IN THE STYLE OF THE INK SPOTS - PART SEVEN
"You Gave Your Love"/"What'll I Do"
by The Park Avenue Jesters
Tenor Solo by Ray Reynolds
on 20th Century 2028 b/a
released in 1947
"You Gave Your Love"/"What'll I Do"
Above: Clipping of The Park Avenue Jesters from The Billboard dated 6/19/48. So, how does this Philadelphia group relate to the one on the 20th Century label (located in Philadelphia). The Park Avenue Jesters also show up on Claude, another Philly label, in 1947 with "Tenor Solo Ray Reynolds" (label image and audio near bottom of this page). On the flip of Claude, the lead singer is "Joe Lento," who is also lead on at least one of the "comedy-musical" group releases on DeLuxe (1948) and one on Click (1948). It is reasonable to conclude this is all one and the same group.
Notice what appears to be a "Click" graphic on the drum (they recorded for Click Records in 1948). The "Click" is exactly the same format as on their record labels.
Above: Note that the "Click" graphic on the drum has now been obliterated and only Deluxe Records is mentioned. Also, notice the "straight" non-comedic suits in the middle picture that were used for their solo vocals and four-part harmony in contrast to their comedic numbers (see the following Billboard review).
THE BILLBOARD, April 24, 1948: An established favorite with Eastern lounge operators, the Park Avenue Jesters this year made their first trip to the midwest and scored heavily in some of the top territory lounges as well as Chicago bistros. This male foursome is a standout because of the heavy comedy it can provide lounge patrons. While it is capable of working up top straight instrumentals, with its blend of sax, doubling clary, piano doubling accordian, guitar and drums, it's the mirth-quaking specialties that make it a show lounge favorite.
The material is mostly original, showing the boys off as a vaude attraction built to the demands of lounge patrons. The showmanship and animation, coupled with a number of costume changes, and plenty of props and gimmicks, make it an eye-catcher as well as ear catcher. The vocals, from solo to four-way harmony, are a pleasant contrast to the comedy when patrons request a melodic standard or pop. Allen Rupert, Philadelphia, is the Eastern rep, while Mutual Entertainment Agency, Chicago, is Midwest rep.
Daily Journal (Vineland, NJ) dated 5/29/47.
Above: The Park Avenue Jesters, from circa mid-to-late 1950s, in their "straight" non-comedic outfits. The female could be Terry Adrian (aka Terri Adrian), who had a record on the Oscar label with The Variety Boys in 1952. See pictures of Adrian further down this webpage. The Park Avenue Jesters also had a record on Oscar, a Philadelphia label, in 1952.
Adrian was with The Park Avenue Jesters from 1956 to at least 1962. However, a different female, Lorie Harmer, had been with them in 1955. A picture of Harmer was not found.
(From Austin Casey)....Concerning the Park Avenue Jesters:
In 1950 the lineup was apparently Joe Lento (Guitar), Harry Chait (Bongo Drummer), Tony Stumpo (Piano), and respected Jazz musician Joe Rinaldi (Saxophone).
In 1952 Joe Lento had a group called the Luni-Tics that broadcast live over WAEB from "The Lounge" nightclub somewhere in Pennsylvania... presumably Allentown. He had apparently left the Park Avenue Jesters at that point.
(From Marv Goldberg)....Concerning the above photo:
The rightmost instrument is the common baritone saxophone, but the one to its immediate left is the rare bass saxophone. The bloody thing is so big and clumsy that only once in my life have I seen a musician play one. That same display contains a tenor sax, a clarinet, a flute, and an alto sax. I'm surprised that there's no soprano sax there to complete the set.
Above: The Park Avenue Jesters in one of their comedic outfits.
(Above) Bristol Daily Courier (PA) 2/4/50.
(At Right) The Billboard 1/24/48.
Above Right: Note there is another group named "The Jesters" in the same ad, who appear to be country and western and recorded for the 20th Century label.
(From Götz Alsmann)....Concerning the "other" Jesters:
They were indeed a hillbilly trio, performing in three part harmony, singing cowboy style and playing in the then also very typical instrumentation of accordion, guitar and bass fiddle. They could be very swinging if they wanted. In the mid-1940s they were quite frequently heard on V-Discs. One of their most popular tunes was their rendition of "Egyptian Ella."
Courier-Post (Camden, NJ) 6/15/55.
Courier-Post (Camden, NJ) 5/4/56.
Courier-Post (Camden, NJ) 12/21/62.
Courier-Post (Camden, NJ) 3/13/67.
FORT LAUDERDALE NEWS, July 1, 1956: THE DAWN PATROLNewly arrived from the top night club circuit of the country, the Park Avenue Jesters bring color and rhythm to the goings-on at the Four O'Clock Rendezvous. A jazz group with a hot vocalist, the Jesters manage complete identification with their comedy, too.
NOTE: Is this "our" Park Avenue Jesters? Does "vocalist" mean a female member? If so, why is she not in the picture? Why are there only three people shown? The 5/4/56 Courier Post ad shown just above this picture indicates that Terry Adrian was already with the group. Were the songs by the "hot vocalist" straight, non-comedic?
Above: Label image of 20th Century 2028. Ray Reynolds is lead tenor on both sides. The name of who performed the talking bass part (on both sides) is not known. Reynolds was lead singer on another side by this group, on the Claude label (scroll down for label image and audio). The Park Avenue Jesters had records released on Claude (1947), 20th Century (1947), Deluxe (1948), Click (1948), Oscar (1952), and Arcade (1954). These are all Philadelphia labels, except Deluxe, which was located in Linden, NJ. The Arcade record is instrumental and straight boogie/jump.
The Billboard, December 7, 1946: Philadelphia: ....Park Avenue Jesters signed for six sides with 20th Century Records here.
(Anyone know if the other four sides were released or are available?)
The Billboard, February 15, 1947: ....20th Century diskery signed Mac Ceppos as recording director and added the Jesters and crooner Dick Todd to its talent roster.
(NOTE: Mac Ceppos was an orchestra leader who recorded for various labels, including 20th Century while he was there. The Jesters in this announcement may have been the "hillbilly" group, see the Ballen ad further up on this page.)
Listen to this week's selections by The Park Avenue Jesters on 20th Century 2028 from 1947:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
A. Stream RealAudio...
1. You Gave Your Love
2. What'll I Do
BOTH played in sequence
[To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]
Don't Turn Your Back On Me - The Park Avenue Jesters - Claude 1A - 1947
This song, which was composed by Eddie Carter, was released by his Eddie Carter Quartet, a Philadelphia group, in 1953.
(Will open in a separate window)