Elizabeth Melas & Carol McFadden

The Devotchkas were a four-piece American street punk band from Long Island, NY. Their name was derived from the popular film and novel A Clockwork Orange. Devotchka in Nadsat means “girl”, which is itself derived from the Russian word (девочка) of the same meaning.

An all-girl group, the band was formed by three friends in 1996. The early period saw drummers come and go, including Jon from The Krays. Wanting a regular drummer, they eventually recruited Gabrielle in 1999 to complete the line-up.

In 1998, they were signed to Punk Core Records for the release of their debut EP, which sold in excess of 5,000 copies, a surprisingly high number for a band’s debut EP, especially on vinyl format. After the release of their second EP, Annihilation, in 1999 singer Stephanie left the band to be replaced by JJ. JJ sang on their 2001 full-length album Live Fast, Die Young. At that point, with original singer Stephanie out of the fold, the band decided to change their name to the 99’s. JJ left the band shortly thereafter and was replaced by Jessica. At that point the band reverted their name to The Devotchkas but split up soon after.

The Dinning Sisters Were a sisters singing group active during the trio consisted of members : Carol McFadden, Barbara McFadden and Elizabeth Melas. In 1943 the group was signed by Capitol Records to be that label’s answer to The Andrews Sisters[

The Best of the Andrew Sisters

The Best of the Andrew Sisters (Photo credit: thejcgerm)

who recorded esclusively for Decca Records. The Dinnings sounded somewhat similar to The Andrews Sisters, but never really captured the musical energy & blinding rhythmic drive of Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne, nor the incredible success. The Andrews Sisters were way ahead of us. We tried out darndest to be as commercial as they were, but weren’t flashy enough. We were all kind of shy. We came from a farm in Oklahoma. We never took dancing lessons or anything.” The Dinnings sounded much like The Andrews Sisters in fast-paced recordings like the boogie-woogie influenced “Pig Foot Pete,” as well as “Down in the Diving Bell,” “The Hawaiian War Chant,” and “They Chopped Down the Apple Tree,” an “answer” song (or sequel, if you will), which was cleverly composed and ably sung but much less successful than its originator “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)”. The Dinning sound could also be compared, especially in slower ballads, to the soft blend of The Lennon Sisters, who would appear on the scene in the 1950s on The Lawrence Welk Show.

The Dinning Sisters charted 4 hits during the 1940s, including two top-10s. The group received further exposure from their appearances in the movies Texas Jamboree and Throw a Saddle on the Star.


3 comments on “Elizabeth Melas & Carol McFadden

  1. […] Elizabeth Melas & Carol McFadden (mcfadfam.wordpress.com) […]

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