Judith Sutherland: Even idols can have rock-solid roots


Sometimes, life comes up with its own wonderful surprises. These past couple of weeks have been like hitting a happy jackpot.


After my recent Farm and Dairy column in which I dreamed of joining Diane, Peggy, Kathy and Janet as the fifth singing Lennon Sister, I received more comments and compliments than I’ve had in a very long time. It seems everyone either had a favorite Lennon or a story of their own, tying us all together across the years as members of the Lennon Sisters Fan Club.

Farm and Dairy editor Susan Crowell forwarded a nice e-mail from the manager of the Lennon Sisters, telling us the sisters are celebrating 55 years in music, and that Peggy, Kathy and Janet still perform together in Branson, Mo.


The second e-mail forwarded to me from the Farm and Dairy left me smiling and stunned:

Judith Sutherland,

My name is Bill Lennon and the Lennon Sisters are my oldest sisters. My family has enjoyed your article.

Just so you know…

Normal life

Although all of them did indeed enjoy eating my Mom’s cakes, their glamorous lives included coming home from the studio and doing dishes and changing diapers.

They were, and still are, the oldest of eleven children. Back then, my Mom needed all the help that she could get. Though we were not on a farm, when my sisters started on the Welk show in the fifties, we had three boys in one room, four girls in another and my Mom and Dad on a fold-out couch in the living room with a baby crib next to it.

Hard work

My Dad was a milkman and he sold my Mom’s enchiladas to his customers for a little extra. We all grew up knowing the value and necessity of hard work.

The reason that my sisters seemed like the girls next door was that they really were. They never set out to be celebrities. On the road, they would often stay with local families that the girls had met through their fan mail. At home, they were like mini-moms to all of us youngsters. They still are happiest when they have a grand baby in one arm and are stirring a pot in the kitchen.

Don’t get me wrong. They all are bright, independent women. They are not the stereo typical wives of the sixties. But they value most the simple joys of everyday life. I suspect that you are indeed much like them.

Most respectfully,

Bill Lennon

* * *


As I sat at my computer desk, in awe of this response, I couldn’t help but think how thoughtful Bill Lennon is to have taken the time to share a glimpse in to his family’s life. I am so appreciative, and wanted to share this with long-time readers.

As my grandmother always pointed out and Bill Lennon’s letter reinforces, no matter who you are in this world, hard work is a big part of a happy life.


Through the magic of the world wide Web, we are all much more connected than we have ever been. How amazing to be able to applaud these harmonious, angelic women all these years later and know that they can hear it.

And I now know that I could share a piece of birthday cake with Peggy, as we have the same April birthday. Maybe, as their kind brother suggests, we just might have a thing or two in common.

Get our Top Stories in Your Inbox

Next step: Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.



We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.