Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Tip Tops feat. Shirley Jester on Huber

The Tip Tops Feat. Shirley Jester

CP-1337 - Safety First
CP-1338 - Satellite For Two

Huber 1004


Shirley Jester (1994)

Shirley Jester died in 2003.

From her obituary :

Raised in a musical family - her father played in Arnold's Jazz Band downtown - she was playing the piano by the time she was 5. She had the ability to play anything by ear - almost instantly.

While in high school at Our Lady of Angels in North College Hill, she began working part time as a staff pianist for WKRC-TV, going full time after her 1951 graduation.

There, she played music for locally produced television shows. She also met George Palmer, who was then working at the station as a news anchor. The two were married in September 1962.

At 25 she started playing in nightclubs, starting at the Coal Hole*, a popular club located in the now-defunct Sinton Hotel.

"Shirley did her homework. She made the Coal Hole a legitimate room," said Leo Underhill, former jazz disc jockey for WNOP.

Over the next 40 years, Ms. Jester performed solo and with jazz groups all over Cincinnati and nationally. She had gigs at The Top of the Crown, in the former Clarion Hotel; the Iron Horse Inn in Glendale and at Kenwood Country Club.

*Coal Hole : Named for the space it occupied where coal had been stored in the old Sinton Hotel before it was converted to another source of heat.

Jelly Bean Acres was one of WKRC-TV’s early-morning shows for young viewers. Mari Kay (left), Shirley Jester and Roy Starley read stories, sang, and talked with puppets.


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