Upcoming Events


Art is the Driving…

Oct 20 - Dec 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… more

Creole Italian…

Oct 20 - 27, 2016
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is pleased to announce its latest edition… more

Danse Macabre- The…

Oct 20 - 30, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection will be offering a special Halloween-themed… more

Dave Ferrato Open Jam…

Oct 20 - Dec 29, 2016
Dave Ferrato and Band Host a Thursday Night Open Jam Series! Any and all… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Oct 20, 2016
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Education Gallery…

Oct 20 - Nov 27, 2016
Artists and Sense of Place Residency Show featuring artwork created by students… more

Heart of the House

Oct 20, 2016 - Jan 08, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Heart of the House puts the spotlight on House… more

Historic New Orleans…

Oct 20, 2016 - Apr 09, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection is gearing up for an exciting new… more

Jazz in the Park

Oct 20 - Nov 3, 2016
Jazz in the Park returns for its 10th season this fall running from September… more

Myth Makers at Ogden…

Oct 20 - 20, 2016
Join artists Donna Dodson and Andy Morlein (a.k.a. The Myth Makers), The… more

New Orleans Film…

Oct 20 - 20, 2016
Celebrating its 27th anniversary this year, the Oscar -qualifying New Orleans… more

Ogden Museum of…

Oct 20 - Nov 8, 2016
Each year, the Ogden Museum celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead),… more

Thursdays at Twilight…

Oct 20 - 20, 2016
Stroll through the New Orleans Botanical Garden at twilight, settle indoors at… more

Wheel Fun Rentals…

Oct 20 - 23, 2016
Located at New Orleans City Park, Wheel Fun Rentals Pumpkin Patch is the place… more


Oct 21 - 21, 2016
Artist Thomas Mann will don his chef's hat to host a private… more

Annual ‘Up on the…

Oct 21 - 21, 2016
The Foundation at East Jefferson General Hospital – a not-for-profit… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Oct 21 - 22, 2016
Join us for the artistic and fearless group - The Cole Williams Band! more

Boo at the Zoo

Oct 21 - 29, 2016
Bring your little ghosts and goblins to Boo at the Zoo Presented by Bryan… more

Concerts in the…

Oct 21 - 21, 2016
Now in its ninth year, The Historic New Orleans Collection's Concerts in the… more

Dragon Eye Moon

Oct 21 - 21, 2016
This band plays all the mixtures of Rock-N-Roll music. more

Art is the Driving…

Oct 20 - Dec 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… more

New exhibition shines spotlight on life, legacy of the Boswell Sisters

For Immediate release   

Media contacts:
Teresa Devlin, The Historic New Orleans Collection
(504) 598-7170 | 

Sarah Chambless, Gambel Communications
(504) 324-4242 |            

New exhibition shines spotlight on life, legacy of the Boswell Sisters 

New Orleans-based trio were singing sensations of 1920s and '30s

March 2014 | New Orleans, LA - On the 100th anniversary of the Boswell Sisters' arrival in New Orleans, The Historic New Orleans Collection brings the trio back into the spotlight with a new exhibition.

"Shout Sister Shout! The Boswell Sisters of New Orleans" looks at the lives, music and legacy of the three sisters who became national musical sensations. The display is now open and will remain on view through Oct. 26 in THNOC's Williams Gallery, 533 Royal St. in the French Quarter.


About the Boswell Family

In 1914, former vaudeville entertainer A. C. Boswell and his wife, Meldania, moved their four young children-A. C. "Clydie" Jr., 14; Martha, 9; Connie, 8; and Helvetia, or "Vet," 3- from Birmingham, Ala., to Uptown New Orleans so A. C. Sr. could pursue a career with the Fleischmann Company.

            Shortly after their arrival, Meldania initiated classical music training for each of her children with the German-born and New Orleans-based tutor Otto Finck. All four became astute musicians who were influenced, as well, by some of the city's most notable jazz talent of the time-including Louis Prima, Pinky Vidacovich, Monk Hazel, Tony Parenti and Emmett Louis Hardy.

While their older brother embarked on a solo career, Martha, Connie and Vet performed as a trio for local events. They quickly became hometown favorites, first for their original instrumental arrangements and later for their syncopated, close-vocal harmonies.

"I think what made their style so attractive," said exhibition curator Mark Cave, "was its freshness and spontaneity, which probably came from their exposure to the vibrant musical climate in New Orleans during the '20s."

With their sights set on the national stage, the Boswell sisters left New Orleans, finding early commercial success in Los Angeles's radio and film industries in the late 1920s, then striking it big in New York performing for NBC and CBS radio.

By 1936 all three sisters had married and their days performing as a trio came to an end. Although their career was short, it included collaborations with a who's who of radio's golden age: Bing Crosby, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey, just to name a few. In addition, they were part of several broadcasting milestones. Locally they were featured on WDSU's first radio broadcast and nationally they were part of CBS's first-ever television broadcast.

The Boswell Sisters were also one of the first successful ensembles that included a member with a disability. Connie Boswell was paralyzed as a young child and never regained the ability to walk. With the help of her sisters and their manager Harry Leedy (whom she later married), Connie remained an integral part of the group and enjoyed a solo career into the early 1960s.

"It was hard for the sisters to hide Connie's disability, and it was frequently talked about in the tabloids," Cave explained, adding that the sisters' willingness to work with Connie and her disability strengthened their bond, "which was undoubtedly an asset."

Years after their heyday, the Boswell Sisters are still regarded as pioneers of the cheerful, close-harmony vocal style that brought joy to listeners across the nation during the Great Depression and later became emblematic of 1940s girl groups.


About the exhibition

 "Shout, Sister, Shout!" features more than 80 items, many from the Boswell Museum of Music Collection, which THNOC acquired in 2011.

"Music is our city's greatest export," Cave said. "Bringing this material back home after all these years gives us a chance, through exhibitions like this and through our research center, to educate people about our city's contributions to American music."

Accompanying these materials are personal artifacts and memorabilia from the Boswell family, as curated by Kyla Titus, granddaughter of Vet Boswell.

The display includes listening stations with recordings from the Boswell Sisters, photographs, radio scripts, notes from fans and peers and a 10-minute documentary by filmmaker Dan Garrison featuring an interview with the late Vet Boswell.


Related programming


Media tour with curator Mark Cave and contributor Kyla Titus

Monday, March 24 • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

THNOC's Williams Gallery • 533 Royal St.

Limited to members of the media. RSVPs required. Refreshments to be provided.


Opening reception

featuring new vaudeville duo Jones and Boyce performing the music of the Boswell Sisters

Tuesday, March 25 • 6:30-8 p.m.

THNOC's Williams Gallery • 533 Royal St.

Open to the public.


15th Bill Russell Lecture, "The Boswell Sisters: Pioneers of American Popular Music"

featuring a lecture by Kyla Titus and a performance by the Pfister Sisters

Thursday, April 10 • 6-8 p.m.

THNOC's Williams Research Center • 410 Chartres St.

Admission is $10. Advanced registration is required. Seating is limited.


Concert in the Courtyard featuring the New Orleans Nightingales

Thursday, April 17 • Doors: 5:30 p.m.; music: 6-8 p.m.

533 Royal St.

Admission is $10 per person, free for THNOC members, and includes refreshments.


About The Historic New Orleans Collection

Founded in 1966, The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to the preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, The Collection offers guided tours, rotating exhibitions, a research facility and a museum shop. For more information, visit or call (504) 523-4662.

The Historic New Orleans Collection - Preserving our Past for a Brighter Future.