Cecil Cope is a member of The Jorrells, an 8 piece R& B & rock 'n roll group.
There was a brief break but since 1979 the band has played continuously for a wide
spectrum of events throughout the St.Louis Area and beyond. As a trumpet player in high school,
he helped form a dance band , "The Haloes", playing standards from stock charts available only (it seemed)
from New York City, all instrumentals, and mailed C.O.D.
After high school graduation a classmate and "Haloes" member had started learning guitar and suggested
that Cecil study and learn bass guitar in order to form a small rock 'n roll group. While that was accomplished,
it did not last past the first official 'gig' as that night Cope was asked to sing a song. At that point, the bass was
forgotten and in a few weeks Cecil began playing a portable organ. The band, "Ronnie and the Rondells", played
for 3 years and then Cecil was invited to join The Jorrells.
Over the years The Jorrells have had many interesting engagements including playing with national
groups such as the "Young Rascals", "The 1910 Fruitgum Company" , "Sam the Sham & the
Pharaohs", and others. One event presented a last-minute request to sing the National Anthem at the St. Charles
Family Arena subbing for an ill Randy Travis.
While pop music has been the musical center of Cecil Cope's performances, the teenage years were filled with big band
music, specifically trumpet players Harry James, Charlie Shavers, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hackett, Al Hirt,
Rafael Mendez, and Burt Kaempfert, as every young trumpet play wished to perform "Wonderland By Night". Yet
many hours of listening were devoted to singers with large orchestral arrangements: Frankie Lane, Eddie
Fischer, Tony Bennett, Nat "King" Cole, and Frank Sinatra. There was a fascination with the construction of a hit
record: singer, song, and arrangement. That led to an interest in transcriptions of original vocal recordings
plus writing for the band.
In 1996 he presented "Cecil: At 50 with Friends" featuring a twenty piece band.
In January 2011, he performed "Arrangers of Note" ", a concert featuring classic arrangements
at The Hett, McKendree University.
In addition to the live music, Cecil also has appeared in stage performances in Memphis:
"Cinderella, The Musical " at Circuit Playhouse
"1776 " At Playhouse on the Square
"Guys & Dolls", Theatre Memphis
"Sweeney Todd" at Rhodes College
"The Mikado", Playhouse on the Square
"The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby", Rhodes College
"Wonderful Town", Mr. Appopolous, Rhodes College
"Three Penny Opera", Mr. Brown, Rhodes College
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