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A Class Sister Act

Dec 22, 2010 2:40 PM | 3 comments

                   

During the period between the 1930's and 1950's the entertainment field was filled with many talented sister vocal groups. There were the McGuire Sisters from Ohio, the King Sisters from Utah, the DeCastro Sisters all the way from Havana, Cuba, and the Andrew Sisters from Minnesota.  Not to be outdone, the borough of Kings was represented in song by the Five DeMarco Sisters who began their career in the 1940's as teenagers.

The sisters got their start when their father moved the family from Rome, N.Y. to Brooklyn. Confident that they were ready for the big time he brought them in to NBC for an audition. And audition they did, right in the reception room, because Papa DeMarco had neglected to schedule an appointment. They were so good though that a producer signed them on the spot and scheduled them for the "Tent Show" Radio Program. But their career really took off after they were signed to appear on the Fred Allen radio show. For four years (1946-1949) Ann, Gene, Gloria, Maria and Arlene entered into the living rooms of America opening the show with "Mr. Al-len, Mr. Alll-llennnn." Their featured segment earned them $1000 per week enabling their family to move from their apartment in Bensonhurst to a larger home in Flatbush on East 5th Street. 

                                                                     

Besides their regular appearances on the Fred Allen show The DeMarco Sisters performed in shows with Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. And they ushered in the early days of television with guest spots on the Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason shows.

The highlight of their career was their part in the patriotic 1952 MGM movie "Skirts Ahoy", starring Esther Williams, where they sang "What Good is a Gal Without a Guy."

The Five DeMarco Sisters had fans all across the country. Their recordings with their sweeping arrangements and lush harmonies still have their followers. We leave you with the 1954 classic "Love Me" - lyrics and music by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. 

Comments

12/23/2010 6:14:38 PM #

They are adorable!

Brenda from Flatbush

8/27/2011 10:00:39 AM #

I remember you girls from my childhhod days in Dyker Heights during the late 30's and early 40's.
At that time I think you lived around 76th or 77th Street between 13th and 14th Avenues.
I lived on 79th Street between 13th and 14th Avenues,
The (in) famous Torregrossa Funeral Home was on the corner of 13th Avenue and 79th Street where the trolley ran.
"Johnny" the Philip Morris cigarette icon also lived near you as I remember.

Jack Jensen

1/31/2012 3:29:57 PM #

that's my mom JOANN QUARTUCCIO-BEAN in the top picture, second from left. she was in the group from '49(?)-53 when i was born.

robi bean