Sweethearts of the Rodeo

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Sweethearts of the Rodeo
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Country
Years active 1986–1996, 2010-present
Labels Columbia, Sugar Hill
Associated acts Foster & Lloyd, Vince Gill
Website SweetHeartsOfTheRodeo.com
Members Janis Oliver
Kristine Arnold

Sweethearts of the Rodeo is an American country music duo composed of sisters Janis Oliver (guitar, vocals) and Kristine Arnold (née Oliver) (vocals). The duo recorded for Columbia Records between 1986 and 1991, releasing four albums and twelve singles for the label. During the 1990s, they also recorded two albums for Sugar Hill Records. The duo reached Top Ten on the Hot Country Songs chart seven times in the late 1980s, with their highest-charting singles being the No. 4 hits "Midnight Girl/Sunset Town" and "Chains of Gold", both in 1987.


Janis Oliver was born March 1, 1954 (1954-03) (age 65)[1][2][3][4] and her sister Kristine Arnold was born November 28, 1956 (1956-11-28) (age 62)[5][6] in the South Bay region of Los Angeles, California.[1] They were raised in Manhattan Beach, California,[1] where they began singing while in elementary school and performed bluegrass music as the Oliver Sisters during their teenage years.[7]

The duo later became Sweethearts of the Rodeo, taking the name from The Byrds' album Sweetheart of the Rodeo.[1] After being discovered by Emmylou Harris, they secured slots as opening acts and backing vocalists for other artists. In 1977, the Sweethearts opened a Redondo Beach, California, show for Sundance, a group which included a then-19-year-old Vince Gill.[1][3] In 1980, Janis married Gill, who by then was a member of Pure Prairie League,[3] and Kristine married Leonard Arnold[1] of the band Blue Steel.[7] In 1983 the Gills moved to Nashville, Tennessee, followed soon after by the Arnolds, and the sisters began singing together again.[1]

1986–1992: Columbia Records

In 1985, Sweethearts of the Rodeo won the Wrangler Country Showdown talent contest and soon afterward signed with Columbia Records.[1] Sweethearts of the Rodeo's first single, "Hey Doll Baby", debuted in April 1986,[8] followed by the release their self-titled debut album.[1] After it came the duo's first Top Ten hit at No. 7, "Since I Found You". The song was written by Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd, and its success helped Foster & Lloyd secure a record deal of their own.[7] Four more singles from the album followed, including the No. 4 hits "Midnight Girl/Sunset Town" and "Chains of Gold", which would be their highest-charting singles.[8]

A second album, One Time, One Night, accounted for three more Top Ten hits: "Satisfy You", "Blue to the Bone", and a cover of The Beatles' "I Feel Fine",[7] but their next single, "If I Never See Midnight Again", peaked at No. 39.[8] Two more albums for Columbia followed (1990's Buffalo Zone and 1992's Sisters), but neither produced any major hits, and Columbia dropped the duo in 1992.[7]


Sweethearts of the Rodeo continued to tour in the 1990s, later releasing two albums of bluegrass music on the Sugar Hill label:[7] Rodeo Waltz in 1993 and Beautiful Lies in 1996.[9] Janis and Kristine owned a clothing store in Franklin, Tennessee, called "Gill & Arnold" for a time in the late 1990s that has since closed.[9] Janis and Vince Gill were divorced in 1997[8][10] and she married Roy Cummins in 2000.[4]



Year Title US Country Label
1986 Sweethearts of the Rodeo 8 Columbia
1988 One Time, One Night 11
1990 Buffalo Zone 41
1992 Sisters
1993 Rodeo Waltz Sugar Hill
1996 Beautiful Lies
2000 Anthology Renaissance
2012 Restless Good Trade


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1986 "Hey Doll Baby" 21 Sweethearts of the Rodeo
"Since I Found You" 7 15
"Midnight Girl/Sunset Town" 4 6
1987 "Chains of Gold" 4 7
"Gotta Get Away" 10 11
1988 "Satisfy You" 5 11 One Time, One Night
"Blue to the Bone" 5 *
"I Feel Fine" 9 *
1989 "If I Never See Midnight Again" 39 40
1990 "This Heart" 25 32 Buffalo Zone
"Cómo Se Dice (I Love You)"[11]
"What It Does to Me"[12]
"You Look at Love That Way"[13]
1991 "Hard-Headed Man" 63 Sisters
"Devil and Your Deep Blue Eyes" 74
1993 "Things Will Grow" Rodeo Waltz
1996 "Beautiful Lies" Beautiful Lies
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

Year Video Director
1986 "Since I Found You" not available
"Midnight Girl/Sunset Town" not available
1988 "Satisfy You" Bob Small
1989 "If I Never See Midnight Again"
1990 "Cómo Se Dice (I Love You)" not available
"You Look at Love That Way" Deaton Flanigen[14]
1991 "Devil and Your Deep Blue Eyes" Peter Lippman
1993 "Things Will Grow" Steve Boyle[15]
1996 "Beautiful Lies" Chris Rogers


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Stambler, Irwin; Landon, Grelun; Stambler, Lyndon (2000). Country Music: The Encyclopedia. Macmillan. p. 478.
  2. ^ Laufenberg, Norbert B. (2005). Entertainment Celebrities. Trafford Publishing. p. 260.
  3. ^ a b c Sanz, Cynthia (June 10, 1991). "Vince and Janis Gill". People. Janis, 37
  4. ^ a b Keel, Beverly (April 20, 2003). "In the shadows of the spotlight". The Tennessean. Archived from the original on September 3, 2003. Cummings, 49
  5. ^ "Kristine Arnold". Rovi.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  6. ^ Laufenberg, Norbert B. (2005). Entertainment Celebrities. Trafford Publishing. p. 24. [self-published source]
  7. ^ a b c d e f Huey, Steve. "Sweethearts of the Rodeo biography". Allmusic. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 412–413. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  9. ^ a b "Sweethearts of the Rodeo: Bio". CMT.com.
  10. ^ Meers, Erik (November 29, 1999). "Finally a Duet". People.
  11. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. May 19, 1990.
  12. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. July 21, 1990.
  13. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. November 17, 1990.
  14. ^ "New Videoclips" (PDF). Billboard. November 24, 1990. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  15. ^ "Sweethearts Of The Rodeo Video Brings Out The Kids". Articles.sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
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