compiled by Dee Finney

11-20-08 - DREAM -  The house I was living in was being remodeled and repainted. 

The painters arrived - the head painter was normal sized, but all the rest were about 8 feet tall.

The head painter said, "Excuse me Maam, but I manage the Chordettes and they are trying to make a comeback."

I jumped right off the ground and clapped my hands and exclaimed, "I love them".

The painter was surprised and responded, "You do?"  like he was surprised I knew who they were.

The painter said, "Well, it's 1962 and we didn't know if people would remember them".

I had a little cabinet nearby and I opened and took out a little white box, and on it was the name, Dr. Luis Turi (he's an astrologer) so I thought maybe it was a box of tiny Tarot cards, but I was looking for a date on it, and it said, 'April 14, 1959'

So below, I present the Chordettes:

Formed in 1946 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the quartet of Dorothy Schwartz (lead), Jinny Lockard (tenor), (or Lockard) (April 25, 1927-May 19, 2003). Carol Buschman (baritone), and Janet Ertel (bass) (1913-November 4, 1988) practiced their barbershop-style harmony to perfection in the late ‘40s. 

They joined the Arthur Godfrey’s “Talent Scouts” show on radio in 1949 and soon graduated to his TV show as regulars. In 1953, both Dorothy and Jinny were replaced by Lynn Evans and Margie Needham, respectively. They disbanded in 1961/62.

They were inducted into the Music Hall of Fame in 2001.


Mister Sandman, bring me a dream
Make him the cutest that I've ever seen
Give him two lips like roses in clover
Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over

Mister Sandman, I'm so alone
Don't have nobody to call my own
Please turn on your magic beam
Mister Sandman, bring me a dream

Mister Sandman, bring me a dream
Make him the cutest that I've ever seen
Give him the word that I'm not a rover
Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over

Mister Sandman, I'm so alone
Don't have nobody to call my own
Please turn on your magic beam
Mister Sandman, bring me a dream

Mister Sandman, (yeesss?) bring us a dream
Give him a pair of eyes with a congeal of gleam
Give him a lonely heart like Pagliacci
And lots of wavy hair like Liberace

Mister Sandman, someone to hold
Would be so peachy before we're too old
So please turn on your magic beam
Mister Sandman, bring us
Please, please, please
Mister Sandman, bring us a dream


Lollipop lollipop
Oh lolli lolli lolli
Lollipop lollipop.....
Call my baby lollipop
Tell you why
His kiss is sweeter than an apple pie
And when he does his shaky rockin' dance
Man, I haven't got a chance
I call him
Lollipop lollipop
Oh lolli lolli lolli
Lollipop lollipop.....
Sweeter than candy on a stick
Huckleberry, chimry or lime
If you had a choice
He'd be your pick
But lollipop is mine
Lollipop lollipop
Oh lolli lolli lolli
Lollipop lollipop.....
Crazy way he thrills me
Tell you why
Just like a lightning from the sky
He loves to kiss me till I can't see straight
I call him
Lollipop lollipop

Oh lolli lolli lolli
Lollipop lollipop.....

The Chordettes were one of the longest living groups.


I CRIED A TEAR   - 1954




NO WHEELS  - 1956










The Chordettes were a female popular singing quartet, usually singing a cappella, and specializing in traditional pop music.

The group organized in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in 1946. The original members of the group were Janet Ertel (1913-November 4, 1988), Carol Buschmann (her sister-in-law), Dorothy Schwartz, and Jinny Osborn (or Lockard) (April 25, 1928-May 19, 2003). In 1952, Lynn Evans replaced Schwartz, and in 1953, Margie Needham replaced Osborn (who was having a baby), though Osborn later returned to the group. Nancy Overton also was a member of the group at a later time. Originally they sang folk music in the style of The Weavers, but eventually changed to a harmonizing style of the type known as barbershop harmony or close harmony. Part of this change seems to be influenced by Osborn's father.

Jinny Osborn was born in Seattle, Washington. She was born Virginia Cole, the daughter of O. H. "King" Cole, who was president of the Barbershop Harmony Society (then known as SPEBSQSA), and Katherine Flack.

After performing locally in Sheboygan, they won on Arthur Godfrey's radio program Talent Scouts in 1949. They held feature status on Godfrey's daily program, and then recorded for Columbia Records.

