New Station
Free On Mobile Free On Mobile Available now for
iPhone, iPad & Android
“Refreshingly simple
online radio” - CNET
“I'm in love with Jango” - USA Today
“Makes it fun to
discover new music” - Wall Street Journal
“Straight forward and
easy to navigate” - PCWorld

The Fontane Sisters were a trio (Bea, Geri and Marge Rosse) from New Milford, New Jersey.

Early years

Their mother, Louise Rosse, was both a soloist and the leader of the St. Joseph's Church choir in New Milford. Bea and Marge started out singing for local functions, doing so well, they were urged to audition in New York City. Originally they performed as a trio with their guitarist brother Frank, under the name the Ross Trio (Rosse with the "e" omitted). The group auditioned for NBC and was soon sent off to work in Cleveland. When they returned to New York in 1944, Frank was drafted into the Army; he was killed in action in World War II. Geri, who had just finished school, took her brother's place, making it an all-girl trio.

Success

The now all-female group chose the name of Fontaine from a great-grandmother; they decided to drop the "i", making themselves the Fontane Sisters. The sisters worked on sustaining (non-sponsored) programs for NBC, meeting and working with Perry Como soon after he came to the network. Word reached the sisters, then in Chicago for NBC, that "Supper Club" would be making cast changes; they were eager for a chance to join Como's show, which also meant being closer to their home. Beginning in the summer of 1948, they were featured on his radio show and television show known as The Chesterfield Supper Club and later (1950-1954) as The Perry Como Show. The trio also did appearances on Chesterfield Sound Off Time when the program originated from New York; however, the television show lasted only one season. The street Fontane Dr in Cornwall, NY was named after the Fontane sisters

In 1949 they were signed by RCA Records, and did some recordings as backup to Como. In 1951 they had a minor hit with "The Tennessee Waltz", of which bigger selling recordings were made by Patti Page and Les Paul and Mary Ford.

In 1954 they switched to Randy Wood's Dot Records, where they had 18 songs in the Billboard Hot 100, including ten in the Top 40. Their 1954 recording, "Hearts of Stone", sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

Retirement

The Fontane Sisters retired from show business around 1961, when youngest sister Geri was expecting her daughter. The daughter was named after Geri, and as an adult she went by the name 'Geri Fontane Latchford' -- 'Latchford' coming from her father's name, Al(bert) Latchford. Geri and Al had one daughter; neither Bea nor Marge had any children.

Marge Fontane felt that the trio did not want to continue the grind of tours and mixing with the newer members of the music scene. The sisters agreed that they did not want to be part of the evolving rock and roll scene, and wanted private lives. Marge was married to Franklin Hobbs, who became a long-time on air personality at WCCO in Minneapolis-St. Paul. They met while the sisters were still working in Chicago for NBC. She remarried and became Marge Smith, the wife of an advertising executive. Only Marge left the area, relocating to Florida with her second husband. Bea became Mrs. E. Holmes Douglass in 1964.

In 1963, Dot Records did release one last album, Tips of my Fingers, and single ("Tips of My Fingers" / "Summertime Love") by The Fontane Sisters. But these recordings did not mark a return to performing for the trio, who remained retired despite having agreed to make the recordings for Dot.

Deaths

For the next 40 years, The Fontane Sisters remained mostly out of the public's eye. In 2004 an article in the New York Daily News reported that Geri Fontane Latchford had received royalties due to her mother and two aunts. It was revealed in this same article that all three of The Fontane Sisters had died: Geri, on September 13, 1993, Bea, on March 25, 2002, and Marge, on December 3, 2003. In 2001, RCA Victor released a compilation of recordings made by the Fontane Sisters and Perry Como, "Perry Como With The Fontane Sisters", containing many of the songs featured on the Como radio and television shows.

Hit Records

Year

Single

Chart positions

1949

"N'yot N'yow"(with Perry Como)

20

"A You're Adorable"(with Perry Como)

1

"A Dreamer's Holiday"(with Perry Como)

3

"I Wanna Go Home"(with Perry Como)

18

1950

"Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo"(with Perry Como)

14

"Hoop Dee Doo"(with Perry Como)

1

"I Cross My Fingers"(with Perry Como)

25

"You're Just In Love"(with Perry Como)

5

1951

"Tennessee Waltz"

20

"Let Me In"

24

"There's No Boat Like a Rowboat"(with Perry Como)

20

"Castle Rock"

27

"Rollin' Stone"(with Perry Como)

24

"Cold Cold Heart"

16

1952

"Noodlin' Rag"(with Perry Como)

23

"My Love and Devotion"(with Perry Como)

22

"To Know You (Is To Love You)"(with Perry Como)

19

1954

"Kissin' Bridge"

22

"Happy Days and Lonely Nights"

18

"Hearts of Stone"

1

1955

"Rock Love"

13

"Rollin' Stone"

13

"Playmates"

flip

"Seventeen"

3

"Daddy-O"

11

"Adorable"

71

"Nuttin' for Christmas"

36

1956

"Eddie My Love"

11

"I'm In Love Again"

38

"Voices"(with Pat Boone)

47

"Lonesome Lover Blues"

93

"Please Don't Leave Me"

55

"Still"

86

"The Banana Boat Song"

13

1957

"I'm Stickin' With You"

72

1958

"Chanson D'Amour"

12

"Jealous Heart"

94

Recordings

"Tennessee Waltz" (1951) (bigger hits by Patti Page and Les Paul and Mary Ford),

"Happy Days and Lonely Nights" (1954),

"Hearts Of Stone" (1954) (their first and biggest hit, originally recorded by Johnny Torrence and The Jewels),

"Adorable" (originally recorded by The Colts; a bigger hit by The Drifters) (1955),

"Nuttin' For Christmas" (1955) (also recorded by Art Mooney, Barry Gordon and Stan Freberg the same year),

"Playmates" (1955) (originally recorded by Kay Kyser in 1940),

"Daddy-O" (1955) (originally recorded by "Mary Kath" known as Bonnie Lou),

"Rock Love" (1955) (originally recorded by Eddie Fontaine),

"Rollin' Stone" (1955), (originally recorded by The Marigolds),

"Seventeen" (1955) (originally recorded by Boyd Bennett),

"Eddie My Love" (1956) (a bigger hit for The Chordettes, but originally recorded by The Teen Queens),

"I'm In Love Again" (1956), (originally recorded by Fats Domino),

"Lonesome Lover Blues" (1956) (originally recorded Billy Eckstine in 1946),

"Doin' The Rock and Rolla" (1956) (a rewording of the Andrews Sisters, Rum & Coca-Cola),

"Remember Me (I'm The One Who Loves You" (1956) - (Remake of the Stuart Hamblen c/w hit),

"Please Don't Leave Me" (1956), (originally recorded by Fats Domino),

"Still" (1956), (originally recorded by Lavern Baker),

"Voices" (1956),

"With A Little Bit Of Luck (1957)" (a bigger hit for Harry Belafonte and The Tarriers),

"I'm Stickin' With You" (1957) (originally recorded by Jimmy Bowen in 1957.,

"Jealous Heart" (1958) (originally recorded by Tex Ritter in 1945),

"Chanson D'Amour" (1958) (bigger hit for Art and Dotty Todd)


loading...