Artist picture of The Chordettes

The Chordettes

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Artist's Top Tracks

Lollipop The Chordettes 02:11
Sh Boom The Chords 02:27
Mr. Sandman The Chordettes 02:23
Mr. Sandman The Chordettes 02:24
Mister Sandman The Chordettes 02:26
Lollipop The Chordettes 02:05
Pink Shoe Laces The Chordettes 02:38
Never on Sunday The Chordettes 02:40
A Girl's Work Is Never Done The Chordettes 02:16
Mister Sandman The Chordettes 02:26

Most popular release

When You Were Sweet Sixteen
Moonlight Bay
Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
Ballin' the Jack

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Biography

The Chordettes were a vocal quartet from the unassuming Midwestern town of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, who landed several top ten hits and whose sweet harmonies would later evoke a bygone era for future generations, thanks to their songs being used to symbolize the past in film and television.


Formed in 1946 by four college friends, the lineup shifted over time before landing on the core of Jinny Osborn (temporarily replaced by Margie Needham during the group’s rise), Janet Ertel, Carol Buschmann, and Lynn Evans. The quartet was plucked from obscurity after a 1949 appearance on a popular syndicated radio show, Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, and began to record for Columbia Records. The group later moved over to Cadence Records, a label formed by Godfrey’s musical director, where the Chordettes would release their biggest hits, “Mr. Sandman” (Number 1, 1954) and “Lollipop” (Number 2, 1958).


The quartet’s close harmony singing and squeaky-clean image may have not seemed fashionable once the rock n’ roll era dawned, but the Chordettes defied the odds and kept at it, putting their own spin on contemporary rock and R&B hits. In 1961, the group landed their last big hit with “Never on Sunday”, and disbanded shortly after.


As nostalgia for the ‘50s kicked into full gear in the 1980s, songs made famous by the Chordettes began to be used as shorthand for broadly referring to the post-World War II, pre-rock era. The 1985 movie Back to the Future used “Mr. Sandman” to illustrate Marty McFly’s sense of wonder after having traveled back in time, and while producers opted to use the Four Aces’ version, a Chordettes poster is featured in a scene-setting montage. A year later, “Lollipop” would be used in Stand By Me, another movie heavily invested in capturing the sentiment of the ‘50s.