SPOTLIGHT ON THE THREE KEYS - PART TWO OF TWO
"(I Would Do) Anything For You"/
Above: The Three Keys (L-R) Bob Pease, John "Slim" Furness, and "Bon Bon" Tunnell. Note the same ties and semi-different suits.
Above: The Three Keys (L-R) "Bon Bon" Tunnell, Bob Pease, and John "Slim" Furness. Note the different ties and semi-same suits.
(Above: Brooklyn Daily Eagle dated 8/14/32)
(Above: Troy Times dated 8/17/32)
(Right: New York Age dated 10/8/32)
SOME THREE KEYS APPEARANCE CLIPPINGS:
(Above: Albany Evening News dated 7/5/33)
(Left: New York Age dated 12/31/32 - Compare the two
THE THREE KEYS DISCOGRAPHY: [Thank you to Ferdie Gonzalez and his Disco-File.]
- COLUMBIA 2706-D — MOOD INDIGO / SOMEBODY LOSES - SOMEBODY WINS — SEPTEMBER 1932
- BRUNSWICK 6388 — JIG TIME / SOMEONE STOLE GABRIEL'S HORN — OCTOBER 1932
- BRUNSWICK 6411 — FIT AS A FIDDLE / NAGASAKI — NOVEMBER 1932
- BRUNSWICK 6423 — BASIN STREET BLUES / WAH-DEE-DAH — NOVEMBER 1932
- BRUNSWICK 6522 — (I WOULD DO) ANYTHING FOR YOU / THAT DOGGONE DOG OF MINE — MARCH 1933
- BRUNSWICK 6567 — RASPUTIN / OH BY JINGO! — MAY 1933
- VOCALION 2523 — HEEBIE JEEBIES / SONG OF THE ISLANDS (NA LEI O HAWAII) — SEPTEMBER 1933
- VOCALION 2569 — I'VE FOUND A NEW BABY / YOU CAN DEPEND ON ME — NOVEMBER 1933
NOTE: There is one known unreleased song, recorded for Columbia on August 16, 1932, titled "ZONKY."
- VOCALION 2730 — JIG TIME / SOMEONE STOLE GABRIEL'S HORN — JUNE 1934
- VOCALION 2732 — FIT AS A FIDDLE / NAGASAKI — JULY 1934
- VOCALION 2744 — BASIN STREET BLUES / WAH-DEE DAH — JULY 1934
- VOCALION 2755 — (I WOULD DO) ANYTHING FOR YOU / THAT DOGGONE DOG OF MINE — AUGUST 1934
- VOCALION 2765 — RASPUTIN (THAT HIGHFALUTIN LOVIN' MAN) / OH, BY JINGO! — AUGUST 1934
EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):
Listen to "Heebie Jeebies" - The Three Keys - Vocalion 2523 - 1933.
This side was recorded on August 16, 1933 and released in September 1933.
The record was the first of two new releases by the trio on Vocalion (1933),
followed by reissues on Vocalion of all the Brunswick released sides (1934).
EXTRA EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):
Above are still shots of The Three Keys from the movie short "Rambling 'Round Radio Row #6," released in March 1933. They sing and play "Them There Eyes." The song takes all of 1 minute and 14 seconds. This seems to be their only appearance on film. Notice they appear to be wearing the same ties and suits.
Listen to "Them There Eyes" - The Three Keys - Movie Short - 1933.
Above: Label image of Brunswick 6388 recorded on September 8, 1932 and released in October 1932.
Above: Label image of Brunswick 1381 (England) recorded on September 21, 1932 and originally released on Brunswick 6423 (USA) in November 1932.
Above: Label image of Brunswick 6522 recorded on October 12, 1932 and released in March 1933. The flip, "That Doggone Dog Of Mine," was recorded on January 9, 1933.
NEWSPAPER BLURBS (More blurbs can be found in Part One):
1. Delaware County Daily Times, Chester, PA (4/15/32)—Earl Blow, of Flower Street, is sponsoring a musical tea at his home on Sunday, April 17. Among the talent expected to appear will be the Radio Boys of Bob Pease....
2. Afro-American (11/26/32)—....Bon Bon, Slim and Bob came to radio and to quick fame from a small Pennsylvania town (Chester), where they sang for small amateur theatricals and for the pure love of it. At that time they were unknowns. Today, four months later, thousands of listeners are familiar with their names, their careers and, above all, the close harmonies that are rushing them to fame as radio and vaudeville entertainers....
3. Afro-American (11/26/32)—....And now for the Three Keys: Bob at the piano, Slim with the guitar, and Bon Bon, vocalizing. These three lads showed a closeness of harmony and a wide range of tone and volume, which at once explained their phenomenal radio successes. Bob's piano playing is dazzling, and Bon Bon's voice is a marvel for one so small, but Slim with that sweet-sounding guitar is the master of all we have ever heard on a guitar. Slim drew more applause for his most exceptional guitar work than did the other two Keys. N.J. Sales is managing them....
