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The Chordettes

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

They were first organized in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1946. The original members of the group were Janet Ertel (1913-November 4, 1988), Carol Bushman (her sister-in-law), Dorothy Schwartz, and Jinny Osborn (or Lockard) (April 25, 1927-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. 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 went on Arthur Godfrey’s radio program, Talent Scouts in 1949.They went on to feature status on Godfrey’s daily program, and then went on to make a number of recordings for Columbia Records.

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