Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Transcription Mystery Disc #77

I almost never shell out more than junk-shop prices for transcription recordings. But this one spoke to me. In transferring it I applied a slightly heavier filter than usual. This did produce faint artifacts, but the vocals are so amazing that I really wanted them to be clear enough to discern how fast they are actually singing.The Miccolis Sisters were two sisters from a set of 11 children. Mary and Ruth Miccolis were born in 1922 and 1924 respectively. They became country yodelers of some renown at least regionally in the midwest. They were not bumpkins, they were city girls born right in Melrose Park, a Chicago suburb.

In 1938 they won a local talent show called the Rubins Hour which led to an audition for KMOX. That played out well despite the fact that the older of the two was only 16. At KMOX, they began singing harmonies for Pappy Cheshire's group on he Barnyard Follies show and The Old Fashioned Barn Dance show. They also played on the Ozark varieties Program which was syndicated on CBS. The program was sponsored by Dick Slack's Furniture Co. In 1946 They got their own program sponsored by Grove Quinine tablets.

In 1947, Ambrose Haley invited the sisters to perform on his program at the St. Louis Star-Times owned KXOK. This programming was syndicated on the NBC Blue Network. Working with Haley paid off, when Haley got an offer of a job at WIBW in Topeka, All three of them moved to Topeka and joined the Ozark Ramblers playing the Kansas Roundup Program.When he left in 1949 for WREN they stayed on.

They recorded 8 sides for DeLuxe, and two for King. I've only ever seen one of them and none of them are still in print anywhere, anyhow. They also had a songbook with twenty some songs worth of sheet music. This transcription is from a live broadcast, and the Song is the CowBoy Yodel, a song not in the DeLuxe catalog meaning that until now, it's never really been heard by anyone. That's a damn shame.

**************** UPDATE****************
I managed to Contact Ruth Miccolis now married as Ruth Williams. She is still with us and still performing. I hope to collect her few sides and provide her with digitized versions of her catalog. Please contact me if you can be of assistance.


  1. Anonymous8:58 PM

    Hi- I can't seem to play the sound file from your blog post-I'd very much like to hear it.
    Why? Because I'm acquainted with Ruth Williams (Miccolis)...I have copies of quite a few discs from her personal collection. If you'd like to have/post them,we could get together on that. Mail me...

  2. I like your site. My mom, Ruth Miccolis Williams, says she just celebrated another birthday. She had fun singing/yodeling for her guests. She does miss her sister, Mary though!

  3. I had a short phone call with your mom when I did that post. It was a pleasure to speak with her even briefly.