Header Image: The 3 Sisters

The Brian Sisters

Sing While You're Able (1937)


In the film Sing While You're Able the girls provide the then-popular 'kiddie appeal' by singing I'm Just A Country Boy At Heart while Pinky Tomlin 'repairs' the car. The Brian Sisters play the parts of Rita, Jane and Dotty.

Mr. Tomlin was one of those 'rare' people who allowed the girls to sing in their own way, without wishing to impose his will. That is one of the reasons why they sing so delightfully and why this clip is justifiably popular. They also sang with freedom and excellence in his slightly later film Thanks for Listening.

The film was released on 20th March 1937. At the beginning of January 1937 the Brian Sisters' contract with the Melody Pictures corporation, who produced this movie, was approved by Superior Judge Fletcher Bowron, so the girls would have been able to film from early January, when they were 13, 10 and 8.
Conn Pictures Corporation, the parent company of Melody Pictures, produced Thanks for Listening afterwards.

This really is a performance by the girls that will grow on you the more you watch and hear it.

The girls begin by taking the melody in turn; Betty, Doris, then Gwen, following which Gwen takes the melody with Doris and Betty harmonizing as usual. There are some fairly tricky notes in this song, but the girls (especially Gwen, then only 8),  manage them faultlessly and without any wavering or uncertainty whatsoever.

Take a look at this clip


The film Sing While You're Able has recently been released on DVD and is well worth getting just for the (always) perfect harmony of the Brian Sisters!




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