SPOTLIGHT ON THE ORIOLES - PART TWO
"Everything They Said Came True"/
"Don't Tell Her What's Happened To Me"
"It's Over Because We're Through"
"Don't Cry Baby"/
"Robe Of Calvary"
Above:The Cash Box Cover 3/5/50. CAPTION: The high-flying Orioles are pictured above admiring the trophy awarded them on stage of the Apollo Theatre, New York, by the disk jockeys in recognition of their tremendous popularity....Pictured above are left to right: Dizzy Gillespie; Ray Carroll [WHOM]; Willie Bryant [WHOM]; The Orioles; song-writer Deborah Chessler; and Jerry Blaine, president of the Jubilee plattery.
(NOTE: Bryant is holding the trophy. The Orioles huddled around him, in white jackets and bow ties, are (L-R) Tommy Gaither, Alexander Sharp, Sonny Til, George Nelson, and Johnny Reed. Blaine is at far right. In back between Nelson and Reed is Harold Jackson [WLIB]. In back between Chessler and Blaine are Bill Cook [WAAT] and Phil "Trash" Gordon [WWRL.)
Click HERE for an article about The Orioles by Marv Goldberg. (Will open in a separate window)
PITTSBURGH COURIER, December 24, 1949: DIZZY G., ORIOLES AT NY APOLLO
NEW YORKAlong with the chimes of holiday carols will be another kind of sound along 125th Street. For with the Christmas cheer, the local vaude house, the Apollo boasts the fringed stylings of Dizzy Gillespie and his bop crew not seen locally in months and the Orioles quartet, supported by an all-star variety cast.
During the opening day's ceremonies, the Orioles will be presented by some of the city's well-known disc jockies in honor of their many hit discs on the Jubilee label this year. Participating will be Willie Bryant and Ray Carroll of WHOM, Phil (Trash) Gordon of WWRL, Ralph Cooper of WMCA, Harold Jackson of WLIB, and Bill Cook of WAAT.
Above: The Orioles.... (Top) Alexander Sharp, (Bottom L-R) Sonny Til, George Nelson, Ralph Williams, and Johnny Reed. Williams had replaced Tommy Gaither as the group's guitarist after Gaither was killed in an automobile accident in November 1950.
Above Left: The Orioles with Jerry Blaine from February 1950.... (L-R) George Nelson, Sonny Til, Alexander Sharp, Jerry Blaine, Tommy Gaither, and Johnny Reed.
Above Right: The Orioles circa 1951/52.... (Top L-R) Alexander Sharp, Sonny Til, George Nelson, Ralph Williams, Johnny Reed, and (Bottom) Charlie Harris.
NEW YORK AGE, November 11, 1950:
THE ORIOLESAn outfit of likeable youngsters who trekked to the big town from Baltimore less than two years ago and walked right into the corny, warm heart of New York, are temporarily out of commission... Our sympathy in this hour of their sorrow to the family of TOMMY GAITHER, guitarist of the group, who was killed instantly when their automobile cracked up three and a half miles out of their hometown Baltimore last Sunday (at this writing one other member of the group is in critical condition) while the others including GEORGE NELSON suffered less injuries. Sonny Til was not in the car, and therefore escaped injury. THE ORIOLES, within two years, became the most popular vocal group in the country and it all started with their first recording smash, "IT'S TOO SOON TO KNOW" which swept the country like wild fire.
This columnist was associated with the WILLIE BRYANT-RAY CARROLL disc show then and we remember when record mogul JERRY BLAINE and songwriter DEBORAH CHESSLER and a quartet of slightly frightened, very awed youngsters walked into the studio with a playback recording. WILLIE gave the record a spin and promised to give the kids a hand... He did and they clicked. And today, ORIOLE records have built a labelthe JUBILEE label for JERRY BLAINE, made a big name for composer DEBORAH CHESSLER, and with their own distinctive brand of music have earned them a place in America's heart.
