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The DeZurik Sisters

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The DeZurik Sisters were two of the first women to become stars on both the National Barn Dance and the Grand Ole Opry, largely a result of their original yodeling style.

Born and raised on a farm in Royalton, Minnesota, Mary Jane (February 1, 1917–1981) and Carolyn Dezurik (December 24, 1918 – March 16, 2009) were part of a family of seven. Their father Joe played fiddle, their sisters sang, and their brother Jerry played accordion and guitar. Inspired by their family and the sounds of the animals and birds around them, they developed an astonishing repertoire of high, haunting yodels and yips that soon had them winning talent contests all over central Minnesota. In 1936, they signed a contract to appear regularly on Chicago radio station WLS-AM’s National Barn Dance, and were hired in 1937 to perform on Purina Mills’ Checkerboard Time radio show, where they sang as The Cackle Sisters.
In 1938, the sisters recorded six songs for Vocalion Records: “I Left Her Standing There” (Vocalion 4616-A), “Arizona Yodeler” (Vocalion 4616-B), “Sweet Hawaiian Chimes” (Vocalion 4704-A), “Guitar Blues” (Vocalion 4704-B), “Go To Sleep My Darling Baby” (Vocalion 4781-A) and “Birmingham Jail” (Vocalion 4781-B). Those six songs were the only tracks the duo would ever commit to shellac, although some recordings exist of their appearances on Checkerboard Time.

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