In 1953, Godfrey's music director and orchestra leader, Archie Bleyer, founded Cadence Records. He signed a number of Godfrey regulars and former regulars, including the Chordettes, who had a number of hit records for Cadence.

Their biggest hit was Mr. Sandman in 1954. Archie Bleyer himself is on that record along with the group, Bleyer stripping the sound down the better not to clutter the girls' voices. They also hit #2 with 1958's "Lollipop" and also charted with a vocal version of the themes from television's Zorro (U.S. #17) (1959) and the film Never on Sunday (U.S. #13) (1961). Other hits for the girls included "Eddie My Love" (U.S. #14), "Born to Be With You" (U.S. #5), "Lay Down Your Arms" in 1956, and "Just Between You and Me" (U.S. #8) in 1957.

Janet Ertel married Bleyer in 1954. Her daughter Jackie married another Cadence recording star, Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers. She died of cancer in 1988.

The Chordettes appeared on American Bandstand on August 5, 1957, the first episode of that show to be broadcast nationally on the ABC Television network.

In 1961, Jinny Osborn left the group, and they were unable to find a replacement with whom they were happy, leading to a breakup.

The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.

Jinny Osborn (by that time Jinny Janis) died in 2003.

Hit records

External links


In the aftermath of the Mr. Sandman sensation, The Chordettes found themselves in the whirlpool of stardom. Nightclubs around the country clamored for them. They perfumed on radio programs (including Alan Freed's), entertained for President Eisenhower along the way, and sustained their television presence with Ed Sullivan, Gary Moore, and Robert Q. Lewis (on whose show they became regulars).

Their hit of early 1956, Eddie My Love, pulses with an entrancing torch vocal of sensuousness and innocence. Later that year Born to Be With You and Lay Down Your Arms rose through the charts and in 1957 they reemerged with the playful ballad Just Between You and Me.

Then there was Lollipop, and gold record in 1958, sparked by the gook line, "Lollipop, lollipop, ooh lolli, lolli, lolli," instantly recognizable even today. That opening of the song carved out the contemporary rock 'n' roll sound that producer Archie Bleyer sought for the group.

Their very next single, a version of the theme song from the TV series Zorro, was yet another chart record as was their 1961 rendering of the title song of the movie Never on Sunday.

Put on a Chordettes disk now and you're treated to the endearing freshness on the voices. The recordings evoke memories and impressions of the Fifties, or at least the Fifties as we've come to idealize them that simpler planet of pastel convertibles and hands entwined through a long summer evening. Yet the music outruns the nostalgic tether. On one hand these are good voices, each full of personality, each enriching the distinctive blend. On the other the exuberance of human voices in harmonized song, the soul of barbershop singing, infused all the groups recordings: the pop, the rock, the ballads, and the themes. Archie Bleyer thirsted to animate well-written songs with fresh sounds, but his musical playfulness never compromised his gift. Chordettes records are fun, they're often lovely, and yet they're free of the precariousness that wearies the novel into novelty.


Harmony Time Vol 1 & 2

When You Were Sweet Sixteen
Moonlight Bay
Carry Me Back To Old Virginny
Ballin' The Jack
Shine On Harvest Moon
Tell Me Why
I'd Love To Live In Loveland (With A Girl Like You)
When Day Is Done
Runnin' Wild
Love Me And The World Is Mine
Moonlight On The Ganges
The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
Love's Old Sweet Song
Let The Rest Of The World Go By
Lonesome - That's All
Alice Blue Gown
Candy And Cake
If It Wasn't For Your Father
O Joe
Down By The Old Mill Stream
Time Out For Tears
Can't Be Seem To Laugh Anymore
Love Is The Reason
Dance Me Loose

"Harmony Time, Vol. I & II" is a very generous slice of pre-Sweet Adelines history. By generous we mean two LPs (16 cuts) of the Chordettes by themselves, plus 8 songs with Arthur Godfrey and one with Bill Lawrence. It was 1946 in Sheboygan, WI, and four young women were singing together, working out some intricate harmonies that sounded pretty good. They named themselves the Chordettes. Encouraged by an early SPEBSQSA, they appeared in an all-male Sheboygan barbershop parade, then auditioned for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, which they won easily. After that they joined the talented Godfrey troupe. We can't call them Sweet Adelines Champs, as SA hadn't been formed yet, so how about pre-Champs? The pioneering intricate, soaring harmonies the Chordettes worked out themselves are a revelation for lovers of pure barbershop of any gender. Favorites? "Moonlight Bay," "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," "Ballin' The Jack," "Shine on Harvest Moon," "Moonlight on the Ganges," "Love's Old Sweet Song" and "Alice Blue Gown." We also liked the Godfrey tunes, but they are accompanied (sometimes by Godfrey on piano), and feature Godfrey more than the Chordettes, who frankly could sing rings around him. In any case, this CD is a joy on many levels!

