Sometimes when families get together to sing, they make the most delightful “family blends”…

Last week, I was on YouTube watching videos starring the Boone Sisters. For those who weren’t around in the 70s, the Boone Sisters are the four daughters of Pat and Shirley Boone. In the 70s, they were a successful singing group, especially among Christians. I’m not a particularly religious person, but I happened to read Cherry Boone O’Neill’s book, Starving For Attention, which is her account of struggling with anorexia nervosa. In that book, she writes about singing with her sisters and what it was like to grow up as Pat Boone’s eldest daughter.

Many years later, I purchased Debby Boone’s 2005 album, Reflections of Rosemary, which was a tribute to her late mother-in-law, Rosemary Clooney. On that album, there is a single track that features Debby Boone singing with her sisters. In the liner notes, she writes about “family blends”, that is the interesting way singers from the same families can blend their voices. Debby Boone writes of how Rosemary Clooney used to sing with her sister and the two were able to harmonize beautifully. I am myself a singer, though I’ve never tried to sing with my sisters. I think it’s mainly because by the time I started singing, they were already long gone from the house and the opportunity never presented itself. Still, I’m kind of fascinated by musicians who are related and sing together.

This is a 1977 recording of the Boone Sisters singing “Hasta Mañana”, a song made famous by ABBA.

The Boone Sisters have obviously sung together since 1977, but this was the best produced example of their family blend I could find. Here’s a more updated version of them singing together.

Covering “You Won’t, You Don’t”, a song originally performed by Billy Gilman.

Another family with a great blend is the one formed by Carly Simon and James Taylor. Though they’ve been divorced for decades, they did produce Ben and Sally Taylor, who inherited their parents’ beautiful voices.

Carly Simon, Ben Taylor, and Sally Taylor sing “You Can Close Your Eyes”, a song written by James Taylor.

That family blend is especially apparent in this video from 1981 starring James Taylor and his siblings…

James Taylor with Alex, Hugh, Livingston, and sister Kate!

Sometimes siblings play together rather than blend their voices. Here’s a video of Stephanie Jordan with the Jordan family, singing “Here’s To Life” on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I can’t listen to this version of “Here’s To Life” without being profoundly moved. The Jordan Family was very personally affected by Hurricane Katrina and were still missing a family member when they performed a benefit days after the storm struck.

Such a moving performance. Brings me to tears every time.

Lawrence Welk’s show was great for showcasing singing siblings. The Lennon Sisters were just one sister act that performed on his show.

Based on the comments on YouTube, this video apparently still excites certain male viewers.

Of course, no blog post about family blends can be complete without at least a mention of the Jackson 5, which is one of the most successful family acts ever.

The Jackson 5 sings “I Want You Back”…

And here’s a video starring the Jacksons and little sister Janet!

The intro to this was obviously very well rehearsed…

As long as I’m looking at big families and family blends, I have to mention The Osmonds, whose family blends are legendary.

Anybody else think it’s funny that young Donny Osmond sings about being a swinger?

I make fun of The Osmonds a lot, but I actually do enjoy this particular rendition of “Love Me For A Reason”.

It was actually YouTube that introduced me to The Osmonds, since they were popular when I was a wee one. This video is a good example of the way they blend their voices.

And here’s one that features the entire humongous choir of siblings, including Marie, Tom, and Virl…

Nice family blend on this video!

There is something about hearing families sing together that touches my heart, even though I have read that singing families sometimes have their share of interpersonal problems. Of course, the same could be said about any family. I could add a number of groups to this post about family blends, but I want to save them for a future post when I need a good topic. For now, it’s time to get back to the process of moving!