Cackle Sisters

Before they were the first women to become famous on the Grand Ole Opry and the National Barn Dance, The Cackle Sisters, (also known as the DeZurick Sisters) were raised on a farm in Royalton, Minnesota. To develop their unique yodeling style, Caroline De Zurik has said they simply "listened to the birds and tried to sing with the birds."

You can hear and download more tracks on wfmu's beware of the blog. I especially love tracks like "Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia","Little Golden Locket" and "Sing Hallelujah", where they seem to hit the sweet spot between their bizarre but amazing stereo-clucks and brilliantly close harmonies.


  1. I love tight vocal harmonies, but there’s something about family harmonies that’s downright unbelievable. See also McCourys, Louvin bros, Smothers bros (yes, that’s right), Carter family, Neville bros. The clucking harmony in this song is something that only sisters would come up with.

    1. If you like family harmonies, also check out The Rankin Family from Nova Scotia, if you’re into Celtic music

      1. definitely will. Thanks for the recommendation. I’d like to develop more of an ear for celtic music, as well- I play mandolin, but almost all of it old time americana. I’ll check it out.

  2. Meara, you are officially my favorite BB guest editor ever. Do you have a blog of your own where you post beautiful little nuggets like this, a youtube page of favorites I can plunder, or something similar?

  3. …Yet more proof that OM’s Law #0 is valid:

    OM’s Law #0: As Religion is the Opiate of the Masses, Country *and* Western Music is the Coal Tar Heroin of the Stupid *and* the Inbred.

    1. I see no proof of that here. What the hell is wrong with you to think that crazy singing is proof of stupidity and inbreeding? Is a man having long hair a sign of drug use, too?

    2. _OM_: You, sir, have no soul.

      The first time I heard the Cackle Sisters, I had a smile across my face that didn’t leave for at least an hour. I’ve spent hours doggedly tracking down each and every track I can find of the DeZuriks since then.

      “The Whipporwill Song” and “Sweet Hawaiian Chimes” both have played in my mind’s ear more times than I can count.

      I’ve played their music in public many times (artcar events, typically), and they rarely fail to draw a crowd, many wanting to know who the delightful voices they hear belong to.

      The Cackle Sisters are pretty much a musical litmus test for me… a great way of finding out how cool someone is (or not). They are squarely in the top 50 acts of all time I would love to have seen live.

      Thanks for sharing this with everyone, Meara!!!

    3. Maybe I’m not getting your joke? Because otherwise you’re just making a droll little glass aphorism in the shape of someone’s older saying. That might be a nice way to fill a dull afternoon or a lull in a conversation, but it’s not a very good argument against someone that displays astounding talent whether it’s up your aesthetic ally or not.

      And if this is any intoxicant, it’s definitely the nitrous oxide of the lonely farm boys.

  4. “_OM_: You, sir, have no soul. “

    …On the contrary, you should see my collection of James Brown records.

    “What the hell is wrong with you to think that crazy singing is proof of stupidity and inbreeding?”

    …You obviously never had to deal with Hee Haw.

    1. I’m guessing you didn’t get Hee Haw. Because it was really funny and filled with irony. I grew up with it, and that wasn’t in Appalachia, that was in Miami and Boca Raton, not exactly the sticks.

      Some times things from outside our world view can be good.

  5. So. Freaking. Awesome. Thanks to all who made it possible for me to find and download my favorite tracks: I shall now make a car mix with Scarlatti piano concertos and Too Short. Cackle Sisters Clucking Rule! (I can’t believe I’m the first one to say that. . .)

  6. That’s so weird! Last Friday I saw a group from Quebec called l’Orchestre d’Hommes Orchestres performing a bunch of Tom Waits songs. Their backup singers call themselves “The New Cackle Sisters,” and in the middle of the show they did an interlude of songs with exactly this style of yodeling, including “Old Dan Tucker.”

  7. The entirely wonderful Cathy Fink (website: had a Cackle Sisters cover band for a while. Cathy teaches little kids to yodel! Cathy plays incredibly intricate banjo while wearing fingerpuppets!

    Oh, and _OM_: Hee Haw was filled with awesome. Buck Owens & The Buckaroos, Grandpa Jones, Stringbean, Roy Clark, Jimmy Riddle – man, impossible talent, all in one show.

  8. The song made me smile, but I also got a huge kick out of the fact that I was hearing their voices in my house, so may years later, on a machine that they knew nothing about when they were singing it. What a treat.

  9. Aaah, irony… the fallback rationale for hipster appreciation. Don’t worry, you’ll grow out of it.

  10. Wow, there certainly are a lot of superior humans in here! If only we could be as awesome as they believe themselves to be.

    I really enjoyed this link. Hearing “Old Dan Tucker” made me think of Mr. Edwards from Little House on the Prairie, which I am currently reading to my daughter. I am not a big fan of country music, but I do enjoy folk tunes, especially ones that involve vocal gymnastics. It is my opinion that each genre of music has something to offer if you are willing to approach it with an open mind. Hating on a genre, or bashing the fans of a particular type of any kind of art, says far more about you than it does about anyone else.

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