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Phyllis Schiavone

May 15, 1927 December 23, 2020
Phyllis  Schiavone
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Obituary for Phyllis Schiavone

BETHLEHEM - Phyllis Schiavone, 93, passed away from COVID-19, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020.

Phyllis, also known as "Cathy" Laurie, was born in Atlas, May 15, 1927.

While Phyllis was a friend to many, most will remember her as the booming voice that led the Laurie Sisters to fame in the 1950s.

Phyllis began her music career early in life with her two sisters, Caroline and Greta. All three discovered their natural talent for music and love for performing from their father, Florian Schiavone, who was a bandleader and music teacher.

It did not take long for the Laurie Sisters to gain attention for their flawless harmony. Phyllis and her sisters started signing on local radio as kids in the mid-1930s, and then got their "big break" in 1949, when they were signed with the Ted Steel Show on WPIX Television in New York and later with the Ted Lewis Review in 1953. They would go on to work with almost every major record label and recorded numerous hits, including, "I Surrender Dear," "Jump Junior Jump," "Give Me One Kiss," "Blue and Brokenhearted," "I Really Don't Want to Know" and more.

In 1955, they scored their first top 30 hit with their rendition of "Dixie Danny." Phyllis and her sisters spent the 1950s and 1960s on tour, showcasing their music throughout the United States and world.

They became known in the music industry as the "One Take Lauries" because they were so polished and well-rehearsed that they only needed one take to record their songs. A London newspaper put it best when it described them as "petite and doll-like, offered vocal harmony with machine-like precision."

The Laurie Sisters' most popular album, "Hits of the Great Girl Groups" with Sid Bass and his Orchestra, was released in 1957.

The Laurie Sisters officially retired from show business in 1980, to care for their parents, Florian and Irene Schiavone, in Mount Carmel. The Laurie Sisters recorded three albums and 24 singles in a career that spanned more than five decades.

Phyllis and her sisters spent their remaining years in Bethlehem, surrounded by family and loved ones.

A lyric that best describes the faith, love and memory of Phyllis is embodied in their Christmas song, entitled "Two Thousand Years:" "Let's give thanks when we hear our children's laughter and take the time to kiss away their fears, for they all will be blessed forever by the love we've known for two thousand years."

Phyllis is survived by her sister, Greta, Dr. Robert Schiavone and family, of Louisville, Kentucky; and the Silvano sisters, Joanne, Dianne, Suzanne, Marianne and families from Hershey, Mount Carmel and Shamokin, respectively; and close friends, James Treese, Frank Treese and Tom Kutza and family.

Services will be private and held at the convenience of the family. Joseph J. Stutz, Inc. Funeral Home 40 South Market Street Mt. Carmel, Joseph J. Stutz, III Supervisor is entrusted with arrangements. Please visit https://lauriesisters.com.

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