Dorothy McGuire Williamson, who with her sisters Phyllis and Christine formed the Fifties vocal trio the McGuire Sisters, has died at her son’s house near Phoenix, The Associated Press reports. She was 84. Williamson had Parkinson’s disease and age-related dementia.
The McGuire Sisters were as well known for their matching outfits and hairdos as for their vocal harmonies, which helped them earn six gold records between 1952-68. The sisters began singing together as children in Ohio, performing in the church where their mother, Lillie, was a minister, and at weddings and church revivals. After breaking through to a wider audience in 1952 on the program Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, the sisters established a career that included numerous television appearances, concert tours and more than 60 singles, including the Number One hits “Sincerely” in 1954 and “Sugartime” in 1957.
After the trio last appeared together on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1968, Williamson left the music business to raise her two sons with husband Lowell Williamson, a wealthy oilman she was married to for 53 years. She reunited with Christine and Phyllis in the Eighties as a Las Vegas nightclub act. They last performed together in the mid-2000s.
The McGuire Sisters, who performed for five U.S. presidents and the Queen of England, were inducted into the National Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. Williamson is survived by her husband, two sons, two step-children, nine grandchildren and her sisters. Christine, 86, and Phyllis, 81, live in Las Vegas.