Wally Lester, an original member of The Skyliners, died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer at age 73 in Southport, N.C. The Skyliners were best known for their 1959 hit Since I Don't Have You. At 17 Lester traveled to New York to record the song at Capitol Studios. The song reached No. 12 in 1959. In Cashbox, the Skyliners became the first white group to top the R&B charts. The group formed in Pittsburgh during the late 1950s but broke up in 1963. The original lineup of the group was Jimmy Beaumont, Janet Vogel, Wally Lester, Jackie Taylor and Joe VerScharen. Janet Vogel The Skyliners female vocalist took her own life in 1980 after a battle with drug addiction.
Jimmy Beaumont Facebook page noted: “My good buddy Wally Lester passed away. … We began touring the country in 1959 with Wally keeping us laughing all the way. I will miss you, but I won’t say goodbye. I’ll just say so long my friend.” Wally Lester left the music business and was a retired sales manager and company vice president for Clairol and lived in North Carolina.
Since I Don't Have You