McGuire, Phyllis (1931—)

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McGuire, Phyllis (1931—)

American pop singer . Born on February 14, 1931, in Middletown, Ohio; youngest sister of Christine McGuire (b. 1928) and Dorothy McGuire (b. 1930).

Won national talent show with sisters (1954); signed to record contract (1954); single "Sincerely" reached No. 1 (1955); released "Volare" (1957); had last top ten hit (1961).

Selected discography:

Best of the McGuire Sisters; McGuire Sisters; Our Golden Favorites.

Phyllis McGuire was one-third of the McGuire Sisters, a wholesome singing act that sang in the close three-part harmony style prevalent in pop music just before the arrival of rock 'n' roll. With her older sisters Christine and Dorothy McGuire , Phyllis left her Middletown, Ohio, home and received her first big break when the group won a showdown on the popular "Arthur Godfrey Talent Hour" in 1954. They were signed to a contract with Coral Records and had a hit with their first single, "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight," released in June 1954. Later that year, they recorded "Sincerely," which reached No. 1 in 1955 and would remain their best-known hit. The song previously had been a bestseller for the rhythm and blues group the Moonglows; some thought the McGuire Sisters' version was decidedly more saccharine. They had several other top ten hits, with "Sugartime" reaching No. 1 in 1957. Singles such as "Give Me Love," "Volare," "Theme from Picnic," "Delilah," and "Tears on My Pillow" appeared on the three albums McGuire recorded with her sisters for Coral. By the time of their last top ten hit in 1961, the trio had already become successful performers on the Las Vegas nightclub circuit.

As a result of her popularity in the high-flying Nevada gambling mecca, in the 1960s McGuire met and became romantically linked with alleged organized crime figure Sam Giancana, who was later murdered. Their affair was the basis for the HBO cable channel's 1995 movie Sugartime, which McGuire publicly, and bitterly, denounced. Supposedly, transcripts of FBI wiretaps of conversations between McGuire and Giancana were used in writing the script. McGuire was still performing both as a solo act and with her sisters in the 1990s.


Amende, Coral. Legends in Their Own Time. NY: Prentice Hall, 1994.

Claghorn, Charles Eugene. Biographical Dictionary of American Music. West Nyack, NY: Parker Publishing, 1973.

Nite, Norm N. Rock On: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 1: The Solid Gold Years. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1974.

The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Edited by Donald Clarke. NY: Viking, 1989.

People Weekly. November 27, 1995, pp. 15–16.

TV Guide. November 25, 1995, p. 38.

related media:

Sugartime (110-min. television movie), starring Mary-Louise Parker and John Turturro, shown on HBO in 1995.

Carol Brennan , Grosse Pointe, Michigan

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McGuire, Phyllis (1931—)

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