Wayback Wednesday: Shirley Alston Reeves
une 10th marks the 79th birthday of Shirley Alston Reeves, the lead singer of the Shirelles. Born Shirley Owens, she grew up in Passaic, NJ, forming the group that became the Shirelles while they all were in High School. In 1958, their first release, “I Met Him On A Sunday”, which they had written, made the national charts. It was released on Tiara Records, owned by Florence Greenberg, the mother of a classmate in high school. It was licensed to Decca Records for national distribution. Tiara was sold to Decca for just $4,000. But after 2 more singles, including the original release of “Dedicated To The One I Love” did poorly, Decca returned them to Mrs Greenberg and gave up on them. The Shirelles, on Greenberg’s new label, Scepter Records had more success with “Tonight’s The Night” in 1960. Later that year, Shirley and the girls recorded a new song by the young husband and wife songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin…”Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, which became their first Number 1 song. Many other hits followed, as did several personnel changes.
Today, she performs as Shirley Alston Reeves and her Shirelles, while original member Beverly Lee tours as The Shirelles. Happy Birthday to the leader of one of the great girl groups of all time, and here’s their signature song!