Real life siblings Priscilla, Albeth, and Sherrell began cutting records as The Paris Sisters in 1954. In the fifteen years that followed, they only released on full-length studio LP and in their final year as a recording unit. The San Francisco trio did appear on more than 25 singles, however, and are best remembered for the perfect pop hit, “I Love How You Love Me.”
When The Paris Sisters first performed, they did so in the style of earlier popular sister acts like The Boswell Sisters, The Andrews Sisters and The McGuire Sisters, releasing nine singles through Decca (two backing Bing’s son, Gary) that didn’t perform terribly well commercially. In 1957 they released two singles for Imperial that also went nowhere.
In 1961, they struck gold at the legendary Gold Star studios in Hollywood with the Phil and Shirley (as Cory Sands) Spector composition “By My Boy” b/w “I’ll Be Crying Tomorrow.” The change was dramatic, trading the 1940s close harmonies (it was, after all, by then the 1960s) for a love-buzzed atmosphere similar to Spector’s own group, The Teddy Bears. Priscilla was made a lead vocalist and although just sixteen at the time, sung with a surprisingly convincing sultriness.
In 1962 The Paris Sisters appeared in Richard Lester’s debut feature film, It’s Trad, Dad! The sisters continued spinning Brill Building gold for a few years but by the release of 1966’s live Paris Sisters Sing From “The Glass House,” Priscilla revealed herself to be a gifted songwriter and more than half the record’s songwriting credits are to her. The Paris Sisters Sing Everything Under The Sun!!! was released in the group’s final year as a group, 1968, and is unmistakably no longer a Phil Spector effort but even further from the prevailing psychedelia then coming out of San Francisco.
After the band broke up, Priscilla went on to release three of solo records, Priscilla Sings Herself (1967), Priscilla Loves Billy (1969), and Love Is (1978). Tragically, she died in 2004 from injuries sustained in a fall in her home. In 2006, Varèse Sarabande released an essential collection, The Complete Phil Spector Sessions. The Paris Sisters Sing Everything Under The Sun!!! was released on compact disc in 2004 by Eric Records.
Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, writer, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities — or salaried work. He is not interested in writing advertorials, clickbait, listicles, or other 21st century variations of spam. Brightwell’s written work has appeared in Amoeblog, diaCRITICS, and KCET Departures. His work has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Form Follows Function, Los Angeles County Store, Skid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery. Brightwell has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, LAist, Eastsider LA, Boing Boing, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRW‘s Which Way, LA? and at Emerson College. Art prints of his maps are available from 1650 Gallery and on other products from Cal31. He is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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