It is ironic that this disaster hit them while riding the peak of their popularity...and ironic that it came three and a half miles away from home. We've always had a soft spot ourselves for THE ORIOLES...happy girl-chasing SONNY...short, strutting GEORGE "MUSCLE JAW" NELSON...and all the gang. They were a fun loving lot who enjoyed their popularity without letting it swell their collective head. And we hope for the injured, speedy recoveries...and for the deceased, a rest in peace and the long memory of those they made happy with their music.
Above: The Orioles in 1952.... (Top Row L-R) Johnny Reed, Alexander Sharp, (Middle Row L-R) Sonny Til, George Nelson, Ralph Williams, and (Bottom At Piano) Charlie Harris.
~~~ JERRY BLAINE ~~~
MORNING CALL (Allentown, PA), April 15, 1939: BLAINE AT MEALEY'S
Jerry Blaine [see picture at right], who with his orchestra will be the featured attraction at the Mealey auditorium on Saturday evening. This band has been featured for two solid years at the Park Central Hotel in New York City and has been broadcasting for that time over WOR-MBS coast to coast.
THE BILLBOARD, March 30, 1946: JERRY BLAINE'S OWN PLATTERY
NEW YORKJerry Blaine, erstwhile sales manager for Cosmopolitan Records, is starting a diskery of his own. Company and label name not yet set, tho Blaine does have production facilities lined up and expects to get started shortly. Cute twist in Blaine plattery operation is fact that music publisher Gil Mills is acting as press agent for Blaine. He sent out first announcement on Blaine's plans this week in regular tub-thumper release style, but on Gil Mills Music stationary.
THE CASHBOX, March 3, 1947: JERRY BLAINE RESIGNS FROM NATIONAL RECORDS
NEW YORKJerry Blaine, national sales manager of National Records, announced this past week that he will leave that label effective February 18th. It is understood that Blaine's resignation was tendered on the "friendliest of terms," and he chose to leave in order to devote more of his time to "other business interests."
One of the those "interests" is known to be Cosnat, local record distributing firm, and also the local sales point of National Records. Another "interest" is believed to be a new record label, for which, it is said, he has been lining up financial backing.
Prior to joining National, Blaine served as sales chief of Cosmo Records.
THE CASHBOX, August 7, 1948:
NEW YORK: ....Jerry Blaine, of Cosnat Distributors, all excited about a new group he's got. They're tagged The Orioles, with advance reports indicating some sensational song styling in the offing for music operators....
THE BILLBOARD, October 30, 1948: BLAINE, De MAY FORM JUBILEE MUSIC PUB'RY
NEW YORKJerry Blaine, Cosnat distribber, and Sid De May, Natural Records prexy, have formed a pubbery, the Jubilee Music Company, to publish tunes out of the Natural catalog. Deborah Chessler, who penned It's Too Soon To Know, has been signed to a five-year writing pact with Jubilee, and the Orioles, whose platter of the tune is now riding high in race lists, have entered into a five-year recording contract with Natural. Too Soon will not figure in the Jubilee deal, Miss Chessler having sold the number to the Buddy Morris pubbery some weeks ago for a reported $7,000. The Orioles' forthcoming Natural release, due next week, features a new tune by Miss Chessler.
THE BILLBOARD, May 5, 1959: "DISTRIBUTING MY FORTE," SAYS BLAINE
NEW YORKJerry Blaine, head of the five city Cosnat Distributors and chief of the Jubilee-Josie labels, stated in a letter to manufacturers this week that as of May 15 he would no longer be associated with Jubilee. According to Blaine's epistle he intends to spend all of his time with Cosnat.... Blaine said he was interested in selling the label "if the price is right."
JERRY BLAINE 1939
THE CASH BOX COVER, October 21, 1950:
CAPTION: Smiles are the order of the day, as singers Sylvia Froos and Dick Brown eye Jubilee Records prexy Jerry Blaine adding his signature to their recording contracts. Both Sylvia and Dick have hot juke box material in their respective renditions of "Can't Seem To Laugh Anymore" and "A Love Like Yours," which music ops are currently spinning. Sylvia and Dick were recently signed to long term contracts with Jubilee, with sales reports of their recordings indicating certain success for both warblers.
