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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Six To Be Inducted Into Canon-McMillan Hall Of Fame

Canon-McMillan Patch

by Amanda Gillooly



A judge, a pioneer athlete, and a famous quartet of vocalists will be inducted into the Canon-McMillan School District Hall of Fame Friday night, prior to the Big Macs varsity football game against Montour.

The inductees are Judge Katherine B. Emery for citizenry, Raymond H. Kemp for athletics, and the Four Coins, whose members are George Mantalis, Jim Gregorakis, George Mahramus and Jack Mahramus, for arts.




Judge Emery, has been on the bench of theWashington County Court of Common Pleas, since 1996. She is a graduate of Canon-McMillan High School, where she was Student Council president, and received a B.A. in economics fromPenn State, an M.B.A. from the University of Dayton, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton School of Law, and an International Economics Certification from the University of Cologne, Germany. 

She was a member of the Canon-McMillan Board of Education 1983-1993, during which she served as president, and also was president of the Intermediate Unit 1 Board of School Directors. She served on the Canon-McMillan Long-Range Planning Committee and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association Board of Directors.  
She previously served as Washington County solicitor and personnel director, worked for the Allegheny County Juvenile Court, and had a part-time private law practice. 
Judge Emery is a member of Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church, has been president of Canonsburg Business and Professional Women, and was named BPW Woman of the Year. She is a board director of Pathways, formerly United Cerebral Palsy, and Roberts House. She is on the Committee on Judicial Disputes of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, and is a member of both the National Juvenile Court Judges’ Association and the National Association of Women Judges. 
Judge Emery is married to attorney Gary Gilman, and they are the parents of George Gilman, a member of the Canon-McMillan Class of 2014.
Raymond H. Kemp,(picture unavailable)  a graduate of the former Cecil High School, was a 1933 member of thePittsburgh Pirates football team, now known as the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was the second African-American member of the National Football League. When he died in 2002, he was the last surviving member of the original Pittsburgh Steelers. 
At Cecil High School he played in the band and earned letters in football, basketball and track. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Duquesne University, attended the University of Pittsburgh and Ohio State University, and was a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan. 
While at Duquesne University, he earned All-American honors in football and was named to the All-City of Pittsburgh Collegiate Football Team and earned awards in track and field. 
Kemp was devoted to academic excellence and interracial competition. He was a pioneer in scheduling of competition with predominantly white institutions. 
He was included in an exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, as one of the Black Pioneers in Professional Football. He was recognized in the Duquesne University Sports Hall of Fame and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame
Kemp received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Conference of Pennsylvania Black Basic Education Association, Frontiersman of the Year by the Nashville Chapter of Frontiersman International, Eighth District Omega Man of the Year by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Duquesne University Century Club Member and received special citations from Pigskin Club Inc., Washington D.C., State of Tennessee General Assembly, and First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, Nashville, Tenn. 
Kemp did pioneer research in the study of school dropout problems and integrated this information into educational course work. 
He was the director of health, physical education and athletics, and coached varsity football, basketball and track and field at Bluefield State College in Bluefield W.Va., Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Mo., and at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn., where he was athletic director, track and field coach, and professor of sociology. 
While at Tennessee State University, he coached Olympic Gold Medalist Ralph Boston when he won the broad jump in 1960. Kemp also served as commissioner of the State of Missouri High School Athletic Association.

The Four Coins – consisting of brothers Jack and George Mahramas, Jim Gregorakis, and George Mantalis – hail from Canonsburg. While attending Canonsburg High School, they formed a band withBobby Vinton, another famous Canonsburg singer. The vocal group broke away and began to perform on their own as “The Four Coins.” 
In 1952, they entered an amateur contest in Pittsburgh and won the weekly prize and finally the grand prize, which they used to join AGVA, (American Guild of Variety Artists). 
Lee Barrett, another Canonsburg musician, took them to Cincinnati and New York where they signed with General Artist Corp., the worldwide entertainment agency, and a recording contract with Epic Records. 
They began traveling throughout the country and recording for Epic Records: “We’ll Be Married” (their first record), “Memories of You,” “My One Sin,” “The World Outside,” among others that made the Billboard charts. 
It was not until 1957, with the help of Lou Popliokowski, another Canonsburg musician and former Canon-McMillan teacher and administrator, who rehearsed The Four Coins before going to New York, when they recorded “Shangri-La,” their million seller. 
Throughout the years, traveling all over the world, The Four Coins performed in the most popular clubs, including New York’s Copacabana with Tony Bennett, the Far East with Nat King Cole, Chicago with the McGuire Sisters, Las Vegas with Sammy Davis Jr., and many more. They also performed in the Warner Brothers movie, “Jamboree.” 
Besides recording, television appearances kept them busy. They were twice on the Perry Como Show, another famous Canonsburg native, and with Patti Page, Steve Allen, Soupy Sales, Mike Douglas, three times on the Ed Sullivan Show and four times on Dick Clark’s Bandstand. 
However, in 1970, they all decided they had enough touring and went back to their families and friends. 
George Mantalis moved to Palm Beach, Fla.; George Mahramas to Arizona, and Jim Gregorakis and Jack Mahramas chose to remain in this area. 
Thirty-three years later, in 2003, friends and family persuaded the group to reunite for another show. They rehearsed with Steve Lemonakis, another Canonsburg musician, performed at the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse to a full house and had to do an extra show to accommodate the overflow crowd. 
Since then, The Four Coins have performed three more times at the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse. They also traveled cross-country to Palm Springs, Calif., for three months and a few other venues, including The Meadows Casino. 
After all the years of traveling and performing, The Four Coins never were too far from their families and friends and their love for Canonsburg, where they all settled and live today.