Harmony Encores / Your Requests

Carolina Moon
Basin Street Blues
Floatin' Down To Cotton Town
Drifting And Dreaming
Garden In The Rain
The Sweetheart Of Sigma Chi
Kentucky Babe
In The Sweet Long Ago
I'm Drifting Back To Dreamland
A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet
The Anniversary Waltz
Sentimental Journey
Wait 'Till The Sun Shines, Nellie
They Say It's Wonderful
I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now
For Me And My Gal
I Believe
Down Among The Sheltering Palms
Hello! Ma Baby
Wonderful One
(When It's) Darkness On The Delta

As this is another two-LPs for the price of one CD, we can hear you say, "Let me guess, they'll love this one too." Bingo! The Chordettes, who we think of as the first great Sweet Adelines group, pioneered women's barbershop singing when there was no such thing, and they did it with class, professionalism and style. "Harmony Encores" was released by Columbia in 1952, and "Sing Your Requests" in 1954, and they contain 23 classics of harmony and arrangement. While finding the original LPs in any kind of condition to play is unlikely, here you get the original master recordings on a CD with pictures of the four women, the original album covers and the original liner notes. From the opening cut, "Carolina Moon," to "Drifting and Dreaming," "Kentucky Babe," "The Anniversary Waltz," "Wait 'Til the Sun Shines, Nellie," "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now," "Hello! Ma Baby" and the final cut "Darkness On The Delta," this is Entertainment!

The Best Of

True Love Goes On And On
Mr. Sandman
Lonely Lips
Eddie My Love
Born To Be With You
Lay Down Your Arms
Teen Age Goodnight
Echo Of Love
Just Between You And Me
Soft Sands
Baby Come-A-Back-A
No Other Arms, No Other Lips
A Girl's Work Is Never Done
No Wheels
Never On Sunday

The Chordettes' career spanned from 1954-1961, during which they were one of the most popular girl groups of the era. Their founder, Jinny Osborn, was the daughter of the then President of the Barbershop Society; she began to adapt barbershop arrangements for women's voices. (Their greatest hit, "Mr. Sandman," in fact utilizes one of barbershop's favorite embellishments, the bell chord, as it's motif. ) Subsequently they began their long partnership with arranger/producer Archie Bleyer. This association resulted in the aforementioned "Sandman," "Lollipop," "Eddie My Love" and many others included here. The Chordettes sound was mainstream pop, though they flirted with the new rock music that was developing at the end of the 'fifties, as can be heard on "No Wheels," which sounds a bit of a period piece now. Their final hit was "Never on Sunday" in 1961, and indeed, as the sixties began, a chapter closed in musical history, and for the Chordettes as well.

The Fabulous Chordettes

Born To Be With You
Eddie My Love
The Wedding
Mister Sandman
Teenage Goodnight
Just Between You And Me
Soft Sands
No Other Arms, No Other Lips
Lay Down Your Arms
Never On Sunday
The Chordettes were one of the most successful female groups of the vintage era. After their selection, in 1949, for the Arthur Godfrey talent program, they recorded a series of albums, first for Columbia, and then for Cadence. "The Fabulous Chordettes" is a selection from this later period ('54-'61), and includes their first big hit, "Mr. Sandman,", "Lollipops," "Just Between You And Me," and nine others (accompanied, but reticently). Their vocal style and arrangements, though not strictly vertical, were definitely influenced by barbershop theory. Many of the cuts are mono - the digital master was transferred from the original analog recordings.

Barbershop Harmony Time

Time They Say It's Wonderful
If I Could Be With You One Hour Toninght
Down By The Old Mill Stream
Why Do I Love You
Down Amoung The Sheltering Palms
As Time Goes By
Fit As A Fiddle
I Believe
Your Eyes Have Told Me So