GREENE – Betty Johnson and her daughter, Lydia Gray, will entertain at 7 p.m. today, and 2 and 7 p.m. Friday, July 8, at the Sawyer Memorial, 371 Sawyer Road. They will present music from their album, “Family Affair.”

Admission is free and doors open one hour before shows. The auditorium is air-conditioned. Those wanting more information should call 946-5211.

Johnson’s career has included headlining many of the premier clubs across the nation and in London, including the Copacabana, Persian Room, Blue Angel, Sands, Coconut Grove, Fairmont and London Palladium.

She sang and recorded with her family, the Johnson Family Singers, on tour and on CBS-TV and radio for two decades. Among the many fans of the singing group was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. At a memorial service for the President, the Roosevelt family invited the Johnsons to sing.

On her own, Johnson became a regular on Don McNeil’s “Breakfast Club” and Jack Parr’s TV show following her discovery and first-place win on Arthur Godfrey’s “Talent Scouts.” She has made TV guest appearances on shows hosted by Bob Newhart, Jack Benny, Perry Como and Ed Sullivan.

After having recorded more than 150 records and a dozen albums, she left show business for a time to raise a family. When she returned, she starred in the Broadway revival of “Take Me Along” and in regional productions of other musicals. In the film “Reversal of Fortune,” she portrayed Sunny von Bulow’s mother. Johnson’s new CD, “My Heart Sings,” will be released simultaneously with this engagement.

Gray, a third-generation performer, joins her mother on the bill as she did for their engagement in June 1994 at the Algonquin’s Oak Room. Gray made her solo debut at Danny’s Skylight Room.

They will be joined by Tony Monte on piano.


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