Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Burton Sisters... in glorious technicolor

Two weeks ago we did not know the story of The Burton Sisters. Now we have received this stunning story in glorious technicolor which takes us on a whirlwind tour from the stock rooms of Philly to the recording of "Doin' the French Can-Can." Check out Mickey Katz wowing "America's best known singing sister team" with his cowboy antics. (click on any image to expand)

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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Burton Sisters... tell us more...

Russ in San Francisco sent in these beauties... The Burton Sisters, Barry Sisters predecessors... about whom we know little but would love to hear more. The covers are intriguing. Those square jaws. The poodles floating overhead. The tag line, "They're Double Dynamite." If anyone knows anything about this handsome duo, we would LOVE to hear it.

Jews on Vinyl ads

We had a blast last week in San Francisco. More images of the exhibit launch to come... for now, let it be known we have achieved a long held ambition... to have our project promoted on the backside of a public lavatory. The CJM is one of the most creative museums in the country and they have taken our vinyl collection to places we have only dreamed of...

Excellent article here in the San Francisco Chronicle. Delfin Vigil is an amazing gent.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Idelsohn Society takes on San Francisco

We are honored to announce that an exhibit showcasing the album covers from the book and featuring many of the artists tracked down by the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation is opening February 6th at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in good old San Francisco.

We have had a blast curating this exhibit which will be housed in a reconstructed 1950's living room, showcasing hundreds of album covers and playing a couple of handpicked playlists which are absolutely swinging. If you are in town, we would LOVE to hear what you think...