America’s Sweethearts Singers coming to Athol

  • Singers from America’s Sweethearts, based in New York City, are scheduled to perform in the Athol High School auditorium on April 2. Submitted photo

Recorder Staff
Published: 3/8/2017 2:17:16 PM

Swing and boogie-woogie music are credited with helping many people through World War II, when the country was gripped with fear and uncertainty.

That music, Carly Kincannon says, is as needed now as it was then.

Kincannon is the founder and musical director of America’s Sweethearts, a musical company specializing in the tunes of The Andrews Sisters and other sounds of a bygone era.

“Each of us has a different path to The Andrews Sisters,” she said of the company’s singers. “They were such a positive force in such a dark time.”

Three of America’s Sweethearts — Kincannon, Annemarie Rosano and Kristen Michelle — are scheduled to perform in the Athol High School auditorium starting at 2 p.m. on April 2. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Athol Council on Aging, Flowerland in Athol and Trail Head Outfitters & General Store in Orange.

America’s Sweethearts now dabble in a century’s worth of music from the 1860s onward, Kincannon says. The company is made up of three trios.

The Athol show is the brainchild of New Salem residents Cindy and Chuck Hartwell, who first saw the singers when they belonged to a separate group they eventually invited to Athol High School in 2015. Kincannon says the singers formed a separate company, based in New York City, about a year ago.

“It’s become more of a women’s power show,” Kincannon says, adding that it emulates the attitude and harmonies of The Andrews Sisters. “It’s something I didn’t expect, but it’s very relevant in what’s going on in the world right now.”

She says the 2015 Athol performance was such a hit the singers cannot wait to return.

“There were a lot of veterans. They were such a memorable audience for me,” she says. “Seeing the joy and the memories in their eyes while we’re performing is something that’s really special about this job.”

Kincannon says their most requested song is “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters.

The Hartwells say America’s Sweethearts deliver a blast from the past for people of a certain age.

“(The singers) engage the audience. The old guys eat it up,” Cindy said with a laugh. “It’s nice to have something for that generation of people, and it gives people our age something to do with their parents.”

The Hartwells say the April 2 show is sponsored by the Athol Veterans Park Development Corp., which raised the money to build the veterans park in town. Cindy Hartwell says America’s Sweethearts is important to her because of the happiness it brings her 92-year-old father, World War II veteran Bill Purple, who she says is a Petersham resident who flew 35 missions as a B-17 pilot as part of the 379th Bomb Group while stationed in Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire, England.

The Hartwells plan to visit every senior center in the area to extend an invitation. Profits from the show will be donated to local veterans causes. They say more than 400 people showed up to the show two years ago.

“People brought their fathers and mothers and elderly neighbors. It was something that was multi-generational because there is broad appeal,” Cindy Hartwell says. “The girls are great performers.”

This event is also sponsored by the Athol, Orange, Petersham and Phillipston cultural councils.

To learn more, contact Cindy Hartwell at 978-544-5783 or sweetheartsconcert@gmail.com.


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