NOTE: The flip of Sylvia Froos' record is the Deborah Chessler composition "Forgive And Forget".
THE CASH BOX COVER, August 8, 1953:
CAPTION: Every once in a while, a sensation sweeps across the record field, creating a new star. This time it's 6 year old Brucie Weil, shown here amidst a whirl of contracts. The youngster, whose Barbour recording of "God Bless Us All" is currently the talk of the business, bids fair to become the hottest kiddie property in some time. Shown above, grouped around Brucie, are: Jerry Blaine, president of Jay-Gee Records, which is handling the record; Stan Stanley, professional manager of Chappell, the firm which bought the selling rights to the song; Larry Barnett, vice-president of MCA, to whom Brucie has just signed; and Mal Braveman, in charge of publicity for the youngster.
NOTE: Jay-Gee Record Company, which encompassed Jubilee Records, handled the maufacturing and distribution of the Barbour label record.
THE CASH BOX, August 15, 1953: JUBILEE INKS VERNA LEEDS
NEW YORKJerry Blaine, President of Jubilee Records, is shown signing pert Vera Leeds to a long term contract for the company as the thrush's manager, Roy Gould, looks on. Verna is known to many as the first hillbilly hep cat and to others who have seen her perform as Mizzy Lou. On her first record "Love In Bloom," she does a novelty hillbilly item a la Jo Stafford's "Temptation" backed with "All Over You."
Above Left: THE CASH BOX, April 11, 1953:
NEW YORKAndrew Wideman, 12 year old piano-blues singer featured on "Star Time" NBC-TV's top kid variety show, is all smiles as he watches Jerry Blaine, President of Jubilee Records, sign him to a long term recording contract on the indie label. Looking over Wideman's shoulder is George Scheck, the "Star Time" TV producer who discovered Wideman and set up the disc deal. The singer's first sides will be released April 15th.
Above Right: THE CASH BOX, January 18, 1958: DOT PARTY
NEW YORKRandy Wood, President of Dot Records, was the guest of honor at a cocktail party held recently by Dot at New York's Warwick Hotel. A huge turnout included a host of Dot artists and many song publishers and their pluggers and trade paper reps. Some of the luminaries surrounding Wood in the above pic are, left to right, Ira Howard of The Cash Box, Jerry Blaine, Jubilee Records Prexy, Wood, and Bob Austin of The Cash Box.
Above Left: INDIANAPOLIS STAR, October 9, 1940:
Jerry Blaine and his orchestra will play for dancing at the Indianapolis Athletic Club's opening supper dance of the fall and winter season Saturday for members and their guests....
Above Middle Left: MORNING CALL (Allentown, PA), November 18, 1939: PLAYS HERE TONIGHT
Jerry Blaine, whose orchestra, of national radio fame, will appear at the new Empire ballroom, located in the former Manhattan Auditorium, opposite Central Park. The Empire is the Lehigh Valley's newest and largest ballroom. Blaine plays streamlined rhythm and features Arlyn Chandler as vocalist.... The band and its featured star recently concluded a two-year engagement at the Cocoanut Grove in the Park Central Hotel, New York. [See clippings just below.]
Above Middle Right/Right: Arlyne Chandler, aka Arlyn Chandler and Arlyne Chanler.
MIAMI NEWS, February 16, 1943: Arlyne Chanler, lovely Clover Club singer.... Miss Chanler's particular brand of beauty and voice is above-the-average for current night club shows.... Arlyne, before the war, was one of the top candidates for radio's television. She appeared on Columbia Television in 1941. Come the peace, you'll probably see her via the air waves often!
Brooklyn Daily Eagle dated 8/6/37 [That's Jerry Blaine flying the airplane.]
Morning Call (Allentown, PA) dated 11/14/39
LISTEN: (Windows Media Player)
1. "The Dipsy Doodle" - Jerry Blaine And His Stream Line Rhythm - Bluebird B-7228-B - 1937.
(Vocal by Phyllis Kenny)
2. "I Double Dare You" - Jerry Blaine And His Stream Line Rhythm - Bluebird B-7 354-A - 1937.
