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The de Castro Sisters History

The de Castro Sisters

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Based in: Las Vegas , United States.

The De Castro sisters grew up in Cuba, though each was born in a different country - Margarita Dolores, known as Peggy, was born in the Dominican Republic, Cherie - the United States, and Babette - in Cuba. They were singing and dancing by the early 40's and used several different variations of names as performers, including The Americanitas, The Marvel Sisters, The Fernando De Castro Sisters, and finally they shortened it to their family name of the De Castro Sisters. Their act included comedy, both intended and unintended, singing, dancing and apparent acting on stage. They were also the voices that sang Zip A Dee Doo Dah in Disney's 1946 film Song Of The South. Did they speed up their voices, or was it really their natural sound? They appeared in the 1947 film Copacabana, and several others including The Helen Morgan Story. Their very first recordings as the De Castro Sisters were from 1952 on the Tico label and included "I Do" and Jumbalato" with Tito Puente.

While performing at the club Moulin Rouge in Hollywood, Fabor Robison happened to catch the De Castro Sisters show, and was looking for new talent on his well established country and western label called Abbott. He already found some success with early recordings by Johnny Horton, Mitchell Torok, Smiley Burnette and superstar Jim Reeves. He had just recently sold Reeves contract to RCA to free up some cash, and was now looking for the next big thing. Ironically, the same thing would happen to the De Castro Sisters after less than two years with with his label. Though certainly not country western, the De Castro sisters would provide a change of musical pace and Robison's fortunes for the Abbott label, which devoted their first four releases in the label's new 3000 numbering system, to the De Castro Sisters. The biggest hit on Abbott and their career was with Teach Me Tonight in 1954. Were they one hit wonders? Not really. Four out of seven of their Billboard pop hits were on the Abbott label. Their second biggest hit was their third release for Abbott called Boom Boom Boomerang which was a real catchy tune in it's own right. A total of ten issues for Abbott were recorded by the De Castro Sisters, before they moved on the the powerhouse RCA label.

The De Castro Sisters had phenomenal success with their live shows, whether it was in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or any number of TV shows they appeared on. They had a sound, a presence and an entertaining program. They went on to other labels after Abbott. Most notably was the aforementioned RCA, also ABC, Capitol and a couple of smaller outfits. Unfortunately, they never were able to break into the top 70 with those discs. Peggy was the first of the sisters to leave the group, and was replaced by Olgita, from Mexico City. Peggy then formed her own mixed group of two men and one other woman besides herself. Babette later departed to have a baby, and Peggy returned to join Olgita and Cherie as the De Castro Sisters. Their recording career actually spanned about 10 years, from the early 50's to about 1962. We begin and end the De Castro Sisters audio and pictorial journey on the Abbott label, with music and label shots from 1954 through 1956.

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