The Whites is an American country music vocal group consisting of Sharon White (born 1953), her sister Cheryl (born 1955), and their father Buck (born 1930). In the 1980s, they scored such hits as “You Put The Blue In Me”, “Hangin’ Around”, “Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling”, “Pins And Needles”, “If It Ain’t Love (Let’s Leave It Alone)”, “Hometown Gossip”, and “When The New Wears Off of Our Love”.
In August 1981, Sharon White married Ricky Skaggs, who performed on several of the Whites’ early releases. In 1987, the couple released the hit song, “Love Can’t Ever Get Better Than This”.
“There’s nothing like playing music to bring a family together,” says Sharon White, but that’s not exactly right; over 40 years have shown that the music of The Whites – sisters, Sharon and Cheryl, and father Buck – has just as much power to bring audiences together in a feeling that resembles that of one giant, extended family.
The story of The Whites begins in Texas, when a young Buck White started his musical career not long after the end of World War II, working the dance halls and radio shows in a succession of bands. Honky-tonk music called for the piano and the bluegrass mandolin, and so he became proficient on both, absorbing the many varieties of Texas country and blues to fashion his own distinctive style – one that kept him in steady demand as a sideman throughout the 1950s. In 1961, tired of the rough-and-tumble life of a honky-tonk musician and wanting to raise his family in a more wholesome environment, White moved to Arkansas.
Yet within a matter of months, he and wife Pat were once again making music, forming a band with another couple that eventually called themselves the Down Home Folks. As Sharon and Cheryl grew, they, too, were drawn to music (“Mama said I could carry a tune before I could talk,” Sharon recalls.) at first forming the Down Home Kids with the children of other Down Home Folks members in the mid-1960s, then moving up to join their parents in a growing number of bluegrass festival appearances.
The first big turning point for The Whites came in 1971, when a successful trip to Bill Monroe’s Bean Blossom festival convinced the family that the time was right to move to Nashville and pursue a more serious music career. Though Pat retired from the band in 1973, the move paid off as Buck White and the Down Home Folks began their recording career, featuring the striking family harmonies and top-notch instrumental work that has characterized their music ever since. The remainder of the decade saw them make a steady ascent in the world of bluegrass, recording five acclaimed albums for various labels and working a busy touring schedule, even as they gained a toehold in the country music field thanks to their powerful vocals and broad repertoire. The former, in particular, attracted the attention of Emmylou Harris, who brought them in to sing on her Blue Kentucky Girl album of 1979 and then took them on the road with her as an opening act.
The early part of the 1980s brought The Whites – by then renamed to reflect their family ties – to national prominence as their simple, traditionally-rooted yet dynamic sound put them on Billboard’s country charts with a succession of Top 20 hits. Favorites like their first Top 10, “You Put The Blue In Me,” as well as “Hangin’ Around,” “Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling,” and “Pins And Needles,” – the latter all produced by Sharon’s husband, Ricky Skaggs (the two married in 1981) – introduced them to new audiences, culminating in the induction as members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1984.
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The Whites are a family country music group consisting of siblings Sharon, Cheryl, and Buck White. They grew up in a musical family and began performing together as children. After honing their skills and building a following in their home state of Texas, they moved to Nashville in the 1970s and signed a recording contract with Capitol Records.
Their self-titled debut album was released in 1976, and featured their signature harmonies and instrumental prowess. The album received critical acclaim and helped establish The Whites as a force to be reckoned with in country music. They continued to release albums throughout the years, and achieved chart success with hits such as “Hangin’ Around,” “You Put the Blue in Me,” and “When the New Wears Off of Our Love.”
In addition to their successful recording career, The Whites have also earned numerous awards and accolades. They were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1984, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2018. They have also won several awards from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, and International Bluegrass Music Association.
Despite the passing of Buck in 2015, Sharon and Cheryl continue to perform and honor their family legacy in country music. They have collaborated with numerous artists throughout the years, including Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, and Dolly Parton. Their close-knit family bond and musical talent have made them beloved figures in the world of country music for over four decades.
The Whites have released numerous country songs throughout their career, including:
These are just a few examples of The Whites’ many country songs, showcasing their trademark harmonies and instrumental prowess.
Sharon and Cheryl White of The Whites were still actively performing. Despite the passing of their brother Buck White in 2015, Sharon and Cheryl continued to perform as a duo and carry on their family legacy in country music. However, it’s worth noting that their current status may have changed since then, and it’s always best to check for updates on their official website or social media pages for the latest information on their performances.