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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Such Devoted Sisters. 2.

No mention of The McGuire Sisters would be complete without pointing out that the lead singer, Phyllis, was,
for quite a while, the main squeeze of noted Mob boss, Sam "Momo" Giancana.
Giancana was perhaps best known for A- being very powerful, and B- for sharing another
girlfriend, Judith Campbell Exner, with John F. Kennedy.
She was apparently more disposable to both of them than Phyllis was to Giancana.
As I previously indicated, Arthur Godfrey did not like it when his Little Godfreys became big.
When that happened, heads would roll.
But the McGuire Sisters heads did not roll when they got too big for their britches.
Or in their case, cocktail dresses and evening gowns.
I place this firmly at the doorstep of Giancana.
Godfrey knew he was big, but he knew he wasn't as big or powerful as Giancana.
So he most-likely didn't want to mess with him.
So the McGuires were allowed to skate.

Phyllis went on to become a single act.
And Christine and Dorothy went into retirement to raise their children.
Again, I have no idea whether this was a forced retirement at the behest of Giancana.
Phyllis went on to open for Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson in Las Vegas.
One Christmas week, I know, because I was there (I mean, who else but Jews go to Vegas Christmas Week?),
Phyllis McGuire was the HEADLINER at Caesar's Palace.
I put it in caps, because that's how astounded I was.
I guess the thinking was "It's Christmas week, we can't fill the joint anyway, so why don't we toss Sam a bone?"
Can you imagine being Phyllis McGuire's opening act?
I can, because I saw his name under hers, in smaller letters, on the marquee.
It was some Hawaiian singer named something like Duke Kahanamana.
And he probably thought it was his big break.
Even though they probably paid him with seashells.
Pity.
For a few more shells, they could've gotten Poncie Ponce, from "Hawaiian Eye"
At least then, you'd have had some name value.

Then, when Giancana died, lo and behold, the girls reunited and became a trio again.
And worked again together for quite a few years.
Think it was cause and effect?
The last time I saw them was the last time they worked together.
On some PBS nostalgia special.
They still sounded great.
And from the wide-angle lens, shot through gauze, they even still looked great.

I'm going to briefly touch upon one other singing group today, because brief is all I've got.
The Chordettes were also out of the Godfrey stable.
They were Little Godfreys who never really got any bigger.
And they weren't sisters.
At least they weren't each other's sisters.
Let me amend that.
There were four of them,, and one of them was another's sister-in-law.
But that certainly wasn't part of their billing, so let's leave it at that.
They made a lot of records, but only three that I could recognize.
They had two big hits:
"Mr. Sandman" and "Lollipop".
They also made a recording of the TV theme song of "Zorro".
How's that for brief?

Anyway, from here on in, we will be dealing exclusively with singing sisters.

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My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
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2 comments:

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Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."