Your Music, My Music, Our Music: Cincinnati Women Musicians at King Records and Today

The Sunshine Sisters

Bertha, Irene Ethel, and Opal Gene Amburgey — also known as the Sunshine Sisters— were born in Letcher County, Kentucky to a musical family. Their mother, Gertrude Quillen, was raised in a family of singers; their father, Robert Amburgey, came from a family of stringed instrument musicians.

The sisters began their musical careers as a group in Kentucky, and soon began touring and performing for various radio stations across the mid-South. After changing their stage names to Mattie, Minnie and Martha, respectively, they eventually made their way to Cincinnati, recording for WKRC and WLW.

They recorded three sides with King Records in 1951, two of which were released, including “You Can’t Live With ‘Em (And You Can’t Live Without ‘Em).

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