The Avons

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The Avons
By Raymond S Adams

Sisters-in-law Valerie (1936, Willesden, London, England) and Elaine Murtagh (1940, County Cork, Eire) originally performed as the Avon Sisters.

1958 discovery

After being discovered singing at the 1958 BBC Radio Exhibition, they signed to UK Columbia Records where they recorded with producer Norrie Paramor. Their debut was Which Witch Doctor‚ with the Mudlarks, and their debut solo release was a cover version of Jerri O - both songs failed to chart.

They added Ray Adams, who was born in Jersey in 1938, whom they spotted singing with Nat Gonella's Band, and then changed their name to the Avons. Their first single under the new name, a cover version of Paul Evans' Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat‚ in 1959, gave them their only UK Top 20 chart entry

The light-pop trio had three minor hits and last charted with a cover version of Rubber Ball‚ in 1961. In 1962 a song they had written, Dance On‚ became a UK number 1 instrumental hit for the Shadows and it returned to the Top 20 the following year with a powerful vocal version by Kathy Kirby.

They recorded for Decca Records in 1963 and Fontana Records in 1964 but had no other hits. Valerie continued to have success as a writer and is still a well-known behind-the-scenes figure in the UK music business. Their only album is now much sought after, fetching high prices in the collector's market.


  • 1959 - Seven Little Girls / Alone At Eight (Columbia 4363)
  • 1959 - We're Only Young Once / I Keep Dreaming (Columbia 4461)
  • 1960 - Four Little Heels / This Was Meant To Be (Columbia 4522)
  • 1961 - Rubber Ball / Cool And Cosy (Columbia 4569)
  • 1961 - Skin Divin / Little Bo Peep (Columbia 4700)
  • 1963 - Hey Paula/ I Wanna Do It (Decca 11588)
  • 1963 - Love Should Be True / All about You (Decca 11641)
  • 1964 - I Am The Girl / Once Upon A Summer's Day (Fontana 442)
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