TelevisionWeek Executive Editor Tom Gilbert joins our roster of bloggers with this forum all about classic television, where anything from "Leave It to Beaver" to "Malcolm in the Middle" is fair game for discussion. Reunion specials, DVD releases of classic shows, vintage commercials -- anything that's ever been telecast is the hot topic here.


Timeless TV

Sister Acts

June 6, 2007 1:40 PM

Whatever happened to sister acts? Today we have the Olsen twins and Paris and Nicky Hilton. That's about it. And they aren't even acts. Intentionally, that is. I dare say they couldn't get their acts together even if they were acts.

The Andrews Sisters, the McGuire Sisters, the Lennon Sisters. Those were sister acts. And great ones. I never realized the Andrews Sisters, who peaked in the 1940s, made it into the 1960s intact, but here they are in a mid-decade clip from "The Dean Martin Show":

The McGuires were arguably the best harmonizers of the lot, and here they have some fun with the fledgling Kane Triplets in this clip from "The Ed Sullivan Show" in October 1960.

Nor did the years diminish the McGuires' charms. Watch them blow away the Judds in '86.

And finally, here for your consideration are the Lennons in a 1960s appearance on "The Hollywood Palace." You've got to agree with Mr. Welk, they were truly lovely.

Which act is your favorite?


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Comments (7)

I loved those Lennon Sisters when I was a kid but then I found The Mandrell Sisters! They could sing, dance, perform comedy skits and play every instrument known to man including the washboard and the jug!

We are family. . .

Tom Gilbert:

The Mandrell Sisters … that was a glaring omission. Thanks for reminding me.


Thanks for mentioning all these fantastic sister acts from an age when show business was really show business. Another terrific sister act were the King Sisters. They started performing back in the 30’s but reached their artistic zenith in the late 50’s and throughout the 60’s when they recorded for Capital and appeared on loads of annual “King Family” specials with the many, many talented members of their extended family.
And still another great “sister act” of a different kind are the fabulously talented Lorna Luft & Liza Minnelli. They don’t perform together that often, but when they do it’s pure magic.
Check them out here:


How about the Watson Twins. Sisters who sing beautiful harmonies who are currently making the scene.

Tom Gilbert:

You're right, MaTiMo ... the Watsons are terrific. They are so terrific I wish I lived next door to them! Here's a great "Hee-Haw" inspired clip of them performing "Rise Up With Fists" with Jenny Lewis:


Another Sister Act making the scene these days are the Puppini sisters. These girls are truly embracing the Sister Acts from days gone by as you can see from this clip of their rendition of The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

Snookey Handsome:

I guess this is irrelevant, but Mr Gilbert's column always sparks so many happy memories. When I hear "sister act" I think first of the Andrewses (tho NOT doing a lousy song like on that Martin show clip) then think of Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen PLAYING a sister act in "White Christmas," the first movie in VistaVision and a heartwarming TV perennial. After Clooney and Ellen (is that her last name, or what?) sang Irving Berlin's "Sisters," the film's male stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye did a parody of it in semi-drag, waving big feathery fans. You can see in the film that Kaye really was breaking Crosby up. It's a sweet little moment. Sorry, I guess this is really about the movies, but I couldnt think of any more TV sisters except those two nutty ones that used to sing corny medleys on "Saturday Night Live." I mean, I remember seeing them, but can't remember what they were called or who played them.

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