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The Davis Sisters

Known to country fans mainly as the act in which Skeeter Davis originally rose to fame, the Davis Sisters' career would have surely been much more influential and successful if tragedy hadn't derailed them just after their first hit. Although they only had one big single ("I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know," in 1953), their outstanding close dual harmonies helped link the Appalachian harmonies of the Delmore Brothers with the more modern ones of subsequent acts like the Everlys. They were also among the earliest female country singing stars of the post-World War II era, and occasionally went into a boogie mode that foreshadowed the rockabilly movement by a year or two.

The Davis Sisters were in fact not sisters at all. Betty Jack Davis and Mary Frances Penick met in high school in Kentucky in the late '40s, soon forming a close friendship and musical partnership. Penick changed her name to Skeeter Davis for professional purposes, so that the duo could be billed as a sister combination. By the early '50s they'd performed regularly on radio shows in Cincinnati and Detroit and made their first studio recordings in Detroit. By 1953 they were recording for RCA, backed by Nashville session players such as Chet Atkins. The mournful "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" was a big hit that made them immediate stars; just as interesting, in retrospect, was the flip side, "Rock-a-Bye Boogie," which anticipated the rockabilly revolution with its frenetic rhythms and Les Paul-influenced electric guitar runs.

That first RCA session was to be Betty Jack's last, as the pair were involved in a serious auto accident in August 1953; Betty Jack died instantly, though Skeeter would recover. With the support of the Davis family, Skeeter continued the act with Betty Jack's older sister, Georgie. The reconstituted Davis Sisters continued to record through 1956, performing in the same harmony style that Skeeter had formulated with Betty Jack. These outings were quite respectable mixes of traditional country ballads with slicker, more up-tempo fare, but there were no more hits, and Skeeter couldn't fully re-create the artistic and personal spark she had enjoyed with Betty Jack. While Georgie retired from music, Skeeter would by the 1960s become one of the most successful woman singers in the country-pop field. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Memories

Disc 1

1. I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know

2. Sorrow And Pain

4. You're Gone

6. You're Gone (Swinging Version)

8. Jealous Love

9. Sorrow And Pain

11. Heartbreak Ahead

12. Rag Mop

13. Your Cheatin' Heart

14. Crying Steel Guitar Waltz

16. It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

17. Tomorrow's Just Another Day To Cry

19. Jambalaya

20. Takin' Time Out For Tears

22. Takin' Time Out For Tears

23. Gotta Git A-Goin'

24. You Weren't Ashamed To Kiss Me Last Night

25. Foggy Mountain Top

27. Don't Take Him For Granted

28. I've Closed The Door

Disc 2

1. Takin' Time Out For Tears

2. Gotta Git A-Goin'

3. I've Closed The Door

4. She Loves Him And He Loves Me

5. I've Closed The Door

6. She Loves Him And He Loves Me

7. Single Girl

8. Show Me

9. The Christmas Boogie

10. Fiddle Diddle Boogie

11. Everlovin'

12. Come Back To Me

13. Tomorrow's Just Another Day To Cry

14. Tomorrow I'll Cry Over You

15. Come Back To Me

16. Tomorrow's Just Another Day To Cry

17. When I Stop Loving You

18. I'll Get Him Back

19. It's The Girl Who Gets The Blame

20. Toodle-Ooh (To You)

21. Baby, Be Mine

23. It's The Girl Who Gets The Blame

24. Lonely And Blue

25. Let's Go Steady

26. Lying Brown Eyes

27. Everywhere He Went

28. Take My Hand Precious Lord

29. Dig A Little Deeper In God's Love

30. Dig A Little Deeper In God's Love

31. It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

Comments

Report as inappropriate
I have heard the story of the Davis sisters from my parents my whole life - so much so- I feel I know them personally even though I never met them. I regret never having the opportunity to meet them but always have enjoyed their music as I am today! Rod Leatherbury
Report as inappropriate
I proudly can call Georgie my new friend. She comes into the restaurant that I work at and sits at my bar. Awesome person!
Report as inappropriate
tmt30
This is for you Mama Jane from Mama. You will be sadly missed for the rest of our lives
Report as inappropriate
LIKE VERY MUCH YU

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