(Vocals by Phyllis Kenny and Jerry Blaine)
BOTH played in sequence
At Right: Phyllis Kenny (Detroit Free Press dated 6/16/38)
BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE, May 14, 1937:
....Jerry Blaine, orchestra leader at the Cocoanut Grove, has signed Phyllis Kenny, who sings and is pretty, too, to a three-year contract....
BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE, August 21, 1937:
Jerry Blaine will make a series of shorts at Paramount's Astoria Studios featuring the singing of Phyllis Kenny and Blaire's rhythm orchestra which appears at the Park Central Cocoanut Grove. It will be Blaine's first motion picture since he played the part of a pilot in "Wings" while a student at Stanford. His other pictures on the Coast included "Sweeter Than Sweet" and "Spirit of Notre Dame."
(NOTE: The IMDB website shows the 1938 musical short "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Heart" with the credited cast consisting of Jerry Blaine and Phyllis Kenny.)
BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE, January 21, 1938:
"Hollywood on Parade," the fast-moving musical revue staged by Boots McKenna and now current at the Cocoanut Grove atop the Park Central Hotel, is breaking all records for attendance at this rendezvous....The music is by Jerry Blaine and his orchestra, with Phyllis Kenny as vocalist.
BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE, August 15, 1937: UP IN THE AIR WITH JERRY BLAINE
Jerry Blaine, a licensed pilot, flew in the (movie) "Wings".... (and would hum along with the drone of the airplane motor while flying)....
(Later on,) his first idea was to build an airplane large enough to accomodate his band and the drummer (on the stage)....flying around the Cocoanut Grove harmonizing with the airplane motor. On second thought, Jerry concluded that while the airplane would be very convenient on tours, hotel managers might object to having their dance floors cluttered up. He settled on an airplane motor, a miniature one at that....The motor was finished, functioned with admirable fluidity, and that, little children, was how streamline rhythm was born (harmonizing with the drone of the motor)....
A Stanford graduate, Jerry Blaine's first love was Hollywood. After "Wings," he formed his own band and played the Pacific Coast, before going on tour which took in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City. He opened at the Park Central Cocoanut Grove last December, a month before the airplane motor idea. He is heard over WEAF four times a week, the only orchestra leader in the country hitting the airwaves so often. Last week was his fifth anniversary as a band leader.
(NOTE: "Wings" is a 1927 silent film starring Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, and Richard Arlen, including a smaller part by Gary Cooper. The movie featured aerial stunt flying.)
Morning Call (Allentown, PA) dated 4/14/39
Logan Daily News (Ohio) dated 10/3/40
Above: Label image of Jubilee 5028 released in July 1950. "Everything... was recorded on February 17, 1950, while the flip was done in 1949.
The line-up for this record, and continuing on through Jubilee 5051, is Sonny Til, Johnny Reed, George Nelson, Alexander Sharp, and Tommy Gaither. Again, as was their standard formula for ballads, Sonny Til sings the main lead and George Nelson sings the bridge part.
The Cash Box Award O' The Week (6/10/50):THE ORIOLES JUBILEE 5028.... Everything They Said Came True/You're Gone
You can wrap up a great big bouquet for The Orioles right quick, for this latest etching by the group is by far and large the best thing they've done since "It's Too Soon To Know." Consistent winners that they are, the vocal combo step out in a new role on this pair, that should cause a ton of tongue wagging in no time at all. Both ends of the platter are blue-ribbon winners. Top deck is a slow, tender ballad that had been around some. This rendition is a cinch to top every pop version recorded, and likewise win tons of silver for music ops. Tender tones of scintillating and thrilling romantic music echo throughout the side. Send an extra round of applause in the direction of Sonny Til, whose spot solo vocal on the side is nothing less than sensational. On the other end with "You're Gone," the group keeps the tempo slow and sentimental, and comes up with another winner. Tune is a melancholy ballad that scores from the very start. The bulk of the beauty in the disking lies in the orchestral background, which features a section of singing strings under the direction of maestro Sid Bass. The disk is a juke box naturaldon't miss it!
