• Real Name: Lois Wilkinson
  • Birth Date: April 3rd 1944
  • Birth Place: Sleaford, Lincolnshire
  • Andrea Simpson
  • September 9th 1946
  • Finchley, London
  • At the time of their greatest fame, press stories told of how a blonde shorthand typist called Lois, and a brunette accounting machine operator called Andrea worked together in the same London company- and came together to play for an office party. However, in reality they were brought together by a man with an ear for talented singers called Curly Clayton- who ran a small recording Studio in Highbury, London. They were both keen to become professional singers and had both approached the studio independently. It was Clayton that suggested they might fare better as a duet. As a result of this encouragement, they learned some numbers to record as demos together- one of which was from the 'B'-side of Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons"- this was "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry". Clayton was sufficiently impressed with the quality of their singing that he made a demonstration recording with the intention of using it to obtain a contract with a major label. Unfortunately a deal was struck independently and consequently the small studio gained nothing from the exercise. "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry" was subsequently re-recorded under the direction of bandleader Harry Robinson and taken up and promoted by Decca via an offshoot called "Ritz". The girls had by then begun calling themselves the Caravelles, taking the name from that of the French airliner of the time. The rapid sale of their first disc suddenly produced a popular demand for the two girls and they soon found themselves on their first professional engagement at a theatre in Weymouth.

    Their first release became a #3 UK hit, but it was also one of the few records by female vocalists to feature in the vanguard of the "British Invasion" of the beat boom years and became a best seller in the USA too. Sadly, the Caravelles were unable to consolidate their success despite trying several different recording companies- arguably, all their subsequent output lacked the inspiration that had led to that first demo. Lois Wilkinson eventually decided that her future might be better as a soloist and broke away- shortly to take the name Lois Lane after the Superman character's girlfriend. Andrea carried on with the duet, coupling with a number of other partners- noteably Lynne Hamilton- a Lancashire born Australian. Although the Caravelles never again reached the charts the duet survived well into the 1980s. Lynne also had solo success during 1989 with "On The Inside".

    Lois Lane too, continued with her musical career turning towards jazz and MOR rather than Pop. She found work as a singer in BBC radio and commercial work producing 'voiceovers'.

    Thanks go to Terry Wilson for help in preparing the above notes.

    1950s & 1960s 45rpm UK Discography

    • Listings include UK 45 singles releases only
    • Collector's Items are shown In Red

    Decca F11697 1963 You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry/ The Last One To Know #3
    Decca F11758 1963 I Really Don't Want To Know/ I Was Wrong  
    Decca F11816 1964 Have You Ever Been Lonely/ Gonna Get Along Without You Now  
    Fontana TF466 1964 You Are Here/ How Can I Be Sure  
    Fontana TF509 1964 I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine/ I Like A Man  
    Polydor NH59034 1964 True Love Never Runs Smooth/ Georgia Boy  
    Polydor 56137 1966 Hey Mama You've Been On My Mind/ New York  
    Polydor 56156 1967 I Want To Love You Again/ I Had To Walk Home Myself  
    Pye 7N17654 1968 The Other Side Of Love/ I Hear A New Kind Of Music  

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