4. Pittsburgh Courier (1/7/33)—Speaking of the Three Keys, these boys during 1933 will climb to the top of ether crowd-pleasers; they topped the Mills Brothers, who were featured at the Lafayette Theater last week. Comparing the two, the Mills Brothers seem to have grown stale and it is believed that Don Redmond's Orchestra has spoiled "the color" the quartet at one time possessed. Color has a lot to do with it, you know. See Bon Bon the crooner of the Three Keys perform. you'll agree.
5. New York Age (11/4/33)—THREE KEYS OF RADIO FAME ON SUCCESSFUL TOUR OF EUROPEAN CAPITALS....The Three Keys, popular radio and theatrical trio, are reported meeting with much success on a tour of Europe. They are now under the management of Sam Grisman. They went to England four weeks ago and successfully filled engagements in theatres and night clubs. They left England last week for similar engagements in Paris....Bon Bon, whose real name is George Tawnell [sic], was born in Philadelphia. He used to appear on the air alone for the "Chocolate Drops Hour" over WCAU, sings second [?] tenor, with Bob at the piano singing first [?] tenor; Slim plays the guitar and sings baritone. Bon Bon does all the solo work....
6. Delaware County Daily Times, Chester, PA (11/17/33)—The "Three Keys," Chester's contribution to the radio and theatrical entertainment world, have returned to this city after a successful tour of the European continent. While abroad, Bob, Slim and Bon Bon played in Paris, London, Liverpool, Berlin, and several other of the larger cities....
7. Delaware County Daily Times, Chester, PA (6/14/34)—"Three Keys" a piano, a voice, a guitar. The mention of "Three Keys" recalls to the reader the meteoric rise of three young fellows from the obscurity of a Chester night club to Broadway and radio fame as stars on a nation wide hookup. A brilliant achievement heralded as the "finds" of the year they remain along the white way and on the fickle ether less than a year. Then to London, Paris, gay European nights and more success. Everywhere the "Three Keys" was the household word. Hotcha rhythms and the soft sweet harmonies of the southland as only the native could interpret them.
Something went wrong and the appeal of the boys was no more. Contracts were cancelled and things took a turn for the worse. The featured vocalists married and the general tenor of things was other than smooth. The two remaining "Keys," Bob and Slim returned to Chester and began to "gig" in local clubs or beer dispensaries. It was whispered that the boys were finished, done, that they never had the stuff that's needed to keep a performer in the bigtime. Other things were said but the trouble few really knew.
The truth of it all is that dame gossip was without facts. The boys at that time were secretly practicing. Changing their style, increasing their repertoire, polishing their finesse, building themselves into a greater "Three Keys" in every way. They were determined to comeback and, having a taste of the headlights, worked incessantly to achieve that aim.
When this is released the "Three Keys" will be making their first step back up the ladder to stardom. A road tour of the better vodvil houses of the country is the engagement that Bob, Slim and Bon Bon are scheduled to begin this week. Under the management of Sam H. Steiffel, for one year the local trio hopes to produce the stuff that will hurl them to the heights they formerly enjoyed. Meanwhile their friends are waiting to see them in their comeback role and hope for them the realization of their every dream.
8. New York Age (7/7/34)—3 KEYS HAVE NEW MANAGER....The Three Keys, successful radio and stage entertainers, are now under the management of Bud Stevenson. They recently returned from Europe where they played at the Palladium and Mount Sania Theatres in London, and broadcast over the British Broadcasting System. They are now located in Philadelphia and are expected to resume their broadcasting early in the fall.
9. Delaware County Daily Times, Chester, PA (1/7/36)—John Furness, Robert Pease and John Pernell, members of the Three Keys, radio harmonizers, have left this city for Atlantic City, where they have a three-day engagement. The Keys go from there to New York, their headquarters.
10. Pottstown Mercury, PA (1/22/36)—The Three Keys, known to radio audiences the country over, again will appear on the stage of the Hippodrome theater Saturday. They played here with the "Radio Coast to Coast Revue" that appeared at the Hippodrome several weeks ago. Stars of the WCAU Broadcasting company, they were the hit of every show and will bring a new type of rhythm with new and catchy tunes.
11. Afro-American (7/9/38)—BOB PEASE ILL....Bob Pease, one of the "Three Keys," who wowed the jitterbugs while guesting on a recent local appearance, is a very sick man in the Philadelphia General Hospital.
12. New York Age (7/23/38)—Robert (Bob) Pease, died in Philadelphia—member of the Three Keys trio.
(Thanks to Marv Goldberg for his help with the blurbs.)
Listen to this week's selections featuring The Three Keys on the Brunswick label from 1932 and 1933:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
[To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]
A. Stream RealAudio...
1. Jig Time
2. Someone Stole Gabriel's Horn
4. Basin Street Blues
5. Anything For You
6. That Doggone Dog Of Mine
ALL SIX played in sequence
Click HERE for SPOTLIGHT ON THE THREE KEYS - PART ONE OF TWO.
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