Chenille sisters


A Year-by-Year List of Major (and some g-minor) Events

Hey, when you practice, perform, write and travel together for more than 20 years, you accrue more than a little history. (The 2006 release of May I Suggest marks an even dozen recordings!) But if you're pressed for time and want the Reader's Digest version, here's a brief chronicling of highlights in the lives of the Chenilles.

March 17, 1985:
The Big Bang!

The Chenille Sisters perform their first show together at The Old Town in Ann Arbor, MI Big Bang Theory is: this could be the start of something big


First appearance on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, who declares, "It's an awful lot of fun to listen to them."
Album released: The Chenille Sisters
After a long walk through the halls of the VA Hospital, Connie realizes that the back of her skirt is tucked into her pantyhose. There's one for the troops!


The trio signs with Red House Records in St. Paul, MN


Album released: At Home with the Chenille Sisters
In a review, People Magazine says "...they move deftly with meticulous harmonies from parody to pastiche to country to folk."
Grace jogs her first mile and quits because she thinks she has too many things that jiggle


Album released: 1,2,3 for Kids
1,2,3 wins a Parents' Choice Award


The group performs with James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band on PBS television's The Lonesome Pine Special
Cheryl reaches an age at which she's grateful to be 2 minutes younger than her twin sister


The Chenilles open for the Smothers Brothers, Andy Williams and the Nylons
First show at The Bottom Line in NYC
First appearance at the Kerrville Folk Festival
Album released: Mama I Wanna Make Rhythm


Album released: Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight (with James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band)
Album released: The Big Picture and Other Songs for Kids Big Picture wins a Parents' Choice Award Connie, Grace and Cheryl sit in Stephen and Tabitha King's kitchen while Stephen serves them tea (and they're not even scared!)


The trio plays the Philadelphia Folk Festival
Performs a double-bill show with the Smothers Brothers
Tommy Smothers teaches them how to stand just right in photos
Author Nevada Barr's novel The Track of the Cat is published, featuring its heroine reclining in the tub and soaking up some Chenille tunes


They record during most of a summer in Boston
Open a show for Marvin Hamlisch
Album released: True to Life


Tours of California and Oregon
Album released: Haute Chenille: A Retrospective
Grace discovers yoga and adds about an inch to her height. Cheryl attempts yoga but keeps falling asleep during "child's pose."


They form their own label, Cantoo Records
A television special featuring the Chenilles, Making Rhythm, airs on PBS.
Album released: Teaching Hippopotami to Fly
Hippo wins a Parents' Choice Award


They create and perform in The Secret of the Box, a holiday television special
Secret wins two Emmys


Tours of California again (heavy emphasis on wine country)
Connie perfects her peach pie, but makes a disastrous chocolate cake that weighs 10 pounds. Unfazed, Grace declares, "Hey, it's chocolate!"


The Chenille-mobile is packed to the tail fins as the trio tours, tours, tours


The girls spend the summer learning and writing holiday music, wearing long underwear and ear muffs for atmosphere
Album released: In the Christmas Spirit


Cheryl begins having gallery shows of her collages and creates greeting cards featuring her artwork


Launch of the inaugural "Chenille Cruise" to the Bahamas with a boatload of fans
Album released: Room to Breathe


The group tours, tours, tours and is tired, tired, tired


The Chenilles return home to Ann Arbor after extended touring
Soon after, Ann Arbor is named one of the best cities in which to live in the entire U.S. (Coincidence?)


The Chenilles celebrate their 20th Anniversary at The Ark in Ann Arbor, with longtime fans in attendance, including Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm
Connie creates a drama program for special needs adults and receives a grant to fund it
Grace produces and acts in a successful production of The Vagina Monologues that raises lots of money for SafeHouse Center in Ann Arbor.


Album released: May I Suggest

You have different shoes for different occasions, right? Well, the Chenille Sisters have different shows for different tastes. You can have your Chenilles with heels or training wheels! Try them all on. You'll find one - or two - or six! - that fit just right.


Cheryl: The Interview
Connie: The Interview
Grace: The Interview