We seem to be on a roll lately with British performers but I thought we could try one more — or three more, to be accurate. Today’s piece is about the Kaye Sisters, a trio that had some good-charting records for a period of several years beginning in the 1950s but is pretty much forgotten now. And even if you do remember them, did you know that the members of the trio were not related and that none were named Kaye?
But in all fairness, Sheila Jones, Shan Palmer, and Carol Young didn’t really claim to be related. In fact the group was sometimes billed as the Three Kayes, or just the Kayes, and was actually named for its manager, Carmen Kaye.
It all started in Brighton in the mid-1950s, when Kaye helped the girls form their trio. After spending a couple of years of building some experience, they made a breakout appearance on a popular British TV musical variety show, and followed that on stage at the Palladium. Hit records soon followed, among them the trio’s version of “Ivory Tower” and two Top Ten hits the girls recorded with British pop star Frankie Vaughan. Many of the Kaye Sisters’ biggest selling records were covers, like “Come Softly To Me,” made famous by the Fleetwoods, and the trio’s only Top Ten hit, “Paper Roses,” a former hit for Anita Bryant.
The girls made a lot of records — both covers and originals — and continued to entertain fans for a number of years, even appearing on U.S. TV’s Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, but personnel changes inevitably began to occur. Even so, various combination of original and new members still found occasional success, with a resurgence in the 1970s and again in the 1990s. There might even be a modern group using the name right now, but the original Kaye Sisters trio is just a memory.