About Marideth Sisco: American singer and journalist (1943-) | Biography, Filmography, Discography, Facts, Career, Life
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Marideth Sisco
American singer and journalist

Marideth Sisco

Marideth Sisco
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American singer and journalist
Is Journalist Singer
From United States of America
Field Journalism Music
Gender female
Birth 15 June 1943, Butterfield, USA
Age 79 years
Star sign Gemini
The details (from wikipedia)


Marideth Ann (Gentry) Sisco is an American singer and journalist.

Early life

Sisco was born June 15, 1943 at home in Butterfield, Missouri to Marguerite Elenor Gentry Sisco and Paul Holtz Sisco. Marguerite worked in a cafe; he was a farmer/milk hauler who joined the Navy after Pearl Harbor and who served on a destroyer as fireman 1st class and anti-aircraft gunner. He came home without leave when Marideth was born and served time in the brig until he cleared his record by volunteering for a suicide mission in the Pacific, for which he received, along with the rest of the crew, a presidential citation.

When Marideth was a bit over six months old, Marguerite joined Paul in California and worked in a Crown Zellerbach paper mill to be near him while he was incarcerated, and Marideth stayed in Missouri with her two aunts, Neva and Juanita, and her maternal grandmother, Georgia Gentry. The sisters operated a grocery store, and Marideth slept in a crib next to the coal-burning stove and charmed the customers. It is told that the two sisters kissed her cheeks as they passed so many times that the grandmother made them stop, because she was weary of cleaning off the lipstick. After that, they kissed the soles of her feet, to which she attributes a large part of her character and confidence today.

While she was with the family, her great uncle, Tom Ferguson, taught her, between ages two and three, to memorize the words to songs and to sing them. She has been singing ever since. After the war, Paul took an electronics course by mail, purchased an under-the-counter union card and became an journeyman electrician. After a trial run at the Hanford Nuclear facility, the family traveled from job to job, with Marideth attending schools in Butterfield, Aurora and Springfield, Missouri; Wichita, Kansas; North Richland, Washington; Kalispell, Montana; and San Leandro and Angel's Camp, California.

Everywhere they went, they sang - the popular songs, the torch songs, the old and very old songs. Marideth learned them all. To their great joy and surprise, one day in the car Marideth, after singing along for some years, suddenly burst forth with the second harmony part.

When she reached the Eighth grade, Marideth became weary of life on the road and always making new friends only to leave them behind. She left her parents and went to live with her grandmother back in Butterfield. She attended Butterfield school that year then went to the consolidated school in Cassville, Missouri, graduating in 1961. She attended one year at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, then transferred to Southwest Missouri State College (Now Missouri State University) where she continued her studies in music. In the spring of her third year, instructors at SMS informed her she could not major in performance and/or orchestration as she was a woman and would not be able to find a job in those fields. They advised she change her major to music education.


Instead, she left school and went to California to play music, arriving in San Francisco about a year ahead of the flower children. She returned home in Spring, 1966 when her father died, and took her mother back with her to California to visit friends out there. Marguerite became ill that fall and was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Marideth brought her home to Missouri and was with her when she died in September of that year -just four months after Paul's death.

Marideth returned to San Francisco, and played some months at San Francisco's infamous "Wild Side West,' an extremely diverse watering hole catering to lesbians, off-duty female impersonators from Finnoccio's, and the French navy. That experience prompted her to try her hand at a similar business. With Mashelle Boswell, she opened a bar and restaurant in Santa Cruz. The pair had great and creative ideas, but no head for business. The venture failed after a year, and Marideth moved to Los Angeles, took a job as a copywriter with a Beverly HIlls ad agency.

She returned to Santa Cruz after she became ill. Following surgery for gall stones, she recuperated among friends and teamed up with songwriter and playwright Robin Frederick to assist in producing Frederick's avant garde musical, "Beulahland." At the end of the play's run, Sisco headed across country to revisit home and friends and on to Vermont, where she stayed for three seasons before returning to the coast. She landed in L.A. again, this time sharing a house and another songwriting venture with Frederick. Frederick got a recording contract. Marideth went to Utah for a visit with friend and former business partner, Mashelle Boswell, landed a job there and spent about two years of what she now terms "intense personal growth."

When her uncle Leonard's kidney disease caused doctors to suggest dialysis in 1976, she assisted the move of Leonard and Juanita, her mother's sister, from their Marysville, California home back to Missouri. She intended to return to California as soon as they were settled. Instead, after a short stint as stained glass artist, she returned to school and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and design with minor in writing. Upon graduation in 1986, Marideth took a job at the West Plains Daily Quill as a staff writer. She remained there until 1992, took time off to complete a Master of Arts degree in writing from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio and to satisfy the urge to freelance for a while. She returned to The Quill in 2000 and remained until 2005, when she retired due to complications from heart surgery.

She taught writing as adjunct faculty at Drury University until 2009, when she was hired as music consultant on the film "Winter's Bone," and was cast in a singing role in the movie. She was living in the Ozark town of West Plains, Missouri, when she had a chance encounter that would change her status from that of a retired journalist and part-time musician to that of a minor celebrity. Author Daniel Woodrell was in West Plains with some film people, scouting locations for a movie based on a book he'd written. On a tip, Woodrell & Co. went to the home of Rick Cochran, where Cochran, Sisco and several other musicians had gotten together, as they often did, to play the folk and mountain music they all loved. Two years later, Sisco got a call from Anne Rosellini, one of the film's screenwriters. The filmmakers wanted to use Sisco in the movie Winter's Bone Four days after completing the movie, she underwent surgery for uterine cancer. The surgery site became infected, and she experienced a lengthy recovery characterized by bed rest and IV antibiotics. Marideth recovered and attended the Sundance Film Festival, where she and long-time friend Mashelle Boswell reconnected long enough to have supper together. Winter's Bone took the festival's two top awards.

Marideth spent the following year promoting the film at film festivals throughout the US and at the Torino International Film Festival in Torino, Italy. She attended Oscar week festivities, including the Independent Spirit Film Awards, where she again spent time with Frederick and they renewed their songwriting collaboration. Winter's Bone received four Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, who has since gone on to win that title.

Sisco and Frederick have since written more than a dozen well-received songs, with one, "In These Ozark Hills", gaining a spot on the British-made TV series "Hit & Miss." The others are featured on Sisco's two CDs with her band, Blackberry Winter, made up of several of the musicians from Winter's Bone.

Marideth makes her home in the southern Missouri Ozarks, where she continues to write stories and songs, play music, and narrates regular radio essays on regional public radio. The shows are archived in print and streaming audio at www.ksmu.org/These Ozarks Hills/, or can be purchased as a quartet of audio CDs "Seasons in the Ozarks" or as single CDs featuring the individual seasons, from her blog/web site, www.maridethsisco.com. She continues to record for Juneapple Records, and her books and music CDs are available through her web site.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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