Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Burton Sisters... Case Closed!

We were delighted to receive this definitive history of the Burton Sisters by a man in the know, Jim Shipley. His email began with the declarative statement, "O.K., I married one." And if you read the below, Mr. Shipley became the Burton Sisters equivalent of a Yoko Ono. It is a riveting read. If anyone has more images, albums, memories, or ephemera, we would LOVE to see/hear them...



The Burton Sisters are from Logan, in North Philadelphia. Their dad was a "Song and Dance Man" - even a singing waiter at one time. No matter the hardships of the depression, there was always a piano in the house. Moe Jaffe who wrote such hits as "Gypsy in My Soul", "Chanukah Candles", "If you are But a Dream" and "If I had My Life to Live Over" among others was a friend of the family.


From this background, the eldest sister, Rae became a singer and a local star in Philadelphia. The two younger sisters, Rose and Evelyn then followed by harmonizing their way to gigs at bar mitzvahs, lodge meetings and the like. Rose (who became Carol in the act) and Evelyn (shortened to Lynn) finally were signed by the Stan Zucker agency in New York.


This took them from Fall River Massachusetts to Dothan, Alabama, to six month stints in French Canada where they performed in French. From there to the Borscht Belt, Grossingers, the Concord and the like where they appeared with stars of the day like Eddie Fisher, Buddy Hackett and others. They toured with a USO troupe and were regulars on the radio program "Jewish Cavalcade of Stars" on WMGM in New York.


During one of their nightclub appearances they were heard by song writer Bob Merrill who wrote among other things, the show "Funny Girl" and "How Much is that Doggie in the Window". He signed them to a contract along with his partner, Murray Kaufman, known as "Murray the K" a New York disc jockey.

Bob got them a contract with RCA Victor. They had been recorded on Banner Records, the all Yiddish label founded by Yiddish star Seymour Reichseit.


With RCA they recorded "French Can-Can", "Divided Love," "Please Don't Touch" and "Let Me Go Lover". Rose, nee Carol, met the RCA Distributor in Cleveland on a disc jockey tour and the two became Mr. and Mrs. Jim Shipley, bringing to an end the career of the Burton Sisters.


Sister Evelyn continued in show business, touring with the show "Fiorello" and making night club appearances until she married Dr. Manny Fertman and moved to San Francisco.

23 comments:

mort said...

Jim: it was great to see that all is well with your wife and sisterinlaw.
I remember Carol and Lynn with fond memories when they worked for my dad in the Catskills. Please forward my best regards.

Anonymous said...

At 80 yrs plus! Lynn is still as spirited and dynamic as she appears on the album jackets. I know her from our hiking club and what a gal! Hiking 3 hours up and down our foothills doesn't phase her - then partying at lunch - she's vibrant, full of fun, her talent shines through - she's sheer pleasure to be with.
Thanks so much for this delightful history. Judy

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They often worry about the negative thoughts from people who don’t really know the sisters. And the good moments are when the family gets-together, and also travelling to different countries on ministry not only as singers, but as sisters bonding as they go along.

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