The Starlettes

The Story of The Starlettes: Charlotte, Martha and Ann (by Charlotte Adams)

 

My mother was a naturally gifted vocalist who enjoyed singing in a trio as a young woman. Although she was an amateur, she and her two friends often performed for local events, church ceremonies and funerals, and even sang for radio broadcasts from Texas A&M University in College Station. Their repertoire and musical style was similar to The McGuire Sisters, The Andrews Sisters, Les Paul and Mary Ford and the like. Coming of age in the 1930’s, Mother was a fan of the big bands and told stories of the Saturday nights she spent dancing to the live music of such legendary bands as The Artie Shaw Band, The Benny Goodman Band, Glenn Miller and many more.

Mother used to sing as she drove the car and she would often teach a harmony part to one kid or another. By the time my twin sister, Martha, and I were nine years old, we were accustomed to singing harmony whenever we took a car ride! We soon discovered that our best friend, Ann, was able to sing the melody while Martha sang second soprano and I sang alto. The Starlettes were born!

Mother encouraged us to sing for our school music teacher, Cay Womack, who began staying after school two days a week to help us with our songs. Cay (“Miss Womack”), fresh out of college and extremely talented, arranged our music, taught us our parts and gave us opportunities to perform. The Starlettes entertained at school functions, on local TV programs, or anywhere there was an audience. If we were in the grocery store or on the sidewalk and Mother met a friend, she was likely to say “Y’all sing!” and we would strike up a chorus of “Cotton Fields” or “Sugartime”. We actually had quite a repertoire, much of which Cay captured on the school reel-to-reel recorder. Years later, she transferred the recordings to cassette tape and gave them to my mother, who made copies for each of us. Years later still, I transferred them to CD and have now edited them for publication.

These recordings never lose their magic for me. They are priceless renditions of standards, sung by little girls with Texas accents and a remarkable sense of pitch and rhythm. They take me back to the days of big microphones, big recording machines, live television shows and fine harmony.

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The Starlettes 1962/1963

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14 songs from the 1930’s-1950’s, performed by
Charlotte Adams, Martha Adams and Ann Wright
at the age of ten

Listen to samples from:

Muskrat Ramble

Yankee Doodle

Mr. Santa


To inquire about lessons or workshops with Charlotte,
contact us.