The Lennon Sisters were a singing group consisting of four siblings: Dianne (born December 1, 1939), Peggy (born April 8, 1941), Kathy (born August 2, 1943), and Janet (born June 15, 1946). They were all born in Los Angeles, California. They are the eldest four in a family of 12 siblings.
In the late 1950s the Lennon Sisters were approached by producer Don Fedderson to star alongside Fred MacMurray in a new tv series to be called My Four Daughters. They were tempted but decided it would be too much work to do both the sitcom and The Lawrence Welk Show. The show, of course, later became the long-running classic My Three Sons
Over the decades, they recorded many albums. Their first album was on Brunswick Records and they later recorded on Coral, Dot, Ranwood and Mercury. They have recently released four CD volumes of songs taken from their own ABC-TV show, as well as a DVD of the show. Their first hit, Tonight, You Belong To Me reached to #15 on the charts in 1956. This was followed by their 1961 single, Sad Movies (Make Me Cry), (Dot 16255), which turned out to be their highest-charting record. It provided them with the only number #1 single of their career, reaching the top of the charts in Japan.
In 1969, the sisters starred in their own variety show, Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters Hour. Six weeks before the show premiered on August 12, the sisters were forced to deal with the shooting death of their father, William, by a deranged fan, Chet Young (a stalker who believed himself to be married to Peggy and that the father stood in the way and had to be eliminated.) Lying in wait, Young shot Mr. Lennon in the parking lot of the Marina Del Rey golf course and two months later used the same gun to commit suicide. The sisters discovered an unopened letter having a cutout of Bill, a picture of a gun pointed at his head, and the words "High Noon" (the time of the murder). (Source, Dr. Doreen Orion, I Know You Really Love Me) In the wake of the murder, Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour lasted one season before it was cancelled by ABC.
In the 1970s, the sisters performed regularly on The Andy Williams Show, and toured with Williams across the country including engagements at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. They also appeared on several game shows as well, such as Family Feud, Tattletales and The Hollywood Squares. From 1994 to 2004, the quartet performed as headliners at the Welk Champagne Theater in the Ozark community of Branson, Missouri. When Peggy retired from singing in 1999, younger sister Mimi took her place, and when Dianne left for a second time in 2001, the act became a trio again for the rest of its run in Branson.
While continuing to play tour dates, Kathy and Janet Lennon have branched out into the toy market, designing and selling their Best Pals dolls. These rag dolls are replicas of the ones their maternal grandmother made for them when they were children. They still have their originals today. In addition to the dolls, the sisters have recorded CDs of favorite children songs for their "Best Pals" line.
The four original Lennon Sisters wrote their autobiography "Same Song, Separate Voices" which was originally published in 1985 and updated a decade later.
|Born:||Dec. 1, 1939||April 8, 1941||Aug. 2, 1943||June 15, 1946|
|Spouse(s):|| Dick Gass |
m. Oct. 16, 1960 -
| 1) Dick Cathcart (1924–1993) |
m. May 24, 1964
2) Robert Felt
m. July 02, 1995 -
| 1) Mahlon Clark (1923–2007) |
m. June 26, 1967
2) Jim Daris
m. April 24, 1982 -
| 1) Lee Bernhardi |
m. May 7, 1966
2) John Bahler
m. Sept 25, 1976 -
They are related to the popular rock band Venice. (Kipp and Pat Lennon from Venice are their younger brothers, and Michael and Mark Lennon from Venice are their first cousins.)
Their other younger brothers, Dan, Bill, and Joe Lennon, sang as The Lennon Brothers in Branson and featured Bill's wife, Gail Lennon, in their act.
As a young man, their late father had formed the original Lennon Brothers act with three of the Lennon Sisters' uncles, and in the 1950's that quartet performed as guests on The Lawrence Welk Show with Dianne, Peggy, Kathy, and Janet.
Welk also occasionally presented the Lennon Sisters singing with their five brothers and little sisters Mimi and Annie, particularly on Christmas shows.
Another sister, Mary, had died in 1954 after being struck by a car just months after her first birthday.
Peggy's son, Joey Cathcart, was a member of the band Nelson. Several of the Lennon Sisters' children performed at the Welk Champagne Theater in Branson in the 1990's.