Topic: Betty Clooney
Betty Clooney (1931-76), popular singer and television pioneer, was the sister of Rosemary Clooney and Nick Clooney and the aunt of George Clooney. The daughter of Andrew and Frances Guilfoyle Clooney, Betty spent most of her childhood years with sister Rosemary and their Grandmother Guilfoyle in Maysville, Ky. The sisters moved to Cincinnati to live with other relatives while teenagers. They partnered as an act known as the Clooney Sisters, first singing on WLW radio in 1945. Then Betty and Rosemary toured nationally with the Tony Pastor Orchestra, making most of their commercial recordings together between 1946 and 1949. After touring with Tony Pastor for three years, Betty altruistically resigned, allowing Rosemary to record as a solo performer for Columbia Records in New York City. Betty returned to Cincinnati during the formative years of the Crosley Broadcasting Company and its regional television programs. As a pioneering female television personality, Betty was one of WLWT's busiest full-time television employees, performing on multiple programs a week. She was a singer for the Ruth Lyons "50 Club" (later renamed the "50-50 Club"), simulcast on both WLW radio and the Crosley television chain. She hosted her own television programs, such as "Boy Meets Girl" and "Teen Canteen," as well as other shows at WLWT. She also recorded a few songs on the legendary King Records label and made some local appearances backed by many regional tri-state "territory bands" such as Clyde Trask. Betty went to New York City as a solo act at the Starlight Roof of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the early 1950s. She made several national television guest appearances, including the highly popular Garry Moore Show on the CBS network and was a regular cast member (along with journalist Charles Collingwood) on Jack Paar's "Morning Show," also on CBS. At the "Morning Show," which was a rival to NBC's groundbreaking news format of the "Today" show, she met and worked with Pupi Campo, the "Morning Show" Latin bandleader and her husband-to-be.