About The Group
The Ertman Sisters began as a duet with Helen and Elma. Later, their younger sister Anna would join the act. The trio seemed to enjoy a long run on radio station WBUX in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Early in 1947, the Ertman Sisters act consisted of Helen and Elma, two sisters who were from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Helen played the mandolin and Elma the guitar. They were known to do duest in harmony and had been performing professionally for about two years according to Nicola and Rose Fantetti. They mentioned that on September 20, 1946, they did a personal appearance with Bob Nolan, Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers. That same day they also did an appearance at the Circle S Range. The sisters mentioned that they would become a trio in the near future, adding their 'kid sister', Anna.
In one of their roundup columns of artist activity, Nicola and Rose Fantetti that the Ertman Sisters were getting "...favorable impressions..." from audiences and artists alike. They indicated the sisters were due to hit the "...big time..." soon but they would not name the 'top-notcher' who was trying to give the gals a helping hand.
Matt Pelkonen told readers in 1947 that the sisters were featuring a tune by Ben Shelhammer, Billy Wilson and Dick Reynolds at personal appearances around Allentown, Pennsylvania - "I'll Spread My Blanket Neath The Stars".
In late 1948, the Ertman Sisters had a weekly radio show over radio station WBUX (1570am) each Saturday at 11:45am. Listeners were told they would "...hear some of the finest singing of western songs and some extra fine guitar and mandolin playing'..." Another mention of the sisters in that same publication mentions while the three sisters were still teen-agers, they had quite a bit of radio experience having worked with such acts as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Sons of the Pioneers, Pat Buttram, Riders of the Purple Sage, Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Smiley Burnette and Eddy Arnold. Later in the year, they were in the 11:30am slot for a 15 minute show and were doing transcribed singing radio commercials as well.
In August 1952, Billboard magazine was informing readers that the trio had added a radio show over WNAR in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
The sisters performed in a variety of "music parks" that were popular venues in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Such venues the sisters performed at included: Lake View Park in Royersford, PA; Pheasant Land Park near Pottstown, PA; Deer Trail Park in Hazleton, PA; Playland Park in Nanagala, PA; and Hickory Park in Pottstown, PA. Other venues they appeared at were at Freese's Farmer's Market in Pottstown and Baumstown Market and Auctions.
Credits & Sources
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