The Brian Sisters
Many of us will remember from the past the hit record by The Brian Sisters that was in the Billboard Magazine charts for five weeks.
Swinging On A Star, with Freddie Slack and His Orchestra, was The Brian Sisters' only gramophone record.
It was not their only appearance, though.
As they sang in the film New Faces of 1937:
“And now for closeups of our cast,
All New Faces with a future a-and a past.”
Our cast is The Brian Sisters — Gwen Brian, Doris Brian and Betty Brian.
They were very normal children, thrust into an unusual early lifestyle by circumstances. The special thing about them was their outstanding musical ability.
The young Brian Sisters were not the average kiddie performers of their day (now seven decades ago). Even as time has passed, their ability has not been equalled. They had confidence, charm, modesty and intelligence, were always able to rely on one another, sang in perfect time and harmony and produced a first class result.
Even as young children, the girls had a most distinctive vocal sound that made them readily identifiable.
They knew instinctively how to harmonise and, if left to their own devices, got it right. It still seems impossible that they could not only sing perfectly, but also arrange their own vocals perfectly, entirely on their own! They knew how to combine 'sweet' and 'forceful' sounds in order to get the right effect, as in those two short lines (above) from New Faces of 1937.
The girls' past didn't go very far back before they sang those words in 1937. How could it! Their film-making careers began in 1935, with Betty aged about 11, Doris 9 and Gwen 6 or 7. They came to Hollywood the year previously. Their very first radio broadcast was in 1932, on their local radio station KDYL, when Gwen was 4.Gwen (8), Doris (10) and Betty (12), in January 1937
The girls' future stretched ahead of them as they made their way through at least 15 movies, many radio broadcasts and personal appearances, one gramophone record; on through the war years and beyond. Then, as adults, a different future opened up.
In this web-site you will find information on the girls, together with some film and radio clips to enjoy. The main coverage is of the years when they were living in Hollywood, singing together as The Brian Sisters, during which time the girls produced some amazingly competent harmonies with great confidence, as you will discover.
In the menu of each page, you will see a number of links to things other than the Brian Sisters' performances, that are well worth viewing in order to get a broader picture of the girls' lives.
Please use the Guest Book to share your own reactions and experiences, especially if you knew any of the Brian Sisters at any time, or if you just want to say something.
The Brian Sisters were amazingly proficient singers, especially considering the early start to their career. They had the 'togetherness' and trust in one another that helped them to be able to harmonise in their characteristic way, together with the talent and dedication to achieve it.
That they could survive life's difficulties so well was amazing; that they could do so on the strength of their own collective ability is remarkable.
But see what you think. This is how it began...