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Sweeney Sisters
WSM Grand Ole Opry
WLAC Nashville, TN
WSM Nashville, TN

About the Group

About The Group

Folio - Buddy Starcher's Roundup Of Song Hits (Radio and Recording) Book No. 3 - 1942 The Sweeney Sisters appeared on the WSM Grand Ole Opry for a series of weeks between the end of November 1934 through the middle of March 1936. Charles K. Wolfe listed them in is Appendix A - The Opry Roster in his book "A Good Natured Riot" but he wrote - "No information." That meant some research had to be done to uncover who this group was.

Research tells us they were a quartet of four sisters that were from Tullahoma, Tennessee, a town about 80 miles southeast of Nashville. They first appeared over the radio air waves in Nashville on radio station WLAC on December 26, 1932.

A picture of the female quartet was published that had a caption with their names helped us discover some details about the four women. With their names, an obituary was found of their father's death, listing all of the sisters and their married names. Let this essay start with their musical journey as found in our research.

In November 1934, a musical program was given at Richland Park in Nashville under the direction of Mignon Garfinkle. Music was to be provided by the Three Musketeers, specialty dances by Lillian Hall and Corrine and Aline Morris, solos by Marjorie Jones and Margaret Cope, a quartet number by the Sweeney Sisters. Other musical numbers were done by Jennie Stewart and Reba Sweeney, the Rose Brotehrs and Phillip Rose and His Revue.

The Sweeney Sisters may have gotten a reputation from being on the radio. The Lions Club hosted Frank A. Chase, a director of the field service for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board at a meeting in March 1934. "Special entertainment" included musical numbers by the Sweeney Sisters and "Freckles" who was a star in the "Our Gang" comedies.

About a week later, they were part of the entertainment at a monthly meeting of the Nashville Retail Credit Association in the Chamber of Commerce Building. The speaker was J. C. Griffin from Atlanta, the manager of the Southeastern territory of the National Credit Reporting Corporation. The meeting was attended by over 100 people. In addition to the Sweeney Sisters, H. L. Brice also was on the program.

In April 1934, seven troops with a membership of 175 scouts held their annual banquet at the Tennessee Industrial School Gymnasium. A variety of entertainment was offered. Jimmy Burns and Ruth Miller, Helen McBride, the Vagabonds, Velma, Dean and Bobby Tucker, tricks by the Magic Circle Club, the Sweeney Sisters and the high school orchestra.

A picture of the female quartet was published that had a caption with their names helped us discover some details about the four women. They were all born in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

The newspaper radio logs for WSM first mentioned the Sweeney Sisters as part of an Opry segment on Saturday November 3, 1934 at 10:20pm and 11:40pm. Using their birthdates, Mildred was 32 years old, Hazel 29, Ruby 22, and Anna(Annie) was about 27 when they appeared on the Opry.

The Sweeney Sisters appeared every Saturday night at 10:30pm and 11:40pm from November 3, 1934 through March 16, 1935. On their last appearance, they were only seen in the newspaper logs for the 10:30 segment.

Folio - Buddy Starcher's Roundup Of Song Hits (Radio and Recording) Book No. 3 - 1942
Folio - Buddy Starcher's Roundup Of Song Hits (Radio and Recording) Book No. 3 - 1942
Folio - Buddy Starcher's Roundup Of Song Hits (Radio and Recording) Book No. 4 - 1942

The Sweeney Sisters:

  • Mildred Florence Sweeney Martin (B: September 17, 1902 — October 10, 1963)
  • Hazel Sweeney Norwood (B: February 1, 1905) — D: July 27, 1976)
  • Anna Ruth Sweeney Robertson (B: March 20, 1907 — D: December 18, 1969)
  • Ruby Sweeney Wade (B: August 27, 1912 — D: July 21, 1989)

Credits & Sources

  • Richland Park Program; November 9, 1933; The Tennessean; Nashville, TN
  • Lions Hear Home Loan Bank Board Member; March 8, 1934; Nashville Banner; Nashville, TN
  • Obituary: Charles E. Sweeney; April 1, 1936; The Tennessean; Nashville, TN
  • Retail Credit Group Hears J. C. Griffin; March 16, 1934; Nashville Banner; Nashville, TN
  • Seven Troops Attend Annual Scout Banquet; April 13, 1934; Nashville Banner; Nashville, TN
  • Obituary: Mrs. Annie Robertson; December 19, 1969; The Commercial Appeal; Memphis, TN