The Sherry Sisters
The Sherry Sisters

Karen and Lois Sherry of the Sherry Sisters had an illustrious career even before they started singing. Karen was already a 27-year-old professor with a Ph.D in Spanish, teaching Spanish literature and language at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, New Jersey, and her younger sister Lois was studying composition at theJuilliard School of Music in New York when they had their first recording on Jamie Records in early 1972. They had also performed the song in late 1971 at the World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo, Japan—in Japanese.   

Their international odyssey began when Karen Sherry, known in her teaching role under her real name of Dr. Karen Klein, entered a talent contest at the age of 16 when she was a counselor at the Catskill Mountain resort of the famous Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, New York. Spotted by a booking agent, she and Lois represented the United States in the First International Song Festival in Bogata, Colombia.

This would have been the beginning of their recording careers, except that their father, a chemical-industry executive, did not want an entertainment career to interfere with his daughters’ studies. He was “strongly opposed to the idea, but finally we came to an agreement,” Karen, who writes the lyrics to her sister’s tunes, says, “If it interfered with my education I would have to give it up. It never has.”

Both daughters graduated from Brooklyn College. For Karen, a Ph.D. from Columbia ensued and then her teaching stint. Besides Spanish and Japanese, the sisters also sang in Hebrew, French, Italian, Greek and Russian.

Karen’s later career included becoming a vice-president at ASCAP and head of the music-rights organization’s foundation.



60s Romance