 1966, the record was also released on the UK London HLZ 10059 label.

Wally Lester and Joe Versharen quit the band in 1975, and were replaced by Jimmie Ross and Bob Sholes. Don Davis, a Detroit-based record producer who worked with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., Johnny Taylor, the Dramatics, and the Dells, chose one of his favorite bands (the Skyliners) to record in his United Sound Studios in 1978. For the RCA subsidiary Tortoise International Records, they recorded the group’s “comeback” album. The tracks “Oh, How Happy” and “The Love Bug,” as well as a substantial remake of Dan Schafer’s classic RCA Victor single “A Day Without You, Dear,” were included.

Janet Vogel committed herself in 1980, and Cathy Cooper was brought in to fill her shoes. Rick Morris and Donna Groom succeeded her and Ross two years later when they formed a combo. Morris left the company in 1993.

David Proch accepted Beaumont’s invitation to join the organization. Tom Sholes, Bob Sholes’ brother, was also performing with the group at the time. The two were members of the group’s hometown, having attended St George High School in Pittsburgh’s Allentown district. Beaumont, Groom, Proch, and Nick Pociask formed the group.

David Proch, the third tenor for the Skyliners, died in an automobile accident on October 19, 1998, at the age of 44. In the U.S. Route 30 near Ligonier, Pennsylvania, his car crashed into a truck delivering asphalt. Dick Muse, a former member of the Laurels, took Proch’s place. Muse was replaced by Rick Morris in 2011. Morris was replaced by Frank Czuri in 2013. Nick Pociask was succeeded by Jim Gregorakis in January 2019. In September of this year, Eric Bruce took over for Frank Czuri. Joe Rock, their longtime manager and producer who also co-wrote “Since I Don’t Have You,” died of complications from quadruple bypass heart surgery on April 4, 2000, at the age of 63.

Four of the original members have died:

• Janet Vogel (born June 10, 1942 in Pittsburgh) committed suicide on February 21, 1980, aged 37

• Joe Verscharen (born August 30, 1940 in Pittsburgh) died of cancer on November 2, 2007, aged 67

• 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

• Jimmy Beaumont (born James Beaumont on October 21, 1940 in Pittsburgh) died in McKeesport, Pennsylvania on October 7, 2017, aged 76.

Until his death, Jimmy Beaumont was a member of the Skyliners’ current line-up, which included Nick Pociask, Frank Czuri, John Sarkis, and Donna Groom (her husband, Mark Groom, has been the group’s drummer/conductor for over 25 years).

Discography

Once Upon a TimeSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Since I Don’t Have YouSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
The SkylinersSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where Is The Singing Group The Skyliners From?

The Skyliners were originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were a popular doo-wop group in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Many of their hits include “Since I Don’t Have You,” “This I Swear,” and “Pennies from Heaven.” The group disbanded in 1974, but reformed in 1988 with some original members. The current lineup includes Jackie Taylor, Janice Peters, Wally Lester, and Joe Verscharen.

Who Are The Original Members Of The Skyliners?

The Skyliners were originally formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the late 1950s. The group’s original lineup consisted of lead singer Jackie Wilson, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Cozier, baritone saxophonist Eugene Patton, trumpeter Sammy Strain, bassist Joe Blunt, and drummer Billy Williamson. The group’s first big hit was “Since I Don’t Have You”, which reached the top of the Billboard R&B chart in 1959. The Skyliners continued to have success in the 1960s with hits like “It’s Wonderful To Be In Love” and “This I Swear”. The group disbanded in 1974, but reformed in 1988 with several original members. The Skyliners are still active today, performing at various events and festivals.

Who Sang Lead For The Skyliners?

The answer is Jimmy Beaumont. Beaumont was the original lead singer for the Skyliners, and he sang on some of their most popular songs, including “Since I Don’t Have You” and “This I Swear.” Beaumont left the group in 1963, but rejoined them for a brief period in the late 1970s. He passed away in 2017.

What Is Famous Song Of The Skyliner?

The famous song of the Skyliner is “Blue Skies.” It was written in 1926 by Irving Berlin and has been recorded by many artists over the years, including Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. The song has been used in many movies and television shows, including “The Aviator” (2004) and “Mad Men” (2007).

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