Women's History Month #tbt - Celebrating Hometown Icons
To most people “Sincerely” is a word used when signing a letter. But to a previous generation, it’s the signature song of a trio of sisters whose dulcet harmonies propelled it to 20th century iconic status.
The golden voices belonged to the McGuire Sisters, local girls who started out singing and/or playing instruments in the area. Years later they would find themselves performing for U.S. presidents, the Queen of England, and thousands of devoted fans in concerts and national TV audiences.
Middletown and Miamisburg were home to the McGuires. Dorothy, Christine and Phyllis McGuire were born and lived in Middletown and attended local schools (Phyllis graduated from Miamisburg High). Their father, Asa, worked at Armco and their mother, Lillie, was an ordained minister/pastor at the First Church of God in Middletown and Miamisburg First Church of God. Music was a big part of the girls’ home, school and church lives.
Fame arrived. In the early 1950s the trio was a featured act on the popular Arthur Godfrey TV program. Eventually their songs “Sugartime,” “Sincerely,” and “May you always” became part of the popular culture. The sisters were inducted into music halls of fame.
In the late 1960s the trio gave what they thought would be their last performance together on The Ed Sullivan Show. Phyllis continued to perform.
In later years, however, the singing siblings reunited. In the early 1990s they performed at Middletown’s Sorg Opera House and reunited with friends at a reception at the former Manchester Inn ballroom. A headline in the Middletown Journal echoed a sentiment shared among the hometown audience : “They made me feel young again tonight.”
Fun fact: the sisters “always appeared in the same order: Christine on the left, Phyllis in the middle, and Dorothy on the right,” according to the 1998 biography, The McGuire Sisters - a Hometown Success Story” by Allen J. Baxter. The book is available in the Ohio Room at MidPointe Library Middletown. It and the following were used as sources for this blog:
“Vertical File” folders containing McGuire Sisters information (located in the Ohio Room at MidPointe Middletown)
Microfilm copies of the Middletown Journal (MidPointe Middletown)
Newspaper articles available at www.midpointelibrary.org > eLibrary > Research databases > Magazines and newspapers > Newspaper archive.