Chordettes' Loss--Jinny Cole Janis Passes Away
- Occasionally, I'm cast in the unenviable role of disseminating to the
Chicago/Midwest A Cappella listserv sad news about the passing of a
prominent contributor to our mode of singing. My colleagues in
barbershop harmony have many contacts in the greater a cappella
community, & the following news just came in over the Harmonet
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bbshop) . . .
From: "Latzmuzk" <latzmuzk@F...>
Date: Mon May 19, 2003 9:06 pm
Subject: Re:Chordettes' loss
I just learned, with great sadness, that Jinny Janis, founder and
original tenor of the Chordettes, passed away last night from lung
cancer. Jinny's father was King Cole, once President of SPEBSQSA.
When Jinny left in June 1953 to have a baby, she allowed me to take
her place, and let me have all the perks that went with it including
recording with the Chordettes. I got to sing "Mr. Sandman" instead of
When I retired in 1956, Jinny came back and sang with the gals until
they retired in the early '60's. Jinny loved to sing and especially
woodshed...as the [barbershop] Pioneers group will confirm. A little
anecdote about our friendship: in 1992, when I broke my hip while
playing tennis, and Walter was already handicapped with a stroke from
the year before, we needed help. First Lynn, the lead of the
Chordettes, came to take care of us (for two weeks), and when
Jinny found out about it, she flew from Palm Springs to take over.
She stayed for ten days, and went back home on Christmas Day, and she
wouldn't even let us pay for her airfare! Jinny was a beautiful gal
with a beautiful voice and a dry sense of humor. We will miss her so
[A little historical trivia: For those of you who don't know, Walter
Latzko is a legendary barbershop arranger. Remember the Buffalo
Bills, of "The Music Man" fame? Walt wrote many of their best
arrangements. He also wrote some terrific charts for the Suntones,
the quartet that used to appear on Jackie Gleason's TV show in
the '60s. Both quartets were past international champions of
And now a follow-up note from Lynn Hauldren, barbershop baritone
extraordinaire, founder of Chicago Natural Gas & Chordiac Arrest,
Empire Carpet pitchman of late-nite TV renown, & one of my best
barbershop buddies . . .
From: "Lynn Hauldren" <elhaul@a...>
Date: Mon May 19, 2003 11:24 pm
Subject: Jinny Cole
This sad news came today from Kaye, the daughter of Jinny Cole Janis.
Jinny was the tenor of the famous Chordettes, and the daughter of
King Cole, past Society president. More than a professional group
singer, Jinny was a fine barbershopper and an excellent woodshedder
who rarely missed a SPEBSQSA International. She was a true lady and
loved by everyone who knew her.
> Dearest Friends and Family,small.
> This is Jinny's daughter, Kaye. I wanted to let you know that mom
> passed away early this morning after a very short bout with lung
> cancer. She left this world as she lived it; never depressed, never
> afraid or regretful. She said that she viewed this diagnosis as a
> gift from God: much more preferable than dragging around an oxygen
> tank for another 10 years. She told me repeatedly over the past 25
> days that she'd had a wonderful life, and she was so grateful to
> each of you for helping it be so. She was ready - even eager -
> to go and meet her Lord.
> We have not yet finalized the memorial service plans. If any of you
> would like information when we are done with them please contact me
> at thunt1@d... [sorry it's truncated, thanx to Yahoo--that's how I
> received it] and I will let you know.
> Thank you for playing important parts in Mom's life...both large and
> Love,Just a personal note . . . one of the highlights of my barbershopping
experience was hearing the original Chordettes get together & sing
all their old pop hits during the 1992 SPEBSQSA International
Convention in New Orleans. They sounded as good as on the records I
grew up with. What a great bunch of gals!
zinger99@... (backup: schlesmail@...)
member Shoreliner Chorus (http://www.nsn.org/evkhome/bflat)
member New Tradition Chorus (http://www.newtradition.org)
founder Barbershop Harmony Chicagoland (http://www.bbs.singer.as)