The Locust Sisters

What’s more impressive than five performing Locust Sisters? How about the fact there were actually seven? Hilda was an opera singer, who performed at least once on radio in 1929. Rose was a solo singer in nightclubs, and the mother of Terry and Carol Fischer, who were with the group The Murmaids, which had a #3 hit in 1963 with “Popsicles and Icicles”. But the other five, Ada, Selma, Mildred, Lillian and Matilda, were an act, The Five Locust Sisters.

Now, that’s a funny name for an act — in fact, it would be a much more fitting name for the Cherry Sisters, which also had five members. But apparently the Locust Sisters were actually good. Matilda, the youngest, was a classically trained pianist, and accompanist to the other four, who harmonized. They started out in vaudeville, and were sufficiently popular there that they were making records by 1923, and making radio appearances by 1924. In 1927 they appeared in the Broadway revue Hit the Deck. Then came two Movietone shorts The Five Locust Sisters (1928) and Metro Movietone Revue (1929). In 1931, they were given a short-lived syndicated national radio program, a sit-com called The Cali-Bama Co Eds, in which they played characters loosely based on themselves. By 1935, their career as an act had pretty much wound down. Having consumed what they could, the swarm of Locusts flew away.

To learn more about vaudeville, please read No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous,