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Kittrell Sisters

Evelyn (l) and Dolly, ca 1930s with the WIS Barndance
Evelyn (l) and Dolly, ca 1930s with the WIS Barndance

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Evelyn Kittrell Sutton and Dolly Kittrell Simon began their musical career in 1939 when they won first prize on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour talent contest at the ages of 13 and 15. They were offered an early morning radio show on WCOS radio, where they performed with the Radio Rangers as the Melody Maids. They later performed on WCOS with Arthur Smith and the Carolina Crackerjacks as the Carolina Sweethearts.

In 1941, the two sisters moved to the WIS Barn Dance, where they performed with Byron Parker’s Old Hired Hands. The Kittrell sisters were known for their smooth harmonies and their expertise at the yodeling style of cowboy songs popular in the Carolinas during the 1930s and 1940s. The sisters retired from radio in 1945, but continued to make personal appearances at theaters and school auditoriums throughout the state until the late 1990s. Evelyn passed away in 2005 and Dolly is still active in her community and her church, singing with a community choir on a regular basis. They received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 1992.

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bullet icon "Out on the Texas Plain" (02:41)

Evelyn Sutton and Dolly Simon - the Kittrell Sisters - performing in 1992 at the "Heritage of Song" concert hosted by McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina. Co-produced by South Carolina Educational Television.

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