The DeZurik Sisters
The DeZurik Sisters
Those six songs were the only tracks the duo would ever commit to shellac, although some recordings exist of their appearances on Checkerboard Time. Both sisters married musicians they had met at WLS—Carolyn accepting a proposal from Ralph "Rusty" Gill, a singer and guitar player, on September 1, 1940, and Mary Jane saying yes to Augie Klein, an accordionist, before the month was out. In 1943, Gill and Klein were drafted into World War II and Mary Jane had taken what proved to be a short-lived retirement to look after her new family. Carolyn joined Sonja Henie's Ice Review for a year or so, afterwards returning to Minnesota for a series of appearances on radio station KSTP-AM. Mary Jane rejoined her sister in 1944, doing road dates with Purina and regular shows at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. Rusty was discharged from Army in 1946 and returned to WLS with his old band, The Prairie Ramblers.
Mary Jane retired for good the next year so Carolyn recruited their sister Lorraine, and the new DeZurik Sisters returned to WLS in Chicago as well. By 1951, after a stint at Cincinnati's WLW-AM and WLW-TV, Lorraine had retired and Carolyn had joined the Ramblers as their new female vocalist, filling a decade-long vacancy created by the absence of legendary trick yodeller Patsy Montana. Carolyn and Rusty moved back to Chicago, where they began appearing with the Ramblers on the daily variety show Chicago Parade, airing on WBBM-TV and WBKB-TV. Lorraine lives in Washington state with her husband. Rusty lives in the Chicago area, although Carolyn died in March 2009. Years after the height of their fame, Carolyn recalled that the DeZurik Sisters achieved their sound simply because she and Mary Jane "listened to the birds and tried to sing with the birds." Read more on Last.fm.
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