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The Quin-Tones

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The Quin-Tones name will be forever etched in doo wop Heaven because of "Down the Aisle of Love," released in June 1958. Its "Here Come the Bride" opening caught the public's ear. It became a hot seller, and a popular wedding song, reaching number 18 on Billboard, September 15, 1958, selling more than 800,000 copies. Roberta Haymon (lead), Carolyn "Sissie" Holmes, Jeannie Crist, Phyllis Carr, and Kenny Sexton attended William Penn Sr. High in York, PA. Originally, called the Quinteros, they performed at local dances. At one function they impressed and befriended Paul Landersman, a disc jockey at WHGB in Harrisburg, who offered a management deal. Promising an appearance on American Bandstand within a year, the starry-eyed teens signed and cut four tunes. "Ding Dong" appeared on Chess Records in February 1958. It failed to chart, but generated enough interest to get some bookings for the newly named Quin-Tones. The next session produced "Down the Aisle," a song they had been performing and sharpening on the road. Doc Bagby's Red Top label release it, but the demand got so heavy that Hunt Records took over to fill the orders. Subsequent 45s had the Hunt Record logo printed on them. "Please Dear," the flipside, featured Sissie Holmes on lead. Having a hit increased their gigging, and they even appeared on American Bandstand, as Landersman promised. Their most memorable gig took place August 28, 1958 at the Apollo theater with the Coasters, the Olympics, the Spaniels, and the Chantels, where they received a standing ovation. Radar wouldn't have helped "There Be No Sorrow" find the charts, however, and a remake of Edna McGriff's "Heavenly Father" went unnoticed. The infinitesimal sales caused Landersman and Bagby to lose interest. Despite the big hit, they didn't schedule any more Quin-Tones' sessions. Disappointed, the members became disenchanted, and after five singles, never recorded again. All moved on, and started working regular jobs. The Quin-Tones never received a cent for "Down the Aisle." Reportedly, Dick Clark bought their contract. All they know is that it sold close to a million copies, but they never received an accounting. In 1960, they officially disbanded when Roberta Haymon married. Kenny Sexton, the lone male, joined the service prior to moving to San Diego, CA. In 1986, the Quin-Tones reunited, sparked by a DJ from Grand Rapids, MI who had been looking for them for 25 years, not knowing they had been in York all the time. Jeannie Crist sings in her church's choir, and Ronnie Scott (keyboard player) hasn't been heard from yet. On a sad note, Roberta Haymond-Johnson died in 1996, and Sissie Holmes died in 1995, but the New Quin-Tones continue. Vince Carr (Phyllis Carr's brother) is the primary lead, while Ceaser Westbrook and Buck Generetta primarily sing backup. Phyllis Carr manages the group, but no longer performs. The New Quin-Tones cut a demo of Con Funk Shun's "Straight from the Heart," and are seeking a record deal. Currently, they perform at private affairs and local clubs. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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