The McGarrigle sisters are singers, musicians and songwriters of mixed French Canadian and Irish descent. Kate was born in Montreal, Québec in 1944, Anna in 1946, but they spent most of their childhood growing up in the village of Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts. They are among those lucky Canadians who are completely bilingual, and sing in English and French.
In the 1960s in Montreal, Kate took engineering at McGill University while Anna studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; they also played folk music. They became favourites of the local scene and began to write music; by the 1970s they were in California. Maria Muldaur recorded two of Kate's songs for her first album, and Linda Rondstadt had a hit with Anna's "Heart Like a Wheel". Thus they came to the attention of record company executives, and recorded their first eponymous album in 1976. Their elegant harmonies and original songs earned them critical praise, and the album was a great success; more albums were to follow, but none have been as successful as that first one. The McGarrigle sisters have a small but loyal following, and have done many concert tours as well as several Canadian television specials. They have had a documentary made about them, and received the Order of Canada in 1994.
Between them the sisters have four children, the most famous of whom is Rufus Wainwright; his father is Kate's former husband Loudon Wainwright III. He toured with his mother and aunt as a teenager, and these days they often appears on stage with him.
"The McGarrigle Hour" (1998)
"Hearts Accelerating" (1990)
"Love Over and Over" (1983)
"French Record" (1980)
"Dancer With Bruised Knees" (1977)
"Kate and Anna McGarrigle" (1976)
Please note: I have noded the McGarrigles here rather than under the McGarrigle sisters because their albums are released under this name.