Above: Label images of Jubilee 5065 recorded on September 6, 1951 and released in October 1951. As shown, it came out on the blue label and also the newer design pink and blue label.
The line-up for this record, and continuing on through Jubilee 5115, is Sonny Til, George Nelson, Alexander Sharp, Charlie Harris, and Ralph Williams.
Above: Label image of Jubilee 5082 recorded on January 10, 1952 and released in April 1952. Note that composer is Willie Bryant, New York DJ and sometimes MC at events.
Above Left: Clipping from October 1952.
Above Right: Label image of Jubilee 5092 recorded on July 28, 1952 and released in August 1952.
The Cash Box Award O' The Week (8/30/52):THE ORIOLES JUBILEE 5092.... Don't Cry Baby/See See Rider
A great piece of blues comes forth as done by the sending harmony of the Orioles. The lads who always sound great on slow sentimental pieces have just such a side to offer to the HOT charts. The number tagged "Don't Cry Baby" gets a tender and heartbreaking reading from the lead vocalist as he consoles his love that they'll start their broken love affair over again. Another fine solo by the low voiced chanter of the quintet supplements a fine reading by the rest of the group. The Buddy Lucas ork sets the pace with some solid instrumentation as the backing. Flip is another sock side labeled "See See Rider". This is another blues number set to a moderate beat. The Orioles can chalk up two more fine sides to their long list of sensational waxings.
The Billboard Review (9/6/52):THE ORIOLES JUBILEE 5092....
See See Rider (78) The Orioles and the Buddy Lucas ork combine to hand the ditty a solid reading featuring a pushing beat.
Don't Cry Baby (77) The plaintive ballad is chanted with persuasion by the group. Good weeper-blues wax.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good.")
Above: Label image of Jubilee 5134 recorded in December 1953 and released in January 1954.
The line-up for this record is Sonny Til, Alexander Sharp, Charlie Harris, and Gregory Carroll.
The Orioles' last recordings for Jubilee were in 1955. An "Orioles" group, still led by Sonny Til, moved on to the Vee-Jay label in 1956.
The Cash Box Award O' The Week (1/16/54):THE ORIOLES JUBILEE 5134.... Robe Of Calvary/There's No One But You
The Orioles, riding high on their successive sucesses, "Crying In The Chapel" and the two sider "Mission Of St. Augustine" and "Write And Tell Me Why" come up with another in the religious field, "Robe Of Calvary". The beautiful blend of voices has carried the boys into the pop field in each of the earlier releases and it is a very strong possibilty that "Calvary" will also find a very strong acceptance popwise. The under lid, "There's No One But You", is a slow ballad beautifully and tenderly reacted by The Orioles. It is a strong deck in itself and could provide operators and retail outlets with a two sided seller.
The Billboard Review (1/16/54):THE ORIOLES JUBILEE 5134....
Robe Of Calvary (80) Tune now getting a little action in the pop field is handled very smoothly by the Orioles. It is not up to their last few records, mainly because the material is not as strong, but it should grab a lot of spins and some juke loot.
There's No One But You (77) Here's a warm version of the evergreen by the boys, with the baritone lad selling the tune with a lot of feeling while the boys back him with a rythmic beat. Listenable wax that could pull spins. Good backing for the flip.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good" and 80-89 "excellent".)
NOTE: A very special thanks to Joe Marchesani for his contribution to this Record of the Week.
NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.
Listen to this week's selections featuring The Orioles on Jubilee from 1950 to 1954 using Windows Media Player:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. Everything They Said Came True
2. You're Gone
3. Don't Tell Her What's Happened To Me
4. It's Over Because We're Through
5. Don't Cry Baby
6. See See Rider
7. Robe Of Calvary
ALL SEVEN played in sequence
[To download audio files, right-click on link
and then click "Save link (target) as..."]
At Right: Sonny Til Clipping (Indianapolis Recorder 7/19/52)
Click HERE for SPOTLIGHT ON THE ORIOLES (PART ONE).
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