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Thornton Sisters - The Ditchdiggers Daughters

Thornton Sisters - The Ditchdiggers Daughters magazine cover

As often happens was doing a bit of searching, stumbled across some interesting information, it made a nice change to hear a uplifting story for a change, as sometimes when looking up artists information the stories behind the 45s can be a bit down.

Thornton Sisters - The Ditchdiggers Daughters

Was just looking thru ebay completed bids" the other day and noticed the Thornton Sisters 45 "I Keep Forgetting/Ooh-Poo-Pah-Doo" on the Cuppy label up there.


Always been a fan of their "rough and ready" "Big City Boy" 45 outing on Bobsan, As you more than likely know, usually a bit of a dig may just throw up one or two small bits of info, if lucky! But this time, this "dig" was quite suprising, due to the amount of information that come up on the screen, regarding the Thornton Sisters. It seems that they are quite famous, not really so much for their musical achievements but for the fact they turned their back on the "bright lights" and all that, to concentrate on "proper" jobs and lifestyles.



All down to their father who guided them to make sure their lifes were worthwhile. As this story of a father and his 6 daughters is covered by a book " The Ditch Diggers Daughters" a tv movie/series and even was featured on a Oprah show, thought rather than letting you suffer my words, will put up below a series of clips, links and photos which will tell the story that much better. Suggest follow the links as they lead to more info, and also try the search engines as more articles will show up. A clip from (note link no longer valid)


The Ditchdiggers Daughter is an inspiring portrait by a loving daughter of a father whose pervasive common sense, folk wisdom, and untutored but right-on insights gave his children their road map to a better life. It is the story of a man who dared to dream that his black daughters would someday become doctors–and who guided them to achieve the seemingly impossible goals he set for them. It is also the story of an astute businessman who formed his bright and talented girls into a rhythm-and-blues band that played Harlems Apollo theatre and won a recording contract, which Donald tore up when he discovered it required his girls to leave school. Instead, the Thornton sisters played colleges on weekends, earning enough money to pay for their education, yet not allowing their music to interfere with their studies.

A article from the Temple Times 1997


They took honors five times at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and appeared on Ted Macks Amateur Hour. Offered a record contract, the daughters considered abandoning college for music careers. Again, their father steered them in the right direction. "Music is fine for now," he told them, "but nobody wants a 40-year-old musician. "Now a 40-year-old doctor, thats something else."



Ok that sets the scene follow the links and can read the full story, maybe sounds a bit "afternoon television" but I found it interesting and good to read positive, smile on your face stories about the artists who gave us this great music. Hopefully of interest all above was news to me, though the "Ditchdiggers Daughters" did ring a bell but never connected it to the Thornton Sisters.

Comments posted on this article in past issues of soul source

Guest Posted: 2004/2/3 20:56 Updated: 2004/2/3 20:56 DITCH DIGGERS DAUGHTERS

I wanted to know if you can tell me if there is a place I could purchase the made for TV movie on the DTICH DIGGERS DAUGHTERS? IF so please email me

Guest Posted: 2004/3/26 16:57 Updated: 2004/3/26 16:57 Re: DITCH DIGGERS DAUGHTERS

Hi! Im Dr. Thornton. Just give me your address and I will send you a copy. Please respond to my home e-mail  Hope to hear from you soon. Have a great weekend.

Guest Posted: 2004/4/1 21:57 Updated: 2004/4/1 21:57

A copy of the Movie I would like to get a copy of the movie, Ditchdiggers Daughter? Where can I find it.

Guest Posted: 2004/9/30 4:02 Updated: 2004/9/30 4:02 Re: A copy of the Movie

I am Dr. Thornton (alto saxophone). If you want a copy of the movie. I will send you a complimentary copy. My e-mail is stork1947@yahoo.com

Guest Posted: 2004/10/26 1:22 Updated: 2004/10/26 1:22 DITCHDIGGERS DAUGHTERS

Please email information on obtaining the VHS TV movie of the DITCHDIGGERS DAUGHTERS. This is an exceptionally inspiring movie. I have (3)daughters of my own. I know they will enjoy it.!! genexcell@yahoo.com

site note - please ask not to email this site asking where you can buy this film, I have no idea unfortunately


added 2016

well after x amount of years just spotted the film is now on youtube


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after 12 odd years since first posting have just recently spotted the actual film on youtube,

so now added to the original article :thumbsup:


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