The Kaye Sisters Were Neither Kayes Nor Sisters

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 membekayesrs 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.

kayecdThe Kaye Sisters – “Keep On Lovin’ Me”

5 thoughts on “The Kaye Sisters Were Neither Kayes Nor Sisters

  1. In response to your piece on “The Kaye Sisters”. I am the very proud daughter of Shan who sadly died suddenly in July this year. I think you’ll find they never claimed to be “real” sisters and what on earth is wrong with having a stage name of Kaye? Find me a celebrity today who uses their real name! They were an incredible talent and iconic in their time, artists like my mum, Carol and Sheila should be admired for their achievements and not criticised in any way! Artists today have a lot to learn from the “old school artists” of the 50’s and 60’s who had to work their way up on talent and popularity alone. I am and always will be incredibly proud of my beautiful mum, Shan of The Kaye Sisters.


    1. My twin sister and I love the kaye sisters we had tea with them in blackpool in the garden of the house they stayed in while they were in a show. We used to go to there dressing room at the palace theatre and opera house in Manchester. Shan was so nice here daughter is so proud of her mum as we are of Sheila Shan and carol, we are always listing to all there songs keep singing in heaven Shan and from Norma and lily xx


  2. Sorry if you took offense but I’m a little puzzled why you did so. This was meant to be a complimentary article about a good musical act from the past, which is what we’re all about here on the GMC. The title of the piece was a little bit of a tease to draw in readers, but in the second paragraph I clearly said that they never claimed to be sisters and that it was a stage name. And yes, stage names are a very common and perfectly acceptable part of the business and I have no problem whatsoever with them.


  3. Perhaps a little inappropriate given that my mother passed away 4 months ago and a more fitting tribute as a draw to your readers would not have offended me as much. This will be my last entry to this site but I felt it necessary to defend my mums reputation when I stumbled across your piece. Having said that I thank you for your response.


  4. Very sorry for your loss, but this article was published several months before her passing so once again I’m puzzled by your comment. However, I understand that you want to treasure her memory and I’m fully supportive of that.


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