100 Greatest Women, #86: The Forester Sisters

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April 5, 2008

100 Greatest Women

#86

The Forester Sisters

In the wake of the massive success of mother-daughter duo The Judds, female family acts experienced something of a mini-boom in the mid-to-late eighties. The most successful of those that followed Wynonna and Naomi were The Forester Sisters, a quartet from Georgia with sweet harmonies and simple songs of love.

The group found quick success after signing with Warner Bros. in 1984, having been discovered while performing at an Arts festival. Out of the box success was still a rarity in those days, but in the depressed post-Urban Cowboy era of country music, they found a receptive audience. Their self-titled debut album produced four hit singles, more than were usually even released from an album in those days. The first, “(That’s What You Do) When You’re in Love”, stopped at #10, but their next three singles topped the charts, making them the first group in history to accomplish that feat. In the two decades since, only the Dixie Chicks have managed to repeat it.

The group never quite matched the success of that first album, but continued to rack up top ten hits over the next five years, including a #1 duet with The Bellamy Brothers, “Too Much is Not Enough.” In 1987, they enjoyed their final solo #1 hit, “You Again”, and took home the ACM award for Top Vocal Group.

They were a radio mainstay until the new country boom exploded in 1989, and they suddenly found their hitmaking machine in a lower gear. The simple production that had contrasted so nicely with the overwrought pop sound of early eighties country now sounded timid and quaint next to the muscular sound that was now dominating country radio, courtesy of Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and others. However, the group did score one more hit, “Men”, in 1991, and though it only peaked at #8, it remains a signature hit and is their most frequently downloaded song. The snarky feminist anthem has even been used on The Rush Limbaugh Show when introducing his feminist-bashing segments.

The fading of their country career led The Forester Sisters to expand into gospel music, where they have found a receptive audience. In the last twelve years, they’ve released several gospel albums. They now self-produce and self-release their music through their website, while putting most of their energy into raising their families, all of which live in the Lookout Mountain, Georgia town that they left during their youth to pursue their musical ambitions.

The Forester Sisters

Essential Singles

  • “I Fell in Love Again Last Night” (1985)
  • “Mama’s Never Seen Those Eyes” (1986)
  • “You Again” (1987)
  • “Men” (1991)

Essential Albums

  • The Forester Sisters (1985)
  • Sincerely (1988)
  • Talkin’ ‘Bout Men (1991)

Industry Awards

  • ACM Top Vocal Group, 1987

==> #85. Gretchen Wilson

<== #87. Wilma Lee Cooper

100 Greatest Women: The Complete List

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  1. I love the Forester Sisters. My favorite songs weren’t on your essentials list – “Letter Home” and “Lonely Alone”

  2. Cory DeSteinNo Gravatar says:

    Lonely Alone is my favorite song of theirs

  3. JamesNo Gravatar says:

    I really like the Forester Sisters.. Not a big fan but I like many of their songs..

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