"Since I Don't Have You"
(Some info about the "love theme" from Buckaroo Banzai, researched by Silver Fox, and this information can originally be found at http://www.worldwatchonline.com/music.htm.)
Dig through The Skyliners releases for "Since I Don't Have You."
Joe Rock, a teenager in Pittsburgh, wanted to be a studio backup singer. Attempts at this led to his becoming a local record promoter. A friend told him about a group called The Crescents, a 13-year-old, 14-year-old and two 15-year-old singers. After adding another 14-year-old named Jimmy Beaumont, they recorded "Be Mine", the first song Joe ever wrote. With this recording The Crescents became the #1 a capella group in Pittsburgh after being played on a local radio request show. The request line operators, six girls known as the Saturday Secretaries, started The Crescents' fan club, which soon numbered over 2000.
Joe sent a demo tape to ABC Records and was offered a contract. The group waited too long to sign, however, and the label withdrew the offer - but not before the group had spread a rumor that they were recording on ABC. Soon several members quit; with replacements, The Crescents were Janet Vogal, Jackie Taylor, Joe Ver Scharen and Wally Lester, with Jimmy Beaumont singing lead and Joe Rock as manager.
Joe's girlfriend broke his heart by moving to an Oklahoma stewardess school. One night, while driving to rehearsal and thinking of her, Joe wrote lyrics, stopping at each traffic light to jot down words, and gave the sheet to Jimmy for comments. The next night Jimmy came with a melody, and the group started singing the song. Someone was there with a tape recorder and the first version of "Since I Don't Have You" was completed. Thinking the tape had stopped running, Janet ad-libbed the beautiful counterpoint notes of the ending.
Joe Rock sent tapes to thirteen record companies; all sent back rejection letters. One letter stated that the song was too negative and should be changed to "Since I Have You". Another commented, "A song with thirteen 'you' 's at the end will never sell." When a new label, Calico, formed in Pittsburgh, Joe set up an audition. On the way, the group had a head-on collision in their 1952 Dodge, but no one was hurt. They signed with Calico after singing "Since I Don't Have You" and "One Night, One Night".
"Since I Don't Have You" was recorded on December 3, 1958, at Capitol Studios in New York City. The record was released the day after Christmas and was heard for the first time at 10:20am on Art Pallan's KDKA show. Since the name "The Crescents" had been used in the falsely rumored ABC signing, Joe chose the new name The Skyliners for the group. The record stayed at #1 in Pittsburgh for seven weeks. Dick Clark invited The Skyliners to perform on American Bandstand on Friday the Thirteenth of February, 1959. The very next Monday they received orders for over 100,000 copies of the song.
"Since I Don't Have You" is registered as written by "Beaumont-Vogal-Ver Scaren-Taylor-Lester"[group credit]; Joe Rock's name is not included. The song, featured in several movies (including "American Graffiti"), is currently available on recordings by The Skyliners, Art Garfunkel, Gus Hardin, Don McLean (probably closest to the original), Dorothy Moore, Patti LaBelle and Barbara Streisand -- and, of course, by Dr. Buckaroo Banzai, who never got around to finishing it for us...
This page was last updated on June 10th, 2016.
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