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Chordettes' Loss--Jinny Cole Janis Passes Away

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  • schlesmail
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20, 2003
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      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

      Hello all:

      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

      Marjorie Latzko

      [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,

      > 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,
      > Kaye

      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!

      --Joseph Schlesinger
      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)
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