- The Merry Macs
The Merry Macs were an American close-harmony pop music quartet active from the 1920s till the 1960s and best known for the hits “Mairzy Doats,” “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” and "Sentimental Journey." They also sang on recordings with Bing Crosby.
Formed to play proms in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the group originally consisted of the three McMichael brothers: tenors Judd (1906-1989) and Joe (1916-1944), and baritone Ted (1908-2001). They were discovered by singer-bandleader Eddie Dunstedter. In 1930 the McMichaels, after performing as The Mystery Trio and The Personality Boys, added a female lead singer, Cheri McKay, and changed their name to The Merry Macs.
In 1936 they appeared on several national radio programs, and Cheri McKay was replaced by Helen Carroll. (McKay trained her successor in the group's singing style.)
Vocal quartets had customarily harmonized like barbershop quartets. The Merry Macs revolutionized vocal harmony with closer harmonic chords. This style inspired other groups, like The Modernaires and Six Hits and a Miss. In 1938 The Merry Macs signed with Decca Records and recorded “Pop Goes the Weasel.” The Merry Macs (with Carroll) sang a swing version of "Down by the Old Mill Stream" in the 1939 Vitaphone musical Seeing Red, Red Skelton's first film.
In 1939 Mary Lou Cook (b. 1910) replaced Helen Carroll. This is the foursome that most listeners know from film appearances. The McMichael brothers and Cook appeared as a specialty act in Hollywood movies, including 1940's Love Thy Neighbor, and Universal Pictures gave The Merry Macs their own feature-film series in 1941. Their most famous film is Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942), an Abbott and Costello comedy in which The Merry Macs offer musical interludes. At the time, Cook was married to actor Elisha Cook, Jr.; she ended both her marriage and her affiliation with The Merry Macs at about the same time.
Marjory Garland (1923-1991) replaced Mary Lou Cook after Ride 'Em Cowboy was filmed. The Merry Macs continued to score on the hit parade; their rendition of "Mairzy Doats" was a best-seller. Garland, who later married Judd McMichael, remained with the group until the 1960s.
Youngest brother Joe McMichael served in the armed forces and was killed in 1944. He was replaced by Clive Erard, then Dick Baldwin, and finally Vern Rowe. The foursome of Judd, Ted, Marjory and Vern continued performing until they retired from show business in 1964.
Awards and recognition
The Merry Macs were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
The Harvey Girls — Infobox Film name = The Harvey Girls caption = theatrical poster director = George Sidney Robert Alton (musical number) producer = Arthur Freed writer = Samuel Hopkins Adams (novel) Film story: Eleanore Griffin William Rankin Screenplay: Edmund… … Wikipedia
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe — is a popular song which refers to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. It was written for the 1946 film, The Harvey Girls, where it was sung by Judy Garland. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year. The music was… … Wikipedia
Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition — is an American patriotic song written by Frank Loesser and published as sheet music in 1942 by Famous Music Corp. The song was a response to the Attack on Pearl Harbor that marked United States involvement in World War II. Origin of the… … Wikipedia
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe — est une chanson populaire écrite pour le film Les Demoiselles Harvey (1946). Dans le film, la chanson est interprétée par l actrice Judy Garland. La chanson a remporté un Oscar de la meilleure chanson originale. Le titre tire son nom de la… … Wikipédia en Français
Vocal Group Hall of Fame — The Vocal Group Hall of Fame was organized to honor what they term the Greatest Vocal Groups in the World . The Hall of Fame is headquartered in Sharon, Pennsylvania, United States. It includes a theater and a museum.It was originally organized… … Wikipedia
Majestic Records — The label of a Majestic Record. Majestic Records was a mid 20th century New York City based record label. The label enjoyed its greatest commercial success in the 1940s, until over ambitious expansion and an inability to keep distributors… … Wikipedia
Ursuline Academy (New Orleans, Louisiana) — Infobox Secondary school name = Ursuline Academy established = 1727 motto= type = Private affiliation = Roman Catholic grades = students = address = city = New Orleans state = Louisiana country = U.S.A. founder = president = principal = mascot =… … Wikipedia
Mairzy Doats — is a novelty song composed in 1943 by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston. It was first played on radio station WOR, New York, by Al Trace and his Silly Symphonists. The song made the pop charts several times, with a version by the… … Wikipedia
Ride 'Em Cowboy — Infobox Film | name = Ride Em Cowboy caption = Ride Em Cowboy Theatrical Poster director = Arthur Lubin producer = Alex Gottlieb writer = True Boardman John Grant starring =Bud Abbott Lou Costello Dick Foran Anne Gwynne Ella Fitzgerald music =… … Wikipedia
Al Hoffman — (September 25 1902 ndash;July 21 1960), a member of the Songwriter s Hall Of Fame since 1984, was a hit songwriter active in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, usually co writing with others and responsible for many number one hits through each decade, many … Wikipedia