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Topic: Clooney Sisters

When Rosemary was fifteen, her mother and brother, Nick, moved to California. She and her sister, Betty, remained with their father. She was bipolar. In 1945, the Clooney sisters won a spot on Cincinnati's radio station WLW as singers. Her sister Betty sang in a duo with Rosemary for much of her early career. Talent just seems to run in that family. Of course I had heard the Clooney Sisters'duet Sisters long before as well as their recordings with Tony Paster but I had no idea that Rosemary's younger sister made any solo recordings. Leave it to a foreign company to reissue songs sung by a voice that typifies what was really good during the fifties. In fact, she's still excells thanks to these sparkling clean versions heard on this CD. Were these really 78 rpm records? After listening to Betty sing, I can fully appreciate why her duets with Rosemary worked so well; they were both blessed with the same voice. OK, not exactly. Betty's voice was just a little higher than her sister's and she approached her songs just a wee bit more "head on" than Rosemary's more subtle approach. What's fun is you can hear Betty smiling as she sings. Honest. By Bruce K. Hanson, amazon.com....

Although Rosie and Betty were together in New York City as separate acts, the sisters remained close, always encouraging one another professionally. They made a few more recordings together, including the somewhat autobiographical Irving Berlin tune, "Sisters," from White Christmas (1954), on the Columbia label. Betty also recorded songs for RCA, and Coral, a subsidiary of Decca. During the mid-1950s, Betty spent a few years as a regular on the "Robert Q. Lewis Show," a CBS daytime television variety series. She was also a featured vocalist in the mid 1950's with her to-be husband, musician Pupi Campo, on the CBS-TV "Morning Show" with host Jack Paar. She guest-starred on the prime-time "Lux Show Starring Rosemary Clooney" in 1957 on NBC, as well as a string of other guest television appearances, before she retired from show business a few years after her marriage to Pupi Campo in 1955 to raise a family. Pupi Campo and his band performed as a feature act for many years in Miami, and later in Las Vegas. Betty returned to network television news briefly on NBC's "Today." She supported John Chancellor as one of the Today Girls in 1961 and later as a guest sponsor performer for Hugh Downs in 1962 and 1963. Betty also worked with Barbara Walters, who had just started as a news researcher, writer and reporter on "Today." The Clooney sisters remained close, supporting one another in challenges, usually related to their husbands' infidelities. After a few guest co-host performances on brother Nick Clooney's WCPO and WKRC variety television shows in Cincinnati, the sisters discussed comeback plans for a reunion tour in the mid-1970s. Unfortunately, this never came to pass, as Betty died of a brain aneurysm at age 45 in 1976. Her funeral Mass was at St. Viator's Catholic Church in Las Vegas. In Betty's honor, Rosemary and Nick established the Betty Clooney Foundation in 1983 and the Betty Clooney Center in Long Beach, Calif. (opened in 1988), providing post-treatment for persons with traumatic brain injury.


Posted by groupseditor at 3:47 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007 3:57 PM EST

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