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  • Years Active

    1947 – 1956 (9 years)

  • Founded In

    Kentucky, United States

  • Members

    • Betty Jack Davis

There are at least two artists sharing the name The Davis Sisters: 1) A country music trio formed in 1949 consisting of Betty Jack Davis, Skeeter Davis and Georgia Davis and 2) A black gospel family trio formed in 1945 with these original members: Ruth "Baby Sis" Davis, Thelma Davis and Audrey Davis.

1) The Davis Sisters were one of the original female country groups. The Davis Sisters were not actually related; Skeeter Davis's real name was Mary Frances Penick, but she adopted the stage name of Skeeter Davis. Betty Jack and Skeeter met each other in high school. They began to immediately form a close relationship and had a close musical relationship as well. Eventually, realizing that they had the same goals and ideas that they would someday be in the music business, singing and recording records, they decided that they would create their own duo group. The Davis Sisters was thus created.

The duo began appearing regularly on radio shows in Cincinnati and Detroit. They first started recording in Detroit. In 1953, they landed a recording contract with RCA Records. While recording for RCA, the sessions were backed up by future record producer Chet Atkins. That same year, they released their first single called "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know". The song was mournful and heartbreaking and became a #1 Country hit for the Davis Sisters, as well as a top ten Pop hit. Their duo harmonies mixed the sound of the old Appalachian harmonies of the Delmore Brothers to the more pop inspired sounds of the Everly Brothers

Shortly after the release of "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know", tragedy struck The Davis Sisters. They were in a car accident on August 2, 1953, which killed Betty Jack instantly and seriously injured Skeeter.

Skeeter reformed the group with Betty Jack's older sister, Georgia. The new duo continued to perform and record until 1956, but failed to have another hit. "Georgia was a fine singer, but it just wasn't the same," Skeeter said in the liner notes to 1995's The Essential Skeeter Davis.

Skeeter Davis went on to a successful solo career.

2) The Davis Sisters (also known as the Famous Davus Sisters of Philadelphia) were a black gospel group formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1945 with the original lineup including founder Ruth "Baby Sis" Davis (with group until her death in 1970) and sisters Thelma, Alfreda (ten years old at the time), Edna and Audrey Davis (through 1982). Pianist Curtis Dublin was added in 1947 and the group began its recording career with the Apex label that same year.

Imogene Greene signed on in 1950. She left in 1955 to join The Caravans replaced by Jackie Verdell. That year, Thelma penned the tune that would become their signature "Twelve Gates to the City" after the Sisters released a 78RPM single via Savoy Records..
The next year, Thelma succumbed to pneumonia.

Greene returned for a second tenure with the group in 1960 staying with them until dying in 1982. Verdell meanwhile left the group for a pop career although she would still appear and record with the Sisters intermittently until completely departing the group in 1966. A heart attack claimed Curtis Dublin in late 1964. Leila Dargan and pianist Cynthia Young also performed with the group at various times.

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