Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween, Lennon Sisters Style

Happy Halloween, y'all! Hope all you ghouls and goblins are getting your fill of treats. Our department at work dressed up as circus clowns, and we won best dressed! Woot!

I can't let the day pass without posting the halloween clips I uploaded to YouTube - The Lennon Sisters performing Dem Bones, and the whole Lennon Family decorating their family home to the nth degree. This family knows how to celebrate the holiday! Does anyone know, do they still decorate like this at one of their homes in Branson?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lennon Sisters 1950s Photos

I won some charming photos on ebay recently of the Lennon Sisters from the fifties, as well as a fashion layout they did for a magazine called Western Family. Not sure of the date - maybe 1957 or '58. The school fashions they modeled remind me of old pictures of my mother from that era. As a matter of fact Peggy looks not unlike my mom.

With their dad, Bill.

I have no idea who these little boys are.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Easy To Remember

Back in 1992 The Lennon Sisters hosted a special, Easy To Remember, a delightful and entertaining look back at their early years on The Lawrence Welk Show. They were such sweet little girls, so very endearing with their beautiful harmonies. No wonder everyone fell in love with them.

I made eleven clips from the special and uploaded them to YouTube. Hope you enjoy them!

missed opportunity: What A Man My Man Is

Saw this little item about a song recorded by Lynn Anderson that was originally written for The Lennon Sisters. Too bad they didn't get to do it - it's a fun song.


A lot of hit songs have been written for a certain artist but wound up being recorded by someone else.

According to Glenn Sutton, Lynn Anderson’s “What A Man My Man Is” was one of those tunes!

Glenn commented, “I wrote that song for The Lennon Sisters. They were signed to record for Alantic Records and Rick Sanjek was the head of A& R for them and he asked me to do an album on them. So I had that song just about finished

And I flew to Las Vegas where The Lennon Sisters were opening for Andy Williams. I had never met them and I went backstage and talked to them and gave them four or five songs. They loved the songs but they never did record them. They got into some kind of contract dispute with Atlantic and never recorded it. And later, Lynn recorded it.”

“What A Man My Man Is” entered the country music charts October 28th, 1974 and made it to number one. It was Lynn’s 33rd charted song and was on the charts for 13 weeks.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Complete Lennon Family Album

It's mah birthday weekend, y'all! The big day is actually tomorrow, but I'm going out partying tonight. Before I hit the town, let's fire up the 'ol scanner and post some fan magazine gems.

10 Fabulous Years! Complete Lennon Family Album: Memories That Make The Lennons Laugh - and cry!

The title kind of sums it up for this Sept. 1966 cover story from TV Radio Mirror. It's chock-a-block full of Lennon Sisters photos. Back then they were celebrating a mere 10 years in showbiz. Now of course they've got 50 years under their belts. Pretty damn amazing.


Friday, October 19, 2007

On the radio

They said it really loud
They said it on the air
On the radio
Whoa oh oh

Forgive the Donna Summer segue to some Lennon Sisters radio clips.

While browsing around the internets, I found the some fun radio interviews from the series Travel Talk Radio. It's hosted by Sandy Dhuyvetter, who is clearly a true Lennon Sisters (and Venice) fan. I love how genuinely thrilled she sounds at getting to interview Janet in particular. Enjoy the clips!

Janet Lennon interview from Chicago, Feb. 2005

Dan Lennon interview from Nashville, Feb 2006

Kathy, Janet and Mimi Lennon interview, Nashville, Mar. 2006

Kathy and Janet Lennon interview, San Diego, Oct. 2006

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Somethin' Stupid album

Released in April 1967, Somethin' Stupid was the first of four Lennon Sisters albums produced by Snuff Garrett.

I very much like the pop stylings on these records. I actually prefer them to many of the Lennon Sisters more recent arrangements which can be overly slow. Personally I'd like to hear them perform some recent songs - that would be a treat. I don't mean Britney. Yeah, can't you just imagine, "It's Janet, bitch".


Noooo, I mean stuff along the lines of Rilo Kiley's Silver Lining, Mindy Smith's Come To Jesus (okay this is a slow one, but it's so haunting), Sheryl Crow's Diamond Road, Garbage's Special (really, they could harmonize the hell out of this one), and anything by Maria Mckee. Well, that's my wishlist.

Anyway, back to the lp. It's got some terrific pop gems. I'm especially partial to Single Girl and There's A Kind Of Hush. Have a listen and enjoy!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lennon Sisters Collages by Katerina

Katerina has made two beautiful collages from some of the many Lennon Sisters photos she's collected over the years. They're terrific wallpapers - a smörgåsbord of Lennon loveliness.

She also sends along a couple other photos and I've added one more for your enjoyment. Thanks Katerina!

another Mahlon Clark obituary

Here's a sweet obit, from a hometown angle, on the late Mahlon Clark. Good to know he had Southern roots, even though Virginia is up "nawth" to this Louisiana girl.

Post Script: Even among the stars, Virginia put a twinkle in his eye

By JIM WASHINGTON, The Virginian-Pilot
© October 2, 2007


You've heard Mahlon Clark's work, even if you don't know his name.

Think of the toodling clarinet in Henry Mancini's "Baby Elephant Walk."

