Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
(Week of 12/16/06 - 12/22/06)

EXTENSIVE ADDED CONTENT, INCLUDING AUDIO, ON 2/25/22! (See marked section below.)
(Added Dolly Dawn, Varsitones and C-Notes pictures and information, along with the January 13, 2017 Wes Layne interview.)


"Your Not Worth My Tears"/
"Be Anything (But Be Mine)"
Dolly Dawn And The C-Notes
on Jubilee 6002
released in 1952

Above: Dolly Dawn. Click HERE for information about Dolly Dawn at the Peter Sando website. (Will open in a separate window)

Above: The C-Notes (L-R) Ronnie Irwin, Charles Hiller, Jane Griffis, Wes Lay, and Mort Hillman. Wes Lay changed his name to "Wes Layne" later in the 1950s.

Above: The C-Notes (From Cincinnati Times Star newspaper, January 1952).

Caption with the above picture:
The C-Notes of Cincinnati, singing quintet, are to appear Monday at 8:30 p.m. over CBS on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, according to Wes Lay, leader of the group. Wes, former member of Ralph Flanagan's "Singing Winds" and Johnny Ziegler's "Varsitones," is bottom right in the picture, the young man above him being Mort Hillman. The other two men are Ronnie Irwin and Charlie Hiller. Jane Griffis is the girl.

Wes writes from the Hotel Henry, New York, where the group is staying, that Bill Nimmo also lives there and that R.D. Wilbur, former WLWer and brother of Jimmy Wilbur, has been most helpful with the group. Wilbur is currently with WINS.

The C-Notes have arranged many auditions with various agencies and shows, according to Wes, who says that the group merely piled into his auto and left Cincinnati Jan. 5, were auditioned by Godfrey last Tuesday, and were picked to appear this Monday.


This is an edited conversation between Wes Layne (The C-Notes)
and Tony Fournier (The Vocal Group Harmony Web Site).

Listen to THE WES LAYNE INTERVIEW using Windows Media Player.

Listen to Great Day - The C-Notes - Test Pressing - 1952 using Windows Media Player.

(The photo of Wes Layne was provided by Amber Layne. She also contributed with the research.)

(The Great Day label image and audio track are courtesy of the "people vs. dr. chilledair" blog.)

(The clipping at far right is from the Salt Lake Tribune dated 3/5/51.)

(Wes Layne - 2017)

Above: The Varsitones (From Cincinnati Inquirer newspaper dated June 22, 1950). (L-R) Jack Gutjahr, Barbara Busch, John Ziegler, and Wes Lay.

Caption with the above picture:
The Varsitones, Cincinnati singing group, are featured on WLW-T's new summer quiz show, "Get On The Line." Formerly singers on the other two local video stations, the quartet use a style similar to that of the Modernaires.

Cincinnati Enquirer, August 9, 1950: The Varsitones, a quartette composed of Jack Gutjahr, Wes Lay, John Ziegler, and Barbara Butsch [sic?], jackpot winners on the Horace Heidt show, are to entertain the Cincinnati Executives Association at noon Monday at the Hotel Sheraton-Gibson.

Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, KS), December 3, 1950: ....Ralph Flanagan has added a vocal group to his organization, the first since he organized his band. To be called The Singing Winds (also title of the Flanagan theme song), the group is composed of three lads from Cincinnati University and the feminine vocalist, Lynn Tilton. Miss Tilton, who replaces Hope Zee, is a cousin of veteran vocalist, Martha Tilton.

Morning News (Wilmington, DE), March 22, 1951: ....Ralph Flanagan, one of dancedom's brightest new stars, and his orchestra will be the steller attraction on Easter Sunday (at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City)....The Flanagan aggregation includes the "Singing Winds," a new vocal quartet composed of three men, Jack Gutjahr, Wes Lay, and John Ziegler, and comely Lynn Tilton....

(Cincinnati Enquirer dated 10/7/50)
(Wisconsin State Journal Sun dated 5/25/52)
Barney Rapp and his New Englanders will open an engagement in Moonlite Gardens Friday night, continuing through Labor Day. Ruby Wright will be co-starred with Rapp himself. A special added feature will be The Varsitones, a quartet that has made a hit in radio and television. Ruby Wright will be heard in a number of the songs that she has popularized through records.

NEW YORK—Ralph Flanagan, flashing through the Midwest on a one-nighter circuit, took time out to hire a new vocalist, Lynn Tilton, cousin of Martha Tilton. She also will sing with the new Flanagan quartet, dubbed The Singing Winds, title of Falanagan's theme song.

