UT Honors Musical Alumnus Jack Jenkins

Published: Apr 19, 2010
Jack Jenkins ’61, better known as one half of the Jack and Sally Jenkins duo, will receive The University of Tampa’s outstanding music alumnus award Tuesday, April 27, at a free concert by OPUS, the University’s musical theatre ensemble.

Jack and his late wife, Sally, met and married at UT, where they began working the college and Tampa community circuit, singing music from the ’20s to ’50s.

“Jack and his wife were THE musical couple at UT in the ’50s,” says David Isele, composer-in-residence at UT.

The famed Tampa singing duo quickly became known by their many fans as "Tampa's Singing Sweethearts." They then launched into national and international celebrity, performing on The Ed Sullivan Show, touring with Guy Lambardo, headlining in Las Vegas, Miami and New York, and singing with Bob Hope during his USO show. They were announced by Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes and appeared in many more concerts and shows in their nearly four decades on the major concert circuit. The couple even received the keys to the City of Tampa from two former mayors, Nick Nuccio and Dick Greco, a fellow UT alumnus.

Jack’s wife, Sally, was tragically killed in an auto accident in 2006, which Jack survived. UT held a benefit concert in her memory to help raise money for a scholarship fund in her name.

The University will present Jack Jenkins on Tuesday, April 27, with its Music Alumnus of the Year Award at 7:30 p.m. in the Falk Theatre. OPUS, the premiere musical theatre ensemble at The University of Tampa, will present OPUS LIVE! at the same event.

The free program for Opus LIVE! will include a medley from the Broadway hit Rent, as well as other popular Broadway show tunes. Jenkins will sing a duet with his daughter Letitia, and end the program with OPUS in a rousing arrangement of “Bye Bye Blues.” In addition to ensemble numbers, the cast of OPUS will sing solos and duets from popular Broadway musicals.

For more information contact David Isele at (813) 257-3344 or disele@ut.edu