They were the pre-eminent British girl group of the male-dominated 1950s, but now the death, announced yesterday, of one of the twins who made up two-thirds of the Beverley Sisters has reduced the act to just one.
Babs Beverley, who was 91, was an essential part of the close harmony trio whose hits included I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and The Little Drummer Boy.She had been suffering from cancer, her agent said.
Her older sister, Joy, died in 2015, also at 91, leaving Babs’s twin, Teddie, the only surviving member of the group.
Babs was born Babette in Bethnal Green, London, in May 1927, on Joy’s third birthday. Their parents were George and Victoria Beverley, who performed as a music hall duo.During the Second World War, the sisters landed a campaign for Ovaltine to star as “Bonnie Babies” in their adverts.
Their status as celebrities blossomed and they went on to land their own TV show, Three Little Girls In View, which later was renamed as Those Beverley Sisters.
Joy Beverley went on to marry the footballer, Billy Wright.Their agent, Johnny Mans, said Babs had been at a care home in Brighton for a while and had lived with cancer for five-and-a-half years.
“To me they were all wonderful girls, exceptional personalities, really bubbly and always smiling,” he said.
“We used to go to a lot of functions together and they were unique. Even if they were late, they would make an entrance.”
He said they were “our answer to the Andrews Sisters”, their American counterparts who had been forces’ favourites during the Second World War.
Columbia Records signed the British trio in 1951, and their contract made them highest paid female stars of their time.