"A-Tisket, A-Tasket"/"The Highland Swing"
by The Three Peters Sisters
on Decca (England) F.6794
released in 1938
Above: The Peters Sisters were Mattye, Virginia and Anne, who grew up in Santa Monica, CA. Two other sisters, Edith and Joyce, formed a team of their own and went on to some success, mainly in Europe.
This photo seems to be from a movie set. If anyone knows its origin or any of the other personnel shown, please send me an e-mail message.
Above: Two of The Peters Sisters surrounding Lena Horne.
Above: The Peters Sisters, in their second of three American movies, "Love And Hisses" (1937), were a Hawaiian vocal trio. Their first movie, "Ali Baba Goes To Town," starring Eddie Cantor, was also a 1937 release. The Peters Sisters were in the 1938 movie "Happy Landing," starring Sonje Henie and Don Ameche. And they were in a musical short, "Hi-De-Ho," (1947), starring Cab Calloway.
(Pittsburgh Courier 9/9/39)
THE PETERS SISTERS, about six hundred pounds of swing and sway on the hoof, who appear this week at New York's Apollo Theater, are tops in the nation's colored vaudeville houses. Local girls, the Peters Sisters recently cinched audiences at the New York Paramount. (California Eagle 5/2/40)
(Niagara Falls Gazette 11/1/37)
(From Binghamton Press 9/11/40): The three Peters Sisters are coming to the Capitol stage Thursday, for three days. They were with Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club in New York. Before being starred at the Cotton Club, the Peters Sisters had already won the plaudits of moviegoers. Discovered by Eddie Cantor when they were singing in an obscure "spot" in their native California, they were immediately signed to appear in the banjo-eyed comedian's picture "Ali Baba Goes To Town." Walter Winchell was so impressed with their singing that he had them featured in the Winchell-Bernie success "Love And Hisses."
Outstanding Sister Trio Fulfils Engagement At Apollo Theatre
(New York Age 11/11/44): The International Sweethearts of Rhythm and the Peters Sisters will headline the stage revue at the Apollo Theatre next week.... one of the finest shows the Apollo has had this season.... Little need be said here about the Three Peters Sisters. For years this trio of buxom girls has been an outstanding success in Hollywood and in theatres throughout the country. Each of them have splendid voices, the oldest of the three Sisters is an accomplished pianist and arranger. Despite their weight all three are good dancers. The Peters Sisters will open a one week engagement at the Apollo Theatre beginning Friday, November 10th.
(New York Age 11/16/40)
(Binghamton Press 10/15/41)
(From Binghamton Press 10/15/41): Peters Sisters Come Back To Capitol Stage This season's prize vaudeville showing boasts a great array of talent, on the Capitol stage Thursday, in the persons of the Peters Sisters, dusky syncopators who made such a hit with Capitol patrons last season and who were brought back by popular demand. Nine hundred pounds of harmony, the Peters Sisters have become the favorites of that very special stratum of Manhattan sophisticates known as Cafe Society....
(NOTE: In the newspaper clips shown on this webpage, the sisters are described as six hundred pounds, nine hundred pounds, and two tons. In Billboard stage review dated 6/1/46... "....Next came the Peters Sisters with feathery white gowns covering their pachydermic frames. Gals did a couple of pop numbers but it was their clowning that paid off. Spectacle of the sisters galloping around like percherons [large horses] got some big yocks. Were forced to beg off...." Virtually every Billboard review refers to their size, using terms such as "overweight," "three battle-wagons," "pachydermal," "chubby," "hefty," "three mammoth beauties," "heavy," "elephantine," "ponderous," and "nearly 1000 pounds." It should be noted that all of these reviews give the sisters high ratings!)
Above: Label image of Decca F.6794 released in England, France, and Germany (on Brunswick) in 1938. "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" is The Three Peters Sisters' version of the big hit by Ella Fitzgerald (which was released on the American Decca label in 1938).
Sid Millward And His Boys later became a comedic orchestra, in the vein of Spike Jones, named Sid Millward And His Nitwits. Millward was an accomplished clarinet and saxophone player.
(Sid Millward And His Nitwits)
Listen to this week's selections by The Three Peters Sisters on Decca (England) F.6794 from 1938:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
A. Stream RealAudio...
1. A-Tisket, A-Tasket
2. The Highland Swing
BOTH played in sequence
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Last Updated: September 13, 2014
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