Maxonian, I find a lot of details in the Obituary columns of US newspapers. If you know the rough location of where the artists lived it is sometimes quite easy to find stuff. I have asked the Pittsburg Gazette if they know of any pictures of the group circa 1958 or before. Got my fingers crossed.
The Kendall sisters started out singing country tunes at church socials, and ended up performing on weekly television, stage and radio shows including NBC's "National Barn Dance."
Polly Kendall (real name Paulina Kenda) was born in Morgantown, West.Virginia in 1925 to an immigrant Slovene coal mining family. Polly grew up in Wickhaven, Fayette County. She learned as a child to play guitar and buttonbox accordion and sing Eastern European folk harmonies. By the time they were 10, Polly and her sister Dolores -- known as "Dolly" -- were singing country and Gospel songs at school and church events.
The girls' climb to fame began in the mid-1930s, when they appeared with Curley Miller and the Sage Riders on the Saturday Jamboree radio show in Connellsville. The show moved to Pittsburgh, then Chicago, where they joined the National Barn Dance traveling circuit through the Midwest.
Throughout the 1940s and '50s the sisters recorded for Continental, Argo, RCA and Decca. In 1945, Dolly and Polly joined two groups headed by Cleveland impresario Ernie Benedict: the Range Riders and the Polkateers. Their recordings included "Over Three Hills," "Jolly Lumberjack Polka" and "Polka Dots and Polka Dreams." Many of the sisters' songs were based on the folk tunes their father taught them when they were children.
In 1947, they built Harmony Ranch, a country-themed 20-acre picnic grove and dance hall outside Cleveland. As live radio shows gave way to television, the Kendall Sisters made the transition -- they were part of the first broadcast from WEWS Cleveland. Their Kendall Sisters TV show debuted in 1952.
Polly married John Popovich in 1949 and had two daughters. She and her sister continued to cut demo records for songwriters and sing at nightclubs. They made their final appearance in Toronto in the early 1960s, singing a song called "I'm Available."
In 1993, Dolly and Polly and the Polkateers band were inducted to the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame.
"Yea Yea," their final 1958 hit, is still on oldies playlists today.
Polly Kendall died of Parkinson's Disease on November 18, 2005.
This one comes from the US Argo label, but as the UK already had an Argo label, London had to use the pre-Chess label Aristocrat to denote the US source.
The Kendal Sisters turn in two tremendous rocking numbers – watch out for the false ending on side one. A superb London single.
The Kendal Sisters came from Cleveland, Ohio. Before ‘Yea, Yea’ they appeared on Argo 5278 in 1957 with ‘Don’t Bother Me’ / ‘I’m Available’.
A 1958 follow-up on Argo 5310 was ‘Let’s Wait Till Tomorrow’ / ‘Billy, Billy, Billy’.