Posted by: Debra LaValley | August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

Sunset Valley Quartet (circa 1950-2):
Betty Ross – Red Perkins – Tom La Valley, Ralph Spencer

Last night, I was up too late and caught a segment of Community Auditions (I didn’t know it was still on – but I am not usually watching tv after midnight on a Sunday). It reminded me of a story that my parents told me years ago. They were almost on Community Auditions in the early 1950s when they were in the group The Mello-Tones. The Mello-Tones were my parents (Tom & Betty), Francis aka Frank Nadeau, Ralph Spencer, Red Perkins, and Paul Tousignant. They were all set to be on the show when Frank who was their drummer was drafted (Korean War).

The photo above was of the Sunset Valley Quartet that my parents were in along with Red and Ralph. They sang at the Princess which was a dance hall. It then became the Princess Carpets building and it still a rug store today . . . Concord Carpet – I believe. It is near Cumberland Farms on Fisherville Road. My dad played the bass and the two other guys played guitar. Ralph and my mom were the main singers. My mom told me today that they also sang on WKXL. The Harmonettes – a group of 3 or 4 girls – also sang on WKXL around the same time.

I have an old scratched 45 that I believe one of my uncles gave me. It was supposed to be of The Sunset Valley Quartets or The Mello-Tones. It is very scratched – I don’t know if it would play. I have to find someone with a turntable that will play 45s and has one of those thing-a-ma-jigs that go in the middle so you can play them on the turntable.

Have a great evening!

2/19/1952 Ralph Spencer, Dad (Tom La Valley), Red Perkins


  1. How interesting. Those are nice pictures. I also performed at the Princess. I was a tap dancer and danced for the crowd at intermission. I will have to see if I have any old old photos.

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