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The Arts Foundation Of Olde Towne is a neighborhood based, Arts & Humanities incubator that serves to host and produce projects that are about, or initiated by residents from the Near East Area of the City Of Columbus, Ohio.

The Harmonaires


Harris Steele

Group: The Harmonaires
Description: Previous to WWII, there was an airplane factory on the East Side of Columbus, near the public airport, called Curtiss-Wright, later called North American Rockwell. In 1941 two janitors were overheard singing by their supervisor, who encouraged them to form a group. The group grew to twelve men who became the singing ambassadors for Curtiss-Wright, during WWII. They made weekly appearances on WLW in Cincinnati as the Harmonaires. The group had a repertoire of over 500 songs and eventually toured all over the country. The Harmonaires appeared on the "Ed Sullivan Show" when is was on radio and were part of the first network television broadcast. The group went to Hollywood and worked in a film called One Drink Too Many. The Harmonaires performed together until 1975.
Pictured L-R: Harris Steele, Lawrence McGee, Edward Ritchie, Ray Repono, Charles Rickman, Dave Newlin, J. Leroy Bowen, Fugate Page, Calvin Ward, Walter Willis, George Boswell, Harold "Ham" Clark, Ragland Reed
From the collection of: J. Leroy Bowen

For a glossy print of this image refer to ID# ARC07-40

©2000 A.F.O.O.T.






Harmonaires
Instrument: vocal
Group: The Harmonaires
Description: The Harmonaires at Walter Reed Hospital

The Harmonaires entertaining wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital. Included in this photo are Harris Steele, Lawerence McGee, Edward Ritchie, Ray Redmond, Charles Rickman, Dave Newlin, J. Leroy Bowen, Fugate Page, Calvin Ward, Walter Willis, George Boswell, Harold "Ham" Clark and Ragland Reed.
Pictured L-R: Harris Steele, Lawerence McGee, Edward Ritchie, Ray Redmond, Charles Rickman, Dave Newlin, J. Leroy Bowen, Fugate Page, Calvin Ward, Walter Willis, George Boswell, Harold "Ham" Clark, Ragland Reed.
From the collection of: J. Leroy Bowen

For a glossy print of this image refer to ID# ARC07-43

©2000 A.F.O.O.T.






Harmonaires
Instrument: vocal
Group: The Harmonaires
Description: Back to the 40s

"I'd like to go back to 1940! This 1989 and 1990 is getting older and older, and I like to be young! Ed Sullivan...! He really gave us a big hand in New York. On the Ed Sulllivan Show, that was radio, but the very first TV show where they had several stations ... those four stations aired the first network TV broadcast. They were just on a small screen, we appeared on there, we worked and rehearsed for about two weeks. When we went to the station to start the show, something went wrong with the whole transmission, and we had to wait for an hour, but we put it on anyhow.

We went out and made a movie with Ruth Warrick, called
One Drink Too Many...,the opportunity to be in Hollywood and see what was happening there was a pleasure.

We retired the group in 1975. One of the fellows, our bass man had taken ill. We had a lot of bookings that we couldn't do, due to the fact that he was ill, so we just retired the group."

J. Leroy Bowen as told to Arnett Howard.

This version of the Harmonaires featured Calvin Ward, Fugate Page, "Big" Ed Ritchie, Dave Newlin and J Leroy Bowen


Pictured L-R: Calvin Ward, Fugate Page, Big Ed Ritchie, Dave Newlin, J Leroy Curly Bowen
From the collection of: J. Leroy Bowen

For a glossy print of this image refer to ID# ARC07-44

©2000 A.F.O.O.T.