15/1/15 – The Paris Sisters – I Love How You Love Me – 1961/ What Am I To Do – 1962

The Paris SistersThe Paris Sisters formed in San Francisco in the early fifties, their mother Faye was a former Opera singer and apparently very involved in their careers. Of her three daughters, Albeth was the oldest with Sherrell in the middle – Priscilla, the youngest was the lead singer. By 1956 they had released seven singles on Decca Records who after limited sales decided to drop them. In 1957 they signed to Imperial Records but that was short lived with only two singles. It was four years before they would make another record.

Lester Sill, Phil Spector’s partner to be in the Philles label signed them to his own Gregmark label in 1961. Sill instructed the 22 year old Phil Spector to rethink their presentation in the changing times. Priscilla was pushed to the front and told to sing in her soft dusky voice. The first single Be My Boy did nothing but the next single I Love How You Love Me became a US No.5 hit.

In 1962 The Paris Sisters appeared in a Sixties film with various other popular artists of the day called, It’s Trad Dad (Ring-a-Ding Rhythm in the US) singing a Doc Pomus and Phil Spector song, What Am I To Do that Spector also produced.

At this point it’s unclear what happened but it seems the power battles between Sill, Spector and the girls (and probably Mom) turned the project sour and the tapes for their debut album disappeared. That ended their relationship and the girls signed with MGM in 1964. They recorded Bobby Darin’s Dream Lover with Spector’s collaborator and arranger, the legendary Jack Nitzsche.

Next two singles for Mercury and then their odd debut, a Unifilms Soundtrack LP for a failed TV Series, Sing From The Glass House. Back with Nitzsche on Reprise they made Everything Under The Sun in 1967,  both records failed commercially.

Priscilla then released a solo single He Noticed Me on the York label and then an album, Priscilla Sings herself. She also recorded an album of Billie Holiday songs around the same time, Priscilla Sings Billie.

Another Paris Sisters album the bizarrely titled, Stark Naked Clown was released in 1968 on yet another label, Crescendo. The same year they found themselves on Captiol records for their last album Golden Days. Success had eluded them, after all the chances with different labels, creative producers and with such potential as singers and performers, Priscilla as a writer and indisputable good looks, it wasn’t to be.

This sad story of what might have been doesn’t quite end there. Although both Albeth and Sherrell successfully went into television working behind the scenes, Priscilla moved to London and then Paris where she lived for 25 years. In 1978 Priscilla made a solo LP, Love Is and then after an accident, tragically suffered facial paralysis. But she reappeared again in the 1990’s playing solo shows in her adopted home. In 2002 after a return to the US a proposed Paris Sisters reunion show was cancelled due to Priscilla’s ill health. The tragedy of the Paris Sisters finally came to a close when Priscilla died in 2004 after a fall, she was 59. Albeth died in December 2014.