Reporting Harry Porterfield
GARY, Ind. (CBS) — For 19 years, the Whitney Nots have been having a fantastic time dancing and entertaining people, and CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield thinks each member of the group is someone you should know.
The Whitney Nots wear coordinated uniforms with smiles to match the moment they appear before their audience. They are so named because they are not Whitney Houston, but they are a group of grandmothers who get together in tribute to the late musical icon with a knack for dancing and lip-syncing.
The four members – Lois Jackson, Lynn Trask, Sharon Phelps and Elaine Cuthrell – are grandparents of a total of 27 chidlren.
Jackson, grandmother of four, founded the group 19 years ago as a follow-up to a dance class. They initially introduced themselves as a lip sync act, but that didn’t work.
“But when we started to introduce ourselves as a dance act, and we’re all grandmas, it went off the charts,” Jackson said.
Trask is the grandmother of 12, with three on the way.
“I love it, because I can’t sing, so it works,” Trask said. “I’m always surprised at how the audience takes it, because we’re a lip sync group.”
On one recent occasion, the group was invited to perform at a family reunion in East Chicago, Ind. The Bynes family has gathered for reunions in,every part of the country for the last 104 years.
Family member Olga Bynes is from California, and was quite impressed by the Whitney Nots.
“Well I’ll tell you what – if they were lip-syncing, they’re the best. They’re the best. I’ve never seen it done better,” Bynes said.
During the years since they’ve been together the group has performed in Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Alabama and even Hawaii.
Phelps is a grandmother of three, and Cuthrell has eight grandkids.
“It makes me feel good, because when you look out into the audience and you see them sometimes grooving with you with a big smile on their face, it just makes you feel good.”
The Whitney Nots are based in Gary, Ind. To learn more, go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Whitney-Nots/137902846303173.