If you ever watched an Elvis Presley or Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie, or enjoyed the Frank Sinatra albums "In the Wee Small Hours" and "Songs for Swingin' Lovers," you know what he can do.

That's not to mention his performances with Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Lawrence Welk, Dolly Parton and Madonna, and his work on movies and TV shows like "Dragnet," "Adam-12," "Dick Tracy," "Rear Window" and "When Harry Met Sally."

Clark died Sept. 20 in Van Nuys, Calif. He was 84.

A Portsmouth native, Clark launched his music career after graduating from Wilson High School in 1939, eventually rising to the top of the jazz world in Hollywood.

"My dad knew he was different growing up," said Julie Clark De Blasio, one of Clark's daughters. "Music was his passion. That was his true calling. There was no other choice."

As a teen, Clark spent more than a year touring the country with several big bands. On the road, he met a big-band singer named Imogene Lynn. They got married and moved to California when Clark enlisted in the Merchant Marine during World War II.

After the war, Clark signed a contract with Paramount Studios, where he played music for dozens of movies and television shows. He did numerous studio recordings with Dean Martin, Fitzgerald, Sinatra and Elvis.

The latter two giants didn't interact much with musicians, he told his daughter later, but he did get the occasional wink or thumbs up from The King after a session.

Later, Clark joined the Lawrence Welk orchestra. He and Lynn had divorced by then, and he met and married Kathy Lennon. She was one of the four Lennon Sisters, the family group that performed on the Welk show.

Clark continued working into the '80s, collaborating with Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Madonna.

"He didn't really know who they were," his daughter said.

Clark returned occasionally to Portsmouth to perform. According to his daughter, he remembered Virginia fondly in the waning weeks of his life.

"He really liked going back there," she said. "He loved the Atlantic seaboard, the slower pace of life and the Southern hospitality. That was his home."

Jim Washington, (757) 446-2536,


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lennon Sisters photos

Picture post! I won some photos from ebay and here are the scans. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mahlon Clark 1923 - 2007

Sad to hear the news Mahlon Clark, respected clarinetist, and ex-husband of Kathy Lennon, passed away on Sept. 20, 2007. He was 84. My condolences to his family and friends.

Here's a nice obituary from The Los Angeles Times. It includes an audio clip of his very memorable clarinet playing on The Elephant Walk.

Mahlon Clark, 84; clarinetist played with Welk, Sinatra and Madonna

By Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 3, 2007

Mahlon Clark, the clarinetist who performed on the soundtracks of numerous Hollywood movies and recorded with artists as varied as Lawrence Welk and Madonna, has died. He was 84.

Clark, who also played a well-known clarinet solo in recordings of "Baby Elephant Walk," died Sept. 20 of natural causes at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, his family announced.

At Capitol Records, Clark developed a friendship with Nelson Riddle, arranger, composer and conductor for Frank Sinatra. Clark, who also played alto saxophone, performed on many Sinatra albums, including "In the Wee Small Hours."

"The days with Capitol Records and Nelson Riddle were very special," said Clark's son-in-law, Ron De Blasio.

"Mahlon said Frank knew what he wanted. He always gave the band lots of credit, which is why the musicians loved working for him," De Blasio said.

"Baby Elephant Walk" was featured on the soundtrack for the 1962 Oscar-nominated movie "Hatari!" starring John Wayne.

The song was a hit for Henry Mancini's orchestra, which recorded the soundtrack. When Welk later recorded it, he also used Clark.

Born in Portsmouth, Va., on March 7, 1923, Clark performed in vaudeville with his sister Jane when they were children.

When he was 16, Clark landed a professional job as a big band musician with the Dean Hudson Band. That gig was followed by stints with the Will Bradley Band and the Ray McKinley Band.

Beginning in 1942, Clark served in the U.S. merchant marine. He married Imogene Lynn, a vocalist with the McKinley band. Stationed on Santa Catalina Island, Clark was assigned to the merchant marine band, which entertained troops on furlough.

After the war, Clark found work as a musician with the permanent orchestra at Paramount Studios. At Paramount he performed on soundtracks for movies starring Elvis Presley, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and in films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Clark was an advocate for musicians in the mid-1950s, a time when many worried for their jobs and salaries at Hollywood studios. Musicians feared the studios would end the practice of hiring musicians to play live, opting instead to use prerecorded music.

During this debate, the leadership of the American Federation of Musicians was challenged by a newly created rival union, the Musicians Guild of America. Los Angeles Musicians Local 47 responded by purging members believed to be associated with the rival group, including Clark, who later served on the new guild's board.

From 1962 until 1968, Clark performed in Welk's orchestra, which appeared on his television show. After Clark's first marriage ended in 1966, Clark married Kathy Lennon of the Lennon Sisters, who appeared regularly on Welk's show.

Clark continued performing until the early 1990s, playing on the soundtracks for movies including "Dick Tracy," and "When Harry Met Sally." He also played on Linda Ronstadt recordings and Madonna's 1990 album "I'm Breathless."

Clark is survived by two daughters, Deborah Clark of Sherman Oaks and Julie Clark De Blasio of Los Angeles; a son, Kevin Clark of Aptos, Calif.; and four grandchildren.