The Flirtations

Soulful Detroit Forum: Open Forum: The Flirtations
Top of pageBottom of page   By fenderpbass66 ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 04:14 pm:

I cannot remember if the all girl group The Flirtations were from Detroit. Im sure someone will take a stroll down memory lane and provide a little info on these girls.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dowoplady ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 05:14 pm:

The Flirtations formed in New York City in 1964. The group consisted of sisters Betty, Ernestine and Shirley Pearce, along with good friend Lesley Johnson. They originally were billed as the Gypsies and recorded at Hy Weiss's Old Town Records. The group's first assignment as The Flirtations was working under Herb Abramson, co-founder and former owner of Jubilee and Atlantic Records.

As the Gypsies they recorded from 1964 to 1966 on the Old Town and Caprice labels. As the Flirtations they recorded from 1967 thru 1986 on such labels as Josie, Festival, Parrot, Deram, Polydor, D and D, and Passion.

Above info (and much more) can be found in "Girl Groups Fabulous Females That Rocked the World" publication by John Clemente. This is a highly recommended book which contains alot of details about 60s girl groups, not found anywhere else!


Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 05:31 pm:

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but weren't the Flirtations one of the US groups who were enticed to the UK and then forced to masquerade as a more famous act...? E.g. "The Fantastic Supremes" - or something similar. To keep it just about legal, (even if totally immoral) an adjective was added to the original name - e.g. "The Fabulous Temptations" - to give the impression it was

when in reality it was a group appearing as "the Fabulous Temptations" This was before the Trade Descriptions Act, which would have prevented such blatant deceptions.

I'm thinking of a certain promoter whom I won't name, but was quite notorious for this. I believe he also brought the Fantastics over here as The (insert adjective) Impressions, among others.

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 06:20 pm:

Thanks Nikki.

Yes I remember this well Ritchie.

Even the Invitations were over here masquerading as someone else (possibly who you describe).

We would rather have known who they truly were.


Top of pageBottom of page   By David Flynn ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 06:32 pm:

The Gypsies line-up quoted is almost correct, as it's Lestine Johnson, not Lesley. After Old Town they recorded briefly for both Jubilee and Festival now as The Flirtations. The group then seperated with Shirley and Earnestine moving to the UK joining Viola Billups and recording now as a trio on UK Deram, with many tracks gaining Continental European label releases too.
I had the pleasure of meeting both Viola and Earnestine at The Dome club in London last year when they turned up to see one of their old friends/writers/producers, Mr.Sidney Barnes.

-p.s. There's a picture of them all on stage at:

...although it's not ultra high quality.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 06:38 pm:

The Invitations were forced to masquerade as "The Original Drifters" in 1970. Obviously they were none too happy about it, but the promoter held their return tickets!

I have a repro of a poster advertising the group as "the Original Drifters" which I'll search out.

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 06:52 pm:

Thanks David.

I always enjoy hearing 'Stronger than her love'.

For future reference please place http:// in front of your address. That way we'll be able to access direct.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London ( - on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 09:04 am:

The Flirtations live in London and have done since the late 60's. They had arrived from the States believing the UK was the best place for them to record and perform in the late sixties. They had a chance of a possible contract with Motown, but felt they may be shelved in the process. Within 48 hours of their arrival here, they bumped into Wayne Bickerton at Decca, he simply asked them outside the offices as he was leaving to go somewhere, 'do you sing?� They replied 'yes' and that is how their relationship with him began. The year before last they recorded 'Time' on 12" and CD - a dance number. They look good and perform well. Vi is from Alabama and joined the group in New York. I may be mistaken, but the sisters worked in a clothing manufactures during the day and that is how they all met and were introduced to Vi, also known as Pearly Gates, here in the UK.

Top of pageBottom of page   By FrankM ( - on Sunday, June 23, 2002 - 10:03 pm:

Yes the Invitations were forced to tour as The Original Drifters. George Treadwell who owned the name won several court cases but his widow Faye who inherited it lost one a few years ago to The Sounds of the Drifters. The promoters were using a photograph of a Johnny Moore led Drifters to advertise these imposters. I note that Charlie Thomas is still alive and he used to lead The Drifters on the cabaret circuit in the States. The Drifters are on tour in Scotland now. I presume that Faye Treadwell's daughter now owns the name and can tour any group she wishes to call The Drifters in the same way that The Platters and The Inkspots were touring in the eighties without any original members. Didn't Diana Ross try to do something similar last year with The Supremes:)


Top of pageBottom of page   By ( - on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 03:52 pm:

a similar story that i would like to pass on to you,about six weeks ago a freind ,phoned me to say that the real four tops were doing a private party at a special rate for a favour , so i rang the venue and asked the the booker ,was this the tops ,this is the story i was told , that the tops had broken up and the group appearing ,was the one remaining member!! he said that that he had them before and it must be them because the lead singer insisted on maximum security and insisted on no photos etc i then asked how much this group had charged as a favour? £2500 ,was the answer ,i then informed him that the four tops were well and truly alive even though levi stubbs is unwell at the moment.and that hed been stung .the most recent news is this imposter groups manager is going to the slammer on unrelated matters even worst i noticed there is a tribute group useing the name THE TEMPTATIONS out there WATCH THIS SPACE.i have no problem with singers who pay tribute to named groups,but i have big problems with groups who pass there self of as the real thing .the only other group i know who have original line up is the dells,most underrated group in this country ,they dont know what the are missing"

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( - on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 06:53 pm:

For some fascinating, if chilling reading, check out this page linked from the MAA website. It's all about fake groups, including the Supremes, Marvellettes (yes, two l's), the Contours, and even a guy masquerading as Cornelius Grant.

Top of pageBottom of page   By john ( - on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 07:20 pm:

was it you Ritchie who emailed this picture on ebay of the marvelettes...none of them were older than 25!!

The Velvelettes have been done too....VELVELLETTES....two "L's"

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( - on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 07:24 pm:

Not me, guv'nor...

..but it's shocking what bogus merchandise does appear there (and I'm not just referring to all those M*rg*n*l CDs!)

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