The Avons Biography

Sisters-in-law Valerie (1936, Willesden, London, England) and Elaine Murtagh (b. 1940, County Cork, Eire) originally performed as the Avon Sisters. After being discovered singing at the 1958 BBC Radio Exhibition, they signed to UK Columbia Records where they recorded with producer Norrie Paramor. Their debut was ‘Which Witch Doctor’ with the Mudlarks and their debut solo release was a cover version of ‘Jerri O’ - both songs failed to chart. They added Ray Adams (b. 1938, Jersey, Channel Islands), whom they spotted singing with Nat Gonella’s Band, and then changed their name to the Avons. Their first single under the new name, a cover version of Paul Evans’ ‘Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat’ in 1959, gave them their only UK Top 20 chart entry. The light-pop trio had three minor hits and last charted with a cover version of ‘Rubber Ball’ in 1961. In 1962 a song they had written, ‘Dance On’, became a UK number 1 instrumental hit for the Shadows and it returned to the Top 20 the following year with a powerful vocal version by Kathy Kirby. They recorded for Decca Records in 1963 and Fontana Records in 1964 but had no other hits. Valerie continued to have success as a writer and is still a well-known behind-the-scenes figure in the UK music business. Their only album is now much sought after, fetching high prices in the collector’s market

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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