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Sandra Delores Reeves (born April 12, 1948), better known as Lois Reeves, is an American singer, most notable for being the younger sister of Motown legend Martha Reeves, for having replaced popular Martha and the Vandellas member Betty Kelly as member of her sister's group in 1967, and for later singing background for records by Al Green in the seventies.

Biography

Music career

Upon graduatation from high school, Lois Reeves began to travel extensively with her older sister, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. As she watched the shows from the wings almost nightly, she knew the music and routines perfectly.

It all happened by surprise for the teenaged Lois. One night she was in the wings , the next night, barely 18 years of age, she was asked by her sister to replace Betty Kelly.

Though never under contract to Motown Records, she was under contract to Martha Reeves and later found herself singing on the Vandellas' singles "Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone" and "Honey Chile", the latter of which was when the group was known as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Lois was the youngest member of the Vandellas throughout its tenure and performed with the group in Japan, UK and Spain. She also performed with the group when they succussfully opened at The world renowned Copacabanna Nightclub in New York.

Lois and original Vandellas member Rosalind Ashford often had to share background work with The Andantes behind Martha as Motown was limiting the sounds of background vocals. Since the Andantes played a pivotal role in the Motown sound, it's often confusing as to which actual member of the Vandellas sung on the recordings with Martha. It's confirmed, though, that Lois sung on Vandellas hits such as "I Should Be Proud" and "Bless You" and the entire Black Magic album, the Vandellas' final album, released in 1972.

Lois Reeves heavily contributed to the groups choreograpy. especially when Sandy Tilly joined the group in 1969. The two are considered by Martha as the best dancers and most elegant of the all the Vandella line-ups.

At the end of the year, the group split up and Lois joined background singing group Quiet Elegance, who played a role in singing background for Al Green's pivotal seventies work on songs such as "Call Me", "Livin' for You" and "L-O-V-E".

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Later career

In the late 70's, Lois quit singing and opened a night spot in Detroit with her then-husband. A few years later she closed the business, got divorced, and found herself back on the road as a Vandella, this time with younger sister, Delphine. In 1990, she released the single Patience Is a Virtue and the album track Sweet Temptation for Ian Levine's giant Motorcity project.

Lois continues singing with her sisters Martha and Delphine as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Her contribution to her tenure as member of the actual Vandellas led to her being inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and The Rhythm & Blues Hall Of Fame. She continues to reside in Detroit where she lives near her siblings and occasionally does consultant work for the NAACP, Detroit Chapter.


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