This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Chenille Sisters. Cheryl Dawdy, Grace Morand and Connie Huber formed the group in 1985 in Ann Arbor and they’ve been harmonizing together ever since.
Originally, Morand and Huber were in a band together. Dawdy attended their shows and was recruited to round out the group.
"Pretty soon Cheryl would come to our gigs and we would tell the guys in the band to take a break and just do things as a trio and it dawned on us that we didn’t need the band," Morand says.
Just a year into their career the group received a call from A Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor.
Morand was working in a hair salon when over the intercom she was told there was a "Garry" Keillor on the phone for her.
“I thought it was a joke. I thought it was my father because dad could do really great imitations,” Morand says.
The trio had sent the show a cassette with a handwritten note, and Keillor enjoyed it.
They’ve been featured on the program eight times now, but they still remember the giddiness and how overwhelmed they felt before their first appearance.
“I don’t know who this person was, but backstage right before we went on he said, ‘Now remember, there are nine million people listening,’” recalls Huber.
It wasn’t the advice they were looking for before their appearance, but once they appeared onstage dressed in in 50’s prom regalia they received immense cheers from the live audience.
After 30 years, Dawdy says they’ve managed to continue performing with dedication and hard work “because we knew that what we had was really special.”
The three aren’t sisters, but what they’ve been through together has made them a family.
“In the beginning, we sort of said, 'oh we kind of sound like sisters' ... now, we annoy each other, but we love each other more like you do with your sister,” says Morand.
And she admits, “We borrow each other’s clothes still.”
For information on their upcoming live shows at Holler Fest and The Ark visit their website.