J L Marona (1909-1988)
James Laverne (J. L.) Marona, Jr. was born in 1909 in Cherokee County, Alabama. In the late 1930s he sang with the McBrayer Brothers Quartet in Rome, GA, which was sponsored by the McBrayer Brothers’ Furniture Company. Additional duties involved working in the furniture store. Mr. Marona also sang with the St. Louis Stamps-Baxter Quartet along with Carroll “Shorty” Bradford.
In the early 1950s he joined Lee Roy Abernathy’s Miracle Men Quartet as their tenor along with lead “Shorty” Bradford; baritone, Idus Spivey; and bass, Aycel Soward. After only a few months, he left the Miracle Men. This was his last full-time quartet job.
During the 1960s he was the tenor for the Gadsden (AL) Harmoneers, which also included Kyle Cox at lead and a young bass singer named Tim Riley, who sang with them throughout high school. Marona, who was also a barber, was an outstanding hunter and fisherman. He was known for his keen sense of humor and his willingness to carry out practical jokes just about anywhere including on stage.