The quartet was auditioned in Cincinnati where the combo already had acquired an extensive local reputation as The Varsitones. The members are Jack Gutchar, Wes Lay, and John Zeigler.

The group will make its debut with Flanagan's orchestra at the Casa Loma Ballroom and will continue on tour with the orchestra. They also will sing with the Flanagan crew on RCA Victor records.

HARTFORD COURANT, March 31, 1951:
A new voxcal quartet, the "Singing Winds", is with Ralph Flanagan today at the State Therater. Three men—Jack Gutjahr, Wes Lay, and Jack Zeigler and a comely lass, Lynn Titlton, cousin of Liltin' Martha Tilton—Made their debut with the Lanagan aggregation on November 27, 1950, at the Casa Loma Ballroom in St. Louis. They were named the "Singing Winds" after Flanagan's theme song.

They are natives of Cincinnati and, while boasting an average age of 22 1/4, are no newcomers to show business. John Zeigler, leader, coach, and arranger, has, at age 20, been a protege of the old Glenn Miller group The Modernaires. He recently wrote a song. "Baby Sittin'", successfully played on CBS's "Songs For Sale", formed the vocal group which won a Horace Heidt TV talent program, and was offered a spot on WKRC-TV in Cincinnati.

Zeigler, in addition to cartooning for the Cincinnati Post and Broadcasting Magazine also finds time to be a third year honor student at the University of Cincinnati.

Wes Lay and Jack Gutjahr, both 23, were also collegians at the University of Cincinnati, Jack garnering a degree in Business Administration while Wes attended the Liberal Arts college.

Lynn Tilton, 23, a graduate of Northwestern University where she was active in campus theatricals and musical comedy work. She joined Blue Barron's band after a successful audition with the Horace Heidt and Ted Mack shows, sound stepping stones in the professional field.

The "Singing Winds" first came to the attention of Flanagan when he played the Senior Prom at the Cincinnati school last June. The group was then known as the "Varsitones".

Above Left: JACKSON SUN, March 11, 1951:
Ralph Flanagan's Orchestra is presented by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service every Monday night at 9:00 over ABC and WTJS. Dubbed "The Flanagan Flair", the group offers a new and individual style in popular music, vocals by Harry Prime and harmonizing by The Singing Winds.

Above Middle: SUNDAY NEWS, April 27, 1952:
Ralph Flanagan (above) and his orchestra will open the Hershey Park Ballroom season on Saturday May 3, at 8:30 p.m. Flanagan will feature Rita Hayes and Harry Prime, vocalists, and The Singing Winds, vocal unit....

Above Right: IDAHO DAILY STATESMAN, February 25, 1951:
THE SINGING WINDS QUARTET will be featured with Ralph Flanagan's orchestra here March 1 at the City club concert and dance. The party will be held in the Crystal Ballroom And Lounge of Hotel Boise. It will begin with a coctail hour at 8 p.m. followed by dancing at 9 p.m.... Also appearing with Flanagan will be vocalists Miss Patty King and Harry Prime.
(NOTE: Wes Lay is at far right in photo, Lynn Tilton is at the bottom.)

NEWARK ADVOCATE, March 2, 1951:
MARKING THE FIRST anniversary of the Ralph Flanagan Band, RCA-Victor has issued four new singles which contain the best sides the Flanagan Band has cut. Band projects with a bounce and crispness, particularly in such instrumentsals as "Slow Drive" and "Hartzanflours", for solid commercial impact.

"On The Little Big Horn", an original, is a promising new tune smartly delivered by The Singing Winds vocal group. Harry Prime, band vocalist, also hits strongly on "Every Time I Fall In Love", another new popular....

EVANSDALE COURIER, November 18, 1951: Rita Hayes

ARIZONA REPUBLIC, February 3, 1952: Harry Prime


These three RCA Victor selections all were released in January and February of 1951. This is the time period the articles from December 31, 1950 and March 31, 1951 show Wes Lay with The Singing Winds. Although Wes told me he didn't recall any noticeable recording sessions by The Singing Winds, the evidence seems to point the other way.

Click on the options below for Streaming Windows Media Player.

Beautiful - Ralph Flanagan Orchestra (Vocal By Harry Prime And The Singing Winds) - RCA Victor 20-4008 - 1951.

