They were a young, crisply harmonic quartet of sisters who called themselves simply The Lennon Sisters and they made their singing TV debut in 1955 on Lawrence Welk’s old-fashioned variety show with sixteen-year-old Dianne (Dee Dee), fourteen-year-old Peggy, twelve-year-old Kathy, and nine-year-old Janet Lennon on board. Their a cappella version of "He" proved a scene-stealing success and America fell hard for these four attractive little innocents and their angelic 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. Diane retired for marriage in 1960 and the quartet became a trio until Diane’s return in 1964. In 1968, the fully adult sister group decided to leave the security of the Welk show (the parting was acrimonious) in order to branch out, but they found the going extremely difficult. Although they started off promisingly enough in their own sweetly sentimental musical variety show with "Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters Hour," the pairing of Durante and the girls were an odd mixture and the show lasted only a season. In the early 70s, The Lennon Sisters became regular guests of Andy Williams and his television show and subsequently performed with him in Las Vegas on a frequent basis. Talent notwithstanding, The Lennon Sisters became a hard act to book -- a pristine Camelot Era vocal group trapped in a radical Vietnam Era age. With a repertoire of songs that could include "My Favorite Things," "Getting to Know You" and "Zip A Dee-Doo-Dah," they were painfully out of sync. So in the 70s and 80s the girls spent more time on the road while sustaining at state fairs, charity benefits and convention halls. Broaching on a five-decade career, they eventually found a steady home again in Branson, Missouri, at (where else?) the Welk Champagne Theatre where they continue to charm loyal, nostalgic, highly enthusiastic crowds.
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