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BARRY sisters (1988)

Borothy Davidson   Lorna Whiteside

Dorothy Davidson and Lorna Whiteside.

1927 – Lorna Whiteside was born on September15th.

1933 - Dorothy Davidson was born on March the 19th in Lidcome, Sydney

Dorothy grew up on an apple orchard at Tallong, near Goulburn. She came to Sydney for her education and there teamed up with Lorna who lived at Granville.

At 12 Dorothy auditioned solo for Australia’s Amateur Hour. She was advised to get a guitar and learn to play. She learnt one song and with that won a heat of the Amateur Hour. At the age of 12 years, she appeared on 2KY Harry Yates Digger’s Show, was heard by Mr Roy Eades, promoter of Arnott’s Biscuits Concert Party who took her on many shows at Army Hospitals and camps for the Navy, Air Force and American troops awaiting discharge from the forces when the war ended.

At a school concert Dorothy and Lorna perform for the first time together and soon were back on Amateur Hour as a duo and won that heat.

At t9 years, Dorothy became “Miss Jantzen”, winner of “Miss Daily Telegraphy Beach Girl” competition. This resulted in Dorothy becoming a model for Jantzen swimsuits for 10 years.

Early 1950’s the girls became part of a teenage cabaret at a hotel in Annandale. They were billed as the Bar-Y Girls but were often referred to as the Bar BQ Girls.

1954 - They submitted a demo to ARC (now CBS) records, and got an immediate response, being asked to record (with guitar only accompaniment) for ARC’s country label, Rodeo. Sales were encouraging so they recorded several more 78’s, firstly for Rodeo and then with bill Walker’s quartet for ARC’s pop label, Pacific

Their first recording, “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” and “Lazy Lack-a-Daisy Melody” was under the name of Bar BQ Girls. When they came to do more recording on the Rodeo Label they changed the name and became the “Barry Sisters”.

1955 – Working professionally on radio and Television, but were discouraged from doing original material by the television station, instead doing covers of the popular songs of the day. Dorothy appeared regularly on “Bunk House Show” with Tommy McNamara on Sydney Radio 2GB. She appeared as a regular on Tim McNamara’s show on Radio 2KY, and sang with Tim on EMI “Country Encores” LP Album. Dorothy was also a regular on Reg Lindsay’s Radio Show on 2KY.

Recorded on Pye records- a duo single and another with the Allen Brothers (Peter Allen). Recorded on ARC Label. She released a single on ARIKA Records in 1985 featuring a composition by Lorna Barry.

Between recording sessions the Barry Sisters performed at various nightclubs on the Sydney harbour “Showboat”. Also had a regular radio spot with Bill Walker on 2KY, plus a weekly radio show on 2SM. A two week engagement at Brisbane’s Theatre Royal lasted three months – after which the “Sisters” took a well earned break.

1959 saw the Barry Sisters back at work appearing regularly on Bandstand with Brian Henderson, (where they were backed by either the Joy boys, (Johnny Rebb’s) Rebels, Don Burrows or Bob Young’s Orchestra). They also appeared on TCN9’s Bobby Limb show (backed by the Isador Goodman Orchestra). For Channel 7, the Barry Sisters appeared on Teentime, Roy Hampton’s Rhythm Roundup, plus various shows including Digby Wolfe’s “Review 61”. They were still heavily booked on ABC radio shows, including Johnny O’Keefe’s “Rockville Junction”, which had a live audience, a Hawaiian show with Johnny Wade, mainstream for Moderns with Don Burrows, and a travelling factory show with Jim Gussy’s Orchestra. They were also heavily booked on the Sydney club circuit. Six O’Clock Rock with Johnny O’Keefe, Teen Time and Revue 61 with Digby Wolfe.

Dorothy and Lorna felt they had fulfilled their ambitions as a duet at this stage so they split up. Dorothy has remained in the business making a name for herself as a soloist, whilst Lorna has turned to her long-time love – song writing.

Dorothy appeared regularly on Bill Kelly’s Country Shows in and around Sydney, and has toured the country shows with Ray Kernaghan. She has worked at Theatre Royal, Brisbane for the Sadler Bros, Johnny (rubber face) Craig, Syd Heylan, and many others, Dorothy has sung with many big 15 piece bands including Harry Doyle, Jim Gussey, Don Burrows on ABC shows and at “The Paradance” at Lidcombe, Rockdale and Surreyville as pop vocalist.
As a solo artist, she has appeared on the Don Lane Show, Mike Walsh Show, Pace with Harriet, Country Homestead, (Sydney, Qld, S.A) and Orton’s Olde Tyme Music Hall in Brisbane.
Dorothy has supported Barry Crocker,
Don Lane, Harry Secombe, Reg Varney, Kamahl, Freddie Paris and Howard Keel (USA).
I989 - Dorothy was nominated in the AFI Awards for her performance in the film, “Sweetie” by Jane Campion.
A dedicated worker for charity, she has received numerous awards from all areas of charity organisations.

1980’s - For old time sake, the Barry Sisters recorded a single for the Arika label. “Detour” was coupled with “I’ve had more highs than lows” which Lorna wrote especially for Dorothy.

1982 - Her most cherished is the Mo Award of “The John Cambell Fellowship Award” which is awarded by her peers in the show business industry.

1986 - Dorothy was also a nominee in the Mo Awards for “Best Country Female Vocalist”.

1988 - In January, The Barry Sisters were inducted in the “The Hands of Fame” at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

1989 - Dorothy played a major role in the internationally successful movie “There’s a love that waits”. She also appeared in “A Country Practice”.
Dorothy is known throughout the Australian show business industry as
Australia’s Vera Lynn. Her association with Dame Vera Lynn came about through the Australian Ladies Variety Association of which Dame Vera, Margaret Whitlam and Lady Joan McInnes-Hardy are patrons. The aim of ALVA is to secure a retirement home for aged members of the entertainment industry.

Dorothy’s other awards consist of:
• 1st Life Member – Australian Legion of Ex-Services;
• Plaque – Rats of Tobruk Association;
• Certificate of Appreciation – New South Wales R.S.L.
• Certificate of Appreciation – North Ryde Lions Club;
• The Merchant Navy Sealed Letter of Appreciation;
• Veteran Affairs – Central Council; and

• Australian Ladies Variety Association Honours 1980 & 1985.