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December 16, 2003

The Desert Sun

He was laid to rest alongside local legends. Sinatra, Bono and, on a clear December day in the desert, Jimmy Beaumont. Pompadoured teen idol, juke box king of the Pittsburgh dance floor when doo-wop dotted the dial, Beaumont and his Skyliners rode the charts in the late 1950s and early í60s with now-classics "Since I Donít Have You" and the ballad "This I Swear." Forty years later, listeners still remember the magic in those songs.

"When you hear the hook and chorus, it stays in your head. Itís like going to Disneyland and hearing ĎItís a Small World.í It stays in your head," said Bob Crosby, president and chief executive officer of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in Pennsylvania, an artist-run foundation that honors the bygone bands of the 1950s and 1960s. Beaumont and The Skyliners were named to the hall of fame in 2002. "They hear that hook and you know itís a hit."

But Beaumont isnít at Cathedral Cityís Desert Memorial Park. Not because he isnít qualified to share a granite marquee with the other legends. He just isnít dead. Heís in Pittsburgh.

Itís a bizarre tale that began as a lot of stories do, from an interesting, but random tip, this one from an obituary on a small blues Web site. More

Posted by acapnews at December 16, 2003 8:31 AM


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