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Dorothy McGuire, of the McGuire Sisters, Dies at 84

 

Dorothy McGuire (center) and her sisters

Dorothy McGuire and her sisters, Christine (the oldest) and Phyllis (the youngest and the lead singer), became pop stars at roughly the same time that rock ’n’ roll was becoming a worldwide phenomenon. The McGuire Sisters’ music existed in a kind of parallel universe to R&R — like that of Perry Como, Patti Page and others.

Their most memorable hits were “Sincerely” and “Sugartime” (both of which reached No. 1).  The sisters’ genteel image — identical clothes, identical hairstyles, etc., were an image that stood up well on shows like Ed Sullivan.

The McGuire Sisters’ their first public performances were in their mother’s church. In 1952, after touring veterans’ hospitals and military bases and performing at a hotel in Dayton, they decided to try their luck in New York. Their success was almost immediate. They became regulars on Arthur Godfrey’s hugely popular morning television show, where they remained for six years, and began recording for Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca.

They had their first Top 10 record, “Good Night, Sweetheart, Goodnight,” in 1954.

The cause of death was complications of Parkinson’s disease, according to her son Rex Williamson.