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July 7, 2004

James F. Arnold, an original member of The Four Lads singing group, has died of lung cancer at age 72. Arnold died June 15 after spending the last 20 years giving voice lessons out of his Sacramento home. Born in Toronto, the son of a concert pianist, Arnold and three school friends formed a quartet that evolved into The Four Lads. The group began performing at clubs in Toronto in 1950 and signed a recording contract in 1952. Their hits included "Standing on the Corner," "Moments to Remember" and "Istanbul."

Frank Busseri, another member of The Four Lads, said Arnold's tenor voice was the group's key to stardom. "An amazing thing about Jimmy Arnold, he had a very, very powerful voice," said Busseri. "In our record 'Istanbul,' where he sings way high, he would have to stand with his back to the microphone. It wouldn't take his power. It sounded like he was singing two or three octaves higher than he was singing..."

"It was because of his voice that we became as popular as we did. He had a beautiful voice, almost angelic." Arnold retired after 30 years with the group.

Arnold and his second wife, Linda, moved to Sacramento in the 1980s and Arnold began teaching music through the James Arnold School of Voice. He also ran a children's choir for 17 years and a performing arts program for children at a local playhouse, sang with a local quartet and sang the national anthem at Sacramento Kings' games. He and the other original members of The Four Lads were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame last September in Sharon, PA.

Posted by acapnews at July 7, 2004 11:03 PM

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