Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Phil Jaye was an entertainment icon from South Philadelphia (dubbed "Home of the Stars"), which produced the likes of Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, Joey Bishop and Sherman Hemsley. Prior to starting his solo career he was part of a comedy and singing duo, The Jaye Brothers, with partner Jerry "Aiena" Jaye, who was not his brother. As a solo entertainer and as part of the Jaye Brothers comedy team, Phil received acclaim both locally, nationally and internationally. However, even though he was known in national circles, it was his native South Philly that remained dear to him.
Phil Jaye was born and raised in a predominately Italian community near Columbus Square Playground, 11th and Federal Streets in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Phil, the son of Thomas Patelmo and his wife Philomena did everything from selling papers and delivering milk to fixing shoes to help support his family after his parents divorced. Thomas and Philomena had another son, Andrew. Phil attended South Philadelphia High School.
At 18 years old, Jaye went into the Armed Services and was stationed in Europe during World War II, where he was a machine gunner in an Army pill box. When it was discovered he played the drums, the Special Services Branch (USO) took him out of the pill box and he played the drums for them. It was there that he began doing comedy routines. After the army he returned to Philadelphia and began a career in the shoe repair business in the bottom level of Wanamaker's Department Store; but, entertaining was already in his blood. He met and married Jean Maiorano, his wife of fifty years. They had one daughter, Maria, who is now a Pennsylvania state representative.
The Jaye Brothers
By the 1950s, Phil teamed up with Jerry Aiena, a local singer and piano player, creating The Jaye Brothers, a comedy, dancing and singing duo. The Jaye Brothers were well known for their recording of "Rag Mop" (Supreme Records); (Album on Strand Label). The Jaye Brothers performed at some of the hottest area nightclubs like Palumbo's, Sciolla's, and The 500 Club in Atlantic City and the summer circuit in Wildwood, New Jersey. They branched out to New York City's Latin Quarters, Las Vegas' Thunderbird and then tours of Mexico, Canada and Europe.
Jerry "Jaye" grew tired of the traveling and by the late sixties decided to get out of show business. Having become a seasoned entertainer, Phil Jaye made the decision to go solo. His material was always fresh and topical, but still retained a balance of flavoring from the old neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Phil not only did comedy, but he sang, danced, and did impersonations - he was a well rounded entertainer. Some of his best musical impersonations were of people such as Dean Martin (he was said to look and sound more like Dean Martin than Dean Martin), Anthony Newley, Louie Armstrong, Louis Prima and even Boris Karloff.
Phil Jaye was not only a humorist, he was a humanitarian with a big heart who always pitched in at charitable functions. He was always a part of the Variety Club's "Old News Boys Day" charity event. He also hosted the Annual Phil Jaye Celebrity Golf Tournament to aid the American Cancer Society. Phil has been honored by many organizations for entertaining at worthy benefits.
Phil "Jaye" Patelmo died on December 3, 1998 of colon cancer.
Night club appearances (partial list)
- Palumbo's, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- LaFiesta, Juarez, Mexico
- Fountain Blue, Miami Beach
- Latin Quarters, NYC
- Blinstrubs, Boston, Massachusetts
- Thunderbird, Miami Beach
- Tideland, Houston, Texas
- Sciolla's, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Eden Rock, Miami Beach
- 500 Club, Atlantic City, New Jersey
- Colony Club, Omaha, Nebraska
- Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey
- Town Casino, Buffalo, New York
- Showboat, Atlantic City, New Jersey
- Chaudier, CC, Hull, Canada
- Surf Club, Revder beach, Massachusetts
- Roostertail, Detroit, Michigan
- Thunderbird, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Drexelbrook Banquet & Catering, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
- Beachcomber, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- Dick Clark's Band Stand
- Paul Winchell Show
- Arthur Gofrey Show
- Jackie Gleason Show
- Jerry Blavat Show
- PBS "South Philadelphia Italian Style"
Rag Mop"....."The Old Two Beat"...."Ain't Nobody Here but us Chicckens",.."Pizza" (Wynne Records) Album: The Singing Comedians"....Strand Records
"The BLock" (Myers & Benson Production); "Straw to an Inside straight (Saber Productions); "Disk-O-Tek Holiday" (Allied Artist)
"PARADE MAGAZINE" in Boston Sunday Globe, "Variety", "Philadelphia Daily News", Philadelphia Inquirer", "Philadelphia Bulletin", Philadelphia Review"