• The El Venos
    (Standing) Leon Taylor, Joey Daniels, Bernard Palmer & Daniel Jackson - (Seated) Anna Mae Jackson & Leon Daniels 

    The El Venos (Pittsburgh, PA)


    Personnel :

    Leon Daniels (Lead)

    Daniel Jackson (First Tenor)

    Anna Mae Jackson (Lead)

    Leon Taylor (Second Tenor)

    Joey Daniels (Baritone)

    Bernard Palmer (Bass)


    Discography :

    The El Venos 

    Singles :
    1956 - Geraldine  / Now We're Together (Groove 4G-0170)
    1957 - My Heart Beats Faster / You Must Be True (Vik 4X-0305/RCA 8303)
     Unreleased :
    1956 - Are you An Angel? (Groove)
    1957 - You're Gonna Be My Girl (Vik)
    1957 - Oui, Monsieur (Vik)
    1958 - Pretty Knees  (AMP-3)
    1960 - It's The Little Things (Calico)
    1960 - Stereophonic  (Calico)

    Anne Keith (Anna Mae Jackson)
    1959 - (I Am Just A) Lonely Girl (bb El Venos)/ Lover's Prayer (bb the Altairs) (Memo M3)


    Biography :

    Formed as a sextet, they stayed that way through the release of their two singles. The members were Leon Daniels (lead), Daniel Jackson (first tenor), Anna Mae Jackson (lead, Daniel's sister). Leon Taylor  (second tenor), Joey Daniels (baritone, Leon's brother), and Bernard Palmer (bass). Raised in the Penn Hills and Duquesne area outside Pittsburgh, the six 16- year- olds started hitting street-corner harmonies during 1955.They came to the attention of WILY radio jock Bill Powell who arranged for a record deal with RCA. In 1956 the group was packed off to New York City to record five songs, issuing the Leon Taylor-penned "Geraldine" on RCA's Groove subsidiary by late fall.

    Leon Daniels, Daniel Jackson, Anna Mae Jackson, Bernard Palmer, Leon Taylor  (Joey Daniels not on the picture)

    Geraldine" got immediate play on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand," but when Bill Powell (now their manager) arranged for a live appearance on that program the boys couldn't raise the money from their parents for the Pittsburgh to Philadelphia trek. With no finances to tour or do anything but local TV, the strong radio play of " Geraldine" (from New England to New Orleans) couldn't keep the record happening.

                                                               Bill Powell                                                   

    Still, the El Venos performed locally with many hit acts that were passing through Pittsburgh on one-nighters, The Turbans and The Heartbeats among them. Their next single, "You Must Be True" (1957), was issued on another RCA affiliate , Vik Records, but saw even less activity. Two years passed while the group raised money to audition in New York for Calico Records. Auditioning the same day was another Pittsburgh group,  The Skyliners. Doo wop folklore says the El Venos were actually favored by Calico on that fateful day, but the Skyliners' unique sound afforded them the first recording opportunity, subsequently yielding the now standard "Since I Don't Have You."

    KQV deejay Al Nobel at tented the Skyliners recording Session for "Since I Don't Have You"

    The El Venos did get to do two sides for Calico, but they never saw the light of day. On yet another New York trip, the group managed to cut two more songs for Mercury's Amp 3 division, but these also remained in the can. On her return to Pittsburgh, Anna Mae Jackson left the El Venos. Bill Powell, meanwhile, was busy putting the voices of his new group The Altairs on the El Venos Amp 3 tracks, leaving only Anna's lead vocal. He also dubbed in Altairs lead George Benson's guitar work.  Though Powell pumped the record on his show, Amp 3 wasn't impressed enough to release it. Around this time, Ms. Jackson changed her name to Anne Keith and recorded " Lover's Prayer" backed by the Altairs and released on Memo Records in mid- 1959. They soon went their separate ways.


    Songs :

    The El Venos

    Geraldine                           Now We're Together             My Heart Beats Faster

    You Must Be True                  Are you An Angel?        You're Gonna Be My Girl

    Oui, Monsieur


    Anne Keith (bb The El Venos)       Anne Keith (bb the Altairs)

    (I Am Just A) Lonely Girl                          Lover's Prayer  


    your comment

    Follow this section's article RSS flux
    Follow this section's comments RSS flux