The Rankin Sisters
November 27, 2002 – Savoy Theatre
On Wednesday night they came from near and far, despite the season’s first measurable snowstorm, to witness one of the most beautiful shows in any time of year at the Savoy Theatre. The Rankin Sisters – Cookie, Raylene, and Heather – brought their annual Christmas tour home to Cape Breton, for the one of the warmest of receptions on record!
Following the show, I mentioned to others how very emotional it was for me, having enjoyed the music of the Rankin Family for as long as they have been on the scene, to see these women together again. Many people thanked me for my comments, as it let them know that they were not alone in the wave of sentiment that overpowered their emotions, from the moment the first song was sung. During the intimate autograph session afterwards, several people were brought to tears by simply saying hello to these most respected performers.
But please don’t imagine that the night was all tears and tissue! Once the audience overcame the initial awe of having the Rankin women onstage, it was a magical time, of Yuletide selections, most from their Do You Hear CD, which was released in 1997, and stories of growing up in a family of twelve kids in Mabou.
I refuse to even try and name any song as a stand-out, as each and every number, individually, or in harmony, was breathtaking. From “Holly and the Ivy” to “Silent Night”, and several Gaelic Hymns, all examples of some of the reasons why the Rankins remain in the hearts of fans everywhere, but especially in Cape Breton. Of course you can’t have Rankins onstage without a little step dancing thrown in for good measure!
Along with the outstanding vocals, and first class back up band, Heather Rankin kept the mood light and lively with her sharp wit and ability to put everyone at ease, supplying most of the comic relief throughout the evening. Each person, including the band, was given the opportunity to recall a Christmas memory, as well, the women would come up with impromptu family stories that, for the most part, sent the audience into fits of laughter.
It was a positively perfect evening. This was the first time for the Rankin Sisters to bring their Christmas tour to the Savoy and, judging by the reaction of those present, it will be one show to watch for in the years to come.