|THE LENNON SISTERS|
|They are known as America's Sweethearts, and they have grown up on television from little girls to grown-up ladies.
And for more than fifty years; Dianne, Peggy, Kathy and Janet, the Lennon Sisters of Venice, California, have entertained millions of Americans from Presidents to celebrities and then some.
They appeared on many television shows, such as Hollywood Squares, Andy Williams, Merv Griffith, Family Feud, Dinah!, Mike Douglas, Love American Style, Perry Como and various Jerry Louis MDA telethons just to name a few, plus also released several albums that have sold millions.
They have their own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and have been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in Sharon, Pennsylvania.
Whatever incarnation of the group, which included younger sisters Mimi and Annie, either as a trio or quartet, are still going strong today.
The eldest, Dianne Lennon (also known as Dee Dee), was born on December 1, 1939 to William and Sis Lennon. She sang lead vocals in the quartet from when the girls made their debut on the Welk Show on December 24, 1955 until 1960 when she left to get married (to Dick Gass). She returned to the show in 1964, rejoining her sisters until the act themselves parted way with the Maestro in January 1968. For a while, Dianne worked for a Catholic newspaper, and taught reading and kindergarden at St. Mark's School in between appearing on television and concerts with the act. She retired from performing in 2001 to spend more time with her family, which now includes three children and numerous grandchildren. Dianne now enjoys playing golf and runs, with her husband Dick, a restaurant in Branson, Missouri.
Peggy Lennon was born April 8, 1941; and as a youngster took interest in both music and religion, plus acting where as a teenager was active in productions at her high school. In 1964, she married Welk trumpet player Dick Cathcart, who was seventeen years older than her, and until his passing in 1993, were the proud parents of six children. Having retired from the act in 1999, Peggy has since remarried (to Bob Felt) and makes her home in Northridge, California.
Kathy Lennon was born August 2, 1943; she was known as the most athletic of the sisters, and for her pure singing voice. While the Lennon Sisters were at the height of their popularity on the Welk show, she was featured on many of the celebrity magazines and was linked with many of Hollywood's leading men. Kathy was married to Lawrence Welk's clarinet player Mahlon Clark for several years beginning in 1967 and today is married to Jim Daris for the past twenty five years. She also served as the act's manager and spokesperson over the years. Kathy is known to have collected Lennon Sister memorbilia and antiques from the Hearst household.
Janet Lennon was born June 15, 1946, the younger of the quartet. From their debut on Christmas Eve 1955, she was singled out for stardom with her singing voice, stage presence and charisma having her own paper dolls, making the cover of several fan magazines and a series of adventure books starring her. She married Lee Bernhardi in 1966, and became the mother of three children, and later to John Bahler, who led the Welk orchestra when they peformed at the Champagne Theater in Branson from 1994 to 2004. In 2006, Janet along with Kathy launched Best Pals, which sells a line of dolls based from their childhood and a CD of new material.
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