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Family of the late Jimmy Beaumont gathered at Renziehausen Park on Sunday to unveil a new street sign erected in honor of the late lead singer of The Skyliners.
Beaumont's grandchildren had the honor of revealing the sign on stage at the Lions Bandshell before a concert by the remaining members of the vocal group.
Beaumont, who was born in Pittsburgh but lived in McKeesport's Myer Park neighborhood for nearly 50 years, died in 2017 at the age of 76.
"We truly don't take it for granted that we had a star here in the City of McKeesport," Mayor Michael Cherepko said, "and without question as proud as Jimmy was to be a McKeesport resident, as a city, we were every bit as proud to have him here."
McKeesport City Council in July voted to rename a portion of Tulip Drive in Renzie after Beaumont, who led The Skyliners during their hitmaking years in the early days of rock and roll, when songs such as "This I Swear," "It Happened Today" and "Pennies from Heaven" reached the top of the pop charts in the U.S. and other countries.
Beaumont also co-authored, with the late Joe Rock, "Since I Don't Have You," which reached No. 12 on the Billboard pop chart in 1958 and has since become an American classic, having been covered by everyone from Ronnie Milsap to Guns 'n Roses.
The Skyliners were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. Beaumont was the last of the original members still performing with the group.
The permanent sign has been installed at the intersection of "Jimmy Beaumont Boulevard" and Eden Park Boulevard, next to tablets honoring McKeesport's two olympic gold medal winners, baseball player Rick Krivda and basketball player Swin Cash.
State Sen. Jim Brewster said he hopes seeing Beaumont's name with those of Cash and Krivda serves as a permanent reminder "of how great our city was, is, and still could be."
Beaumont was proud to be from McKeesport, Brewster said. "The dignity and pride he brings to the city is the kind of thing we want to continue," he said, adding that he hopes the example set by people like Beaumont serves as an inspiration in the future.
"We don't know who out there may be standing up here next" because of their achievements, Brewster said.
Joining Beaumont's grandchildren on stage were his wife, Ann, and his children, Stacey Schork of White Oak and Christina Shank of Penn Twp., along with their spouses.
A graduate of Pittsburgh's Carrick High School, Beaumont chose to relocate to McKeesport because his wife had been raised there, Schork said.
"Being a musician, he had the opportunity to move to places like L.A. and New York to further his career, but he decided to put down his roots in McKeesport," she said.
To her, Schork said, Beaumont will always be the dad who walked her to kindergarten at the former George Washington Elementary School every day, and dried her tears when she didn't want him to leave.
"You probably knew him for his musical ability, but he was known to us as the most amazing and loving and sentimental husand and father and grandfather," she said.
Schork said the evening's concert would be "bittersweet" to watch without her dad being present.
"He loved performing here every summer," she said. "It was an always an amazing night for all of us."
Jason Togyer is the editor of The Tube City Almanac and volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc. He may be reached at email@example.com.
Originally published August 12, 2019.