Shea Stadium’s Queen of Melody Jane Jarvis as Remembered by Howie Rose
- Updated: April 29, 2016
Originally posted by Howie Rose
In 1994, the New York Mets celebrated the 25th anniversary of their incredible 1969 World Championship. To properly commemorate the occasion, I reached out to Jane Jarvis who spent about fifteen years as Shea Stadium’s “Queen of Melody”, playing music which in some cases was created specifically for the Mets on Shea’s Thomas Organ.
By 1994, Jane Jarvis and the Thomas Organ had long since departed the ballpark, replaced by recorded music. I thought that Mets fans would enjoy a chance to hear Jane play a couple of songs that were staples at each and every Mets home game during her tenure with them, if only to remind those loyalists what the place sounded like during that unforgettable season. My idea was to use this music at certain times during the pre and post game shows.
There were two problems with my plan. First, no start to finish, high quality, suitable for airplay version of that music existed on tape. Second, I didn’t really know Jane, although I had met her once or twice, meaning that I would have to ask her for a pretty big favor. The Mets were nice enough to put me in touch with Miss Jarvis, who was living in Florida, but would occasionally come to New York to perform at jazz clubs, which was her first musical love.
She could not have been any nicer. When I explained what I was looking for, she was flattered that anyone would even have an interest in hearing it, and immediately went to work on making it happen. She actually had a Thomas Organ in her home; exactly, she said, like the one she played at Shea Stadium. Her son was capable of engineering a recording which would have “studio quality”, so within a few days, the project was complete and a cassette arrived at my home with exactly what I was looking for.
The two songs I requested were “Meet the Mets”, the team’s iconic theme song which is nationally known and loved and endures to this day, and a composition called “Let’s Go Mets” which Jane wrote herself and played just as the Mets took the field prior to her rendition of the national anthem. The only thing Jane asked in return was that the tape not be commercialized and sold anywhere. That pledge was easily honored.
The Mets eventually requested a copy of her version of Meet the Mets and have occasionally used it at the ballpark. It’s not exactly a rarity. “Let’s Go Mets” is a completely different story. Fans of a certain age have clamored to hear it again, and having found the tape (now on CD) during a move last summer, coupled with the Mets winning the 2015 National League Pennant, the time is right.
For those who remember, close your eyes, play the song, and you can see Cleon and Tommie and Buddy and Eddie and Ron and Tom coming out of the dugout. You don’t need the last names. You grew up with them. You know exactly who I’m talking about. If you’re too young to recall,keep your ears perked up. Your eyes just might open wide and the beautiful simplicity of a day or night at the ballpark a generation ago will crystallize as Shea’s Queen of Melody takes you on a very special journey through Mets history.