The Chordettes Biography

Formed in 1946 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA, the Chordettes were a female singing group whose career extended into the rock era. Initially envisioning themselves as a female barbershop quartet the members were Dorothy Schwartz (lead), Janet Ertel (1913, d. 4 November 1988, Black River, Wisconsin, USA; bass), Carol Buschman (baritone) and Jinny Lockard (d. 19 May 2003, Palm Springs, California, USA; tenor). In 1949 the group came to the attention of Arthur Godfrey, whose national Talent Scouts radio programme was a popular means for acts to break through to a wider audience. Godfrey offered the Chordettes a permanent spot on the show and they were signed to Columbia Records, for whom they recorded a series of 10-inch EPs. In 1953 the group left Godfrey and signed to Cadence Records, operated by Godfrey’s musical director, Archie Bleyer (Ertel married Bleyer in 1954). Their first recording for Cadence, ‘Mr. Sandman’, in 1954, became a million-seller, logging seven weeks at number 1 in the US charts. It featured Lynn Evans, who had replaced Schwartz, as lead singer, and Margie Needham, who had replaced Lockard. The Chordettes remained with Cadence until the early 60s, gaining three other Top 10 hits: ‘Born To Be With You’ (1956), ‘Just Between You And Me’ (1957) and ‘Lollipop’ (1958). The group disbanded in the mid-60s.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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