Everytime I Fall In Love With You - Ralph Flanagan Orchestra (Vocal By Harry Prime And The Singing Winds) - RCA Victor 20-4067-A - 1951.

The Wang Tang Blues - Ralph Flanagan Orchestra (Vocal By The Singing Winds) - RCA Victor 20-4182-B - 1951.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence

[To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]

************** This last section of new content is provided by Bruce Baryla **************

(The first recorded on September 24, 1952 and the second probably the same date)

LISTEN using Streaming Windows Media Player....

Square Dance Boogie - Gloria Bright And The C-Notes - Acetate Recording - 1952.
Love Letter - Gloria Bright And The C-Notes - Acetate Recording - 1952.
BOTH SONGS played in sequence

Gloria Bright was the professional name of Gloria Breit, the wife of arranger Sid Ramin. The songs were both written by Sid's brother Jordan Ramin and Jordan's writing partner Bill Jack.

Ramin moved from Boston to live and work in New York, arriving January 24, 1952. He started working at Harnett (aka Wheeler Studios aka Wheeler Records — run by Harriet Wheeler) on July 31, 1952 and quit December 31, 1952.


August 26, 1952
Finished Square Dance Boogie and it looks like a good one. Called Sid who wants me to use Gloria on the dems and then he will give them to Bill Kaufman to take around.

September 15, 1952
Met Mort Hillman who has a vocal group called The C Notes...they sound great. Gave him Square Dance and Love Letter to do.

September 22, 1952
Had a real bad day. The vocal group couldn't record as I put down the wrong date in the recording book and have to do it Wednesday instead of tonight. Gloria came down and she sure didn't sound good. Mort is doing a commercial session and wants us to do two songs besides buying records to sell.

September 24, 1952
We recorded Square Dance and Weddin' Waltz Boogie and they came out well. Had a big hassle over the commercial session with Wheeler, but wound up in charge of the whole thing again and will use Gladys, Matti, Joe and the C Notes.

September 25, 1952
Made up some cuts on Boogie songs.

October 2, 1952
Saw Victor (Henri Rene) and he like Square Dance Boogie very much...took it. Made up more records from session.

October 6, 1952
Saw Jack Gold who might come up with an advance on Square Dance Boogie...see him tomorrow.

October 15, 1952
Recorded the C Notes for Wally. Like Jean, girl singer from the group, who was all dressed up in grey suede.

October 21, 1952
Capitol took Square Dance and sending it out to the coast.

October 22, 1952
Jack Gold called and said Ella Mae Morse looks good on Square Dance.

October 23, 1952
Gave Mort an okay for dems to be made on "Be Sure" and "Mop The Floor"...for $70. Will have to pay that out my own.

October 27, 1952
Gave Mort $25 in advance of the should come out good.

October 30, 1952
Gave Mort $15 more for dem session.

November 3, 1952
Jack Gold is already cool on Square Dance and says all he has gotten were big nothings from the companies he showed it to.

November 4, 1952
Jack wants a few more days with Square Dance before he says no to us on the song.

November 18, 1952
Saw Sid Feller at Capitol who took Mop The Floor to send out to coast and Ella Mae Morse may do Square Dance.

December 9, 1952
Must think of some angle to work out with Sam Most. Have to do arrangement on girl's song "Won't You Say You'll Be Mine" with vocalist, Sam's band [Sam Most?] and Mort and the C Notes."

This is the end of the new February 2022 content.

(From The Cash Box dated 3/22/52)

(Brooklyn Daily Eagle dated 6/9/50)
Above: Label image for Jubilee 6002. This is the only known record released by The C-Notes. Above right is a picture of Dolly Dawn. She had at least one other record on Jubilee (#6036), "It's Too Soon To Know," released in 1953, but without vocal group backing.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 11, 1951: CASA SEVILLEóDolly Dawn, with a new hair color, new figure, new gowns, and some pleasant small talk (also new for her) to go along with her old singing voice, is the "name" act and a pleasant one, in the Spring revue which opened last week at Casa Seville in Franklin Square. She puts a lot of zing into the show.

Listen to this week's selections by Dolly Dawn And The C-Notes:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

     Click on the options below for Streaming Windows Media Player.

     Your Not Worth My Tears - Jubilee 6002 - 1952.
     Be Anything (But Be Mine) - Jubilee 6002 - 1952.
     BOTH SONGS played in sequence

     [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]

     At left is a clipping from the 1943 Billboard Music Year Book.