The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sister Act, Part Two

Artist: Paulette Sisters
Song: Your Love Captured Me (b-side) (a-side is Lips That Lie)
Label: Decca 9-30496 (Black and Silver Label Sample Copy - Not For Sale)
Number: 103,330
Songwriters: Gregory Carroll
Time: 3:02
Released: 1956

And now, part two of my special sister groups extravaganza. I posted this one last because, as far as available information there was to be found out about them on the internet, the Paulette Sisters were something of an enigma.
I know their names were Gloria, Jane and Betty and that Jane sang the low harmonies in the group and Gloria is known by the affectionate nickname of "Tootie" to her relatives. Apparently they are all still living because each year for the holidays, a young woman of 22 named Alyssa goes to visit her Aunt Tootie, Aunt Jane and Aunt Betty. And now, for what little professional information I was able to dig up about them.
Their one and only chart hit was in 1955, and it was a cover of the classic Hank Williams song You Win Again. It made it as high as #91 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of that year. Also, it seems they might have started out their career lending their voices as backing harmonies to other singers of the day. I know they added background vocals on a couple songs by Connee Boswell, who herself started out as a member of the Boswell Sisters (more sister acts!). These included There Must Be A Way and Who Told You That Lie. I believe this was probably in the mid-1940's. Also in 1945, July 12th, to be precise, they made a guest appearance on The Kraft Music Hall radio program. Connee Boswell was also on that episode, so it's a pretty good chance the Paulette Sisters were backing her up for this as well.
After their own recording career began in earnest, they seem to have bounced around to a lot of different labels. For we see them on Columbia in 1952 and 1953, recording such songs as Put That Foot Down, Oh Johnny Oh Johnny Oh, Glow Worm, Sui Sin Fa, You'll Never Get Away, My-Na Shay-Na Ty-Ra, Following The Leader and Never Smile At A Crocodile. This latter song was from the soundtrack of the Walt Disney movie Peter Pan and their version itself was featured on the soundtrack to the motion picture You've Got Mail, from 1998. They also recorded Tell Me You Don't Love Me, Shalimar and Everybody Loves Saturday Night, for Columbia, the latter for the Percy Faith Orchestra featuring them and Burt Taylor, in 1953.
Later in 1955, we see them recording at Capitol, which was the period for when their main chart success for You Win Again took place. While on Capitol Records, they also recorded Dream Boat, backed with Leave My Honey Be, Ring-A-Ding-A-Doo, backed with Lonely One, Mama, El Baion, In Madrid and Now Is The Time. Then they recorded a song called Jody, for Decca, which is the label today's post is found on. I suspect this was in the 1956-1957 period, for 1958 found them working on the Aamco label and recording Calla, Calla (The Bride, The Bride) and Why. 1960 found them recording tracks for yet again another label. They released an answer song to the Fireflies 1959 hit recording of You Were Mine, entitled I Was Yours, for the Ribbons Record Label in 1960, which was the b-side of Poor Me. And that's all I could track down about them except a photocopied, autographed picture of them, which you can see below.
Today's great song is from their Decca period and for some reason, it always picks me up when I hear it. Your Love Captured Me is the flipside of Lips That Lie, which the single was promoting, but I like the b-side better. It features an orchestra directed by Sy Oliver, who was a jazz arranger, virtuoso trumpet player, composer, singer and bandleader. Listening to this song makes me wonder why they weren't big stars. Their delivery is spot on and their harmonies are tight and smooth. From this one recording, I would have bought more of their songs when they were in their prime. They have that great of a sound. But, yesterday's history is our loss today. Although I don't know much else about them, I do have this one entertaining moment they left behind for me to listen to. I hope the Paulette Sisters are happy wherever they are and whatever they are doing in this day and age, and I can truly say that their singing captured this fan totally. So be sure to judge for yourself as to their abilities when you listen to The Paulette Sisters as they sing Your Love Captured Me. These lips of mine don't lie when I say they're mighty infectious singers!


Anonymous said...

How cool to find out that apparently these ladies are still with us. I have all of their early recordings with Connee Boswell. Anyone who can put me in touch with them? Thanks! riley200 at juno dot com

Anonymous said...

Nice to see your write up on the Paulettes! I'm trying to locate Jane Paulette Steinkamp, with whom I was in contact in 1981 about the Paulettes' relationship with Connee Boswell. I am collaborating with the daughter of Vet Boswell (of the Boswell Sisters) on a Boswell biography - and have been collecting and researching them for years. I knew Vet very well and spoke to Jane Paulette back in '81. She wrote me a detailed letter explaining their history with Connee Boswell. There's more about my history with the Boswells on the Boswell website,
Jane Paulette worked on a children's LP - it was the story of "Eustace the Useless Rabbit". When I spoke to Jane, she lived in Glendale, Queens, New York. But that was back in 1981. Any help locating Jane Paulette today or contact information for her would be greatly appreciated!

David W. McCain

Anonymous said...

Just had to look & find out who these ladies were after seeing a movie titled "Rogue" with Rhada Mitchell and Michael Vartan about a giant crocodile causing a nightmare for some Australian tourists.
The Paulette Sisters' version of "Never Smile at a Crocodile" was very imaginatively used in the closing credits for the film.
Hope the sisters are being well compensated fot their lovely voices being used in these films...
Just a thought

Anonymous said...

Hi there
Thanks a lot for this information about the Paulette Sisters, indeed one of those underrated bands from the 1950's. My favorite PS song remains 'Leave my honey be' (Don't walk that wiggly walk, don't talk that giggly talk...) It is indeed difficult to find information or items from this band. If you leave me an e-mail address, I'll gladly send a scan of their sheet music Calla calla (1958) and from a post card from one of those vending machines. Unfortunately, I lost an auction on eBay USA last week on a nice Christmas card signed by the 3Paulette Sisters, I'm still feeling very bad about that, but than again you can't win them all ...

Best regards
Ben Vanhees Belgium

Anonymous said...

Nice job in researching this all-but-forgotten vocal group! Great to see folks showing such interest in vintage vocal harmony groups. I believe I may have a recording by the Paulette Sisters that you may not have heard. It's a 45rpm with For Your Love on the A-side, and Susquehanna Moon on the B-side. I'm guessing that it is from between 1961 and 1963. It is on the Contempo label, which was distributed by United Artists back then, and under the song title it reads "Arthur Godfrey Presents" The Paulette Sisters. Both songs are fine examples of tight vintage vocal harmony. I hope this info will be of interest to you. I co-host a radio program in San Jose, California called "The Human Voice". It airs every Tuesdy morning from 7 to 10, and showcases vocal music of all kinds. We went on the air back in March of 1985 on KKUP, Cupertino 91.5FM; a local, non-commercial, listener supported station (see our website at WE are unable to stream yet, because of budget limitations, but always interested in doing what can be done to preserve our vocal music heritage. Feel free to contact me (Phil)if you wish at:

HaarFager said...

Thanks, Phil! I hope people will see this information about your radio program and tune in. It sounds interesting - too bad I don't live in California!

cj said...

These are my great aunts :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post about the Paulette Sisters. Yes, I also wonder why they did not have many hit records. I first discovered them when I heard "Never Smile at a Crocodile" on a CD anthology called "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," which featured Columbia Records artists singing songs from Disney movies. Over the years I have found some of their recordings here-and-there. They had wonderful voices that blended beautifully.