Mr. Sandman, Lollipop, Pink Shoelaces and the list of number one hits goes on for Sheboygan’s most famous homegrown musical group, The Chordettes
Formed in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1946 as a barbershop quartet, by 1947 they had bookings to sing all across the United States. In 1949, they appeared in a contest on the popular Arthur Godfrey Show and soon after worked as regulars on Godfrey’s variety shows for almost four years.
By 1953, they decided to try a different kind of music and the following year, they recorded, “Mr. Sandman” a song that would reach number one on the pop charts and sell over two million copies. From 1956 to 1959, the Chordettes had a song on the top 100 chart almost continuously.
A new book, now available, from the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center tells the story of the Chordettes from their high school days in Sheboygan through 2004 when the Chordettes were honored in their hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, before a crowd of more than 500 people.
This book also includes information on Cadence Records and its owner, Archie Bleyer. Bleyer married one of the Chordettes and lived his final years in Black River.
Compiled by Scott Lewandoske before his death in 2018, the information was gathered from newspaper articles, scrapbooks, record albums, and interviews with the Chordettes themselves. Scott’s book about the Chordettes, written about 2010, is being published in an altered form. Some photos had copyright issues and could not be used, but the rest of the book compiled by Scott still tells a great story; it conveys his encyclopedic knowledge of his favorite musical group.
Thanks to the Sheboygan Press for the ability to freely use information and photos.