Jack Servello

Jack Servello has been involved with music in the Altoona area since 1980.  He started out in a band called The Midnight Skies with Charlie shannon.  He began playing with them in 1980 after he graduated high school, playing places like The Knotty Pine in East Freedom and the Altoona fraternal clubs and things like that.  He played with them until 1982.

He said that they were playing at The Brass Rail for country night.  " I had seen in the paper that The Spoon River Band, which was a big country band in the area at the time, was looking for a guitar player.  I didn't think that I was good enough for that band." He was just twenty years old.  " We were playing at The Brass Rail and I am looking out and saw Dennie Huber talking with my parents.  I go on break and my dad says Dennie wants to introduce you to somebody."  Dennie takes Jack over and introduces him to Mark Snyder and Craig Shaffer of The Spoon River Band.  He talks with them and they ask him to come in and audition.  "The other members of the band were also there.  We did one song, 'Cryin' My Heart Out Over You' " The band sang the chorus and Jack sang the high part.  Servello says, "They stopped and started laughing.  I asked them what they were laughing about.  They said that it took them six months to teach the other guy how to sing that part.  I got it on the first try.  I was with The Spoon River Band for two years." He played on their second LP.  He also wrote a song on that record as well.  He adds that they played everywhere including festivals and fairs.  They also played in Montoursville for Cookie Days.  That is where they make Archway Cookies.  The biggest show that they did was opening for Conway Twitty at The Cambria County Fair in 1983 in front of about four thousand people.

After Spoon River, he joined a band called The Prime Time Band, which played oldies.  "I played with them for twenty some years." They had prime time parties that they did for their fans, once a year, which included a floor show.

In addition to those bands, he had a band of his own called The Organized Sound with his brother and his brother's friend.  They played at Lakemont Park and things like that.  They also performed as The Servello Family.  Under that name, they were the first band to ever play at Heritage Plaza in downtown Altoona.  It was at the dedication of the plaza.  They played at Boyertown USA as well.  "We were the only group to get paid by Boyertown after we performed."

Jack also writes commercial jingles such as the J&P Auto Mart jingle.  He wrote "Here Comes Steamer" for The Altoona Curve which they play at every game.  As he was preparing to take the song to them, his friend Cory Geishauser, who played Steamer, called and said that they want to hear the theme song that you wrote for the Curve too.  Servello said that he didn't write a theme song for the Curve.  Servello says that he asked what Cory was talking about.  So, Jack ended up writing "Let's Hear It For The Curve", which the Curve bought but never used.  Rich DiLeo, who is still on the radio, sometimes plays "Let's Hear It For The Curve" on his sports program.

***To read the complete article check out the upcoming book release They Came From Blair County Volume 2 due out by the end of this year.

***Information for this article was obtained through a phone interview with Jack Servello

*** Photos were provided by Jack Servello

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