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The Lennon Sisters Poster

Biography

Jump to: Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (5)

Mini Bio (1)

They were a young, wholesome, crisply harmonic quartet of siblings who called themselves simply The Lennon Sisters. Making their singing TV debut in the mid-1950's, they became an instant household name on The Lawrence Welk Show (1955), a clean, old-fashioned variety show, with sixteen-year-old Dianne Lennon (Dee Dee), fourteen-year-old Peggy Lennon, twelve-year-old Kathy Lennon and nine-year-old Janet Lennon on board.

The daughters were four of eleven children born to devout Catholics William, a milkman who also worked for a gold course, and Isabelle ("Sis") Lennon. Living humbly in Venice, California during their formative years, the Lennon girls' musical prowess was discovered early. In 1955, a friend to Lawrence Welk arranged a meeting and audition between the Lennons and the famous bandleader. Completely charmed and impressed, Welk booked the girls immediately. Their a cappella version of "He" proved a scene-stealing success and America fell hard for the four pretty little innocents and their angelic vocal blend. Welk professionally adopted the girls and The Lennon Sisters became regulars on his show every Saturday night for the next thirteen years.

Dubbed "America's Sweethearts of Song," they recorded their first of many albums entitled "Let's Get Acquainted" in May of 1957. So popular were the girls that they became a merchandising factory with coloring books, lunch boxes and doll collections all doing very brisk business. Dianne retired for marriage in 1960 and the quartet became a trio until Diane's return in 1964.

In 1968, the now adult sister group decided to leave the security of the Welk show (the parting was rather acrimonious) in order to branch out, but found the going extremely difficult as a pristine Camelot-era vocal group caught up in the radical Vietnam-era age. Although the eponymous sisters started off promisingly enough in their own sweetly sentimental musical variety show Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters (1969), the pairing of Jimmy Durante and the girls proved too odd a mixture and the show lasted only a season. Personal tragedy hit in the midst of shooting the series when, on August 12, 1969, their father, William, was shot and killed by a deranged fan of Peggy's at the Venice golf course where he still worked.

In the early 70s, The Lennon Sisters became frequent guests on The Andy Williams Show (1962) and subsequently performed with the singing star in Las Vegas on a fairly steady basis. Their talent notwithstanding, they became a hard act to book with a repertoire of songs that included "My Favorite Things," "Getting to Know You" and "Zip A Dee-Doo-Dah." They were plainly out of sync. They spent a large percentage of time on the road in the next couple of decades, sustaining their act at state fairs, charity benefits and convention halls. Broaching on a five-decade career, they eventually found a steady home in Branson, Missouri, at (where else?) the Welk Champagne Theatre where they continued to charm loyal, nostalgic, highly enthusiastic crowds.

In 1999, Peggy, the mother of six children, retired from the sister act for good and was replaced by another sister Mimi Lennon. After Dianne, a cancer survivor, retired in December of 2001, the girl group remained a touring trio. Awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1987 for their television contributions, they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Trivia (5)

Peggy Lennon and Dianne Lennon (known as Dee Dee) retired in 1999 and 2001 respectively, but Kathy Lennon, Janet Lennon, and another sister, Mimi Lennon, perform in Branson, Missouri, at the Welk Champage Theatre.
Their father was murdered by a deranged fan in 1969; their mom remarried in 1998 at age 80.
In 1954, the girls' sixteen-month-old baby sister Mary was struck and killed by a speeding car.
They have sung for seven different United States Presidents - Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan.
In 1987, the Lennon Sisters were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

See also

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