The Delrons started out as a quartet in 1962 at St. Brendan’s Catholic School in Brooklyn, New York, led by lead singer Mary Aiese, who subsequently billed herself as Reparata after Sister Reparata, one of her school teachers. The other originals were Nanette Licari, Regina Gallagher and Anne Fitzgerald, but they were soon replaced by Sheila Reilly, Carol Drobnicki, and (initially) Cathy Romeo.

The group were spotted by record producers Bill and Ted Jerome, who recorded them in 1964 first for Laurie Records, and then on the Ernie Maresca song “Whenever a Teenager Cries” on the World Artists label. This became a regional hit but failed to reach the national top 40, a pattern repeated by its follow-up, “Tommy”. However, the trio toured nationally with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars, and the group’s name became widely known. In 1965 they moved to RCA Records, Drobnicki and Reillie having been replaced by former member Licari, and Lorraine Mazzola. After several unsuccessful releases in a similar style to the Shangri-Las, including Jeff Barry’s “I’m Nobody’s Baby Now” and an album, they moved again to Mala Records.

In 1968 they released “Captain of Your Ship”, co-written by Kenny Young. This missed the US national charts, but made the top 20 in the UK, where they then toured. Young said[1] of this period:-“If they had been more attractive there could have been a decent career there. They were responsible for me moving to England. I accompanied them to Top Of The Pops…[and]…attended the reception for their hit single ‘Captain Of Your Ship’, along with John Lennon and Ringo at the Revolution Club in London. I met half the Beatles at our own reception…”.

“Captain of Your Ship” would gain new interest over 30 years later when it featured on a late 1990s Müllerice advert, with modified lyrics. However, follow-ups were unsuccessful, and by 1970 Mary Aiese left the group. Initially Lorraine Mazzola’s group continued to bill themselves as Reparata and the Delrons, releasing an album of classic girl group songs, but they retired in 1973 and the following year Mazzola re-emerged as a member of Lady Flash, the back-up group behind Barry Manilow.

Mary Aiese then reclaimed the name Reparata – retaining it after an unsuccessful lawsuit by Mazzola - and released several solo singles, of which the most successful, “Shoes”, was a minor hit in 1975.

Edited by [deleted user] on 12 Nov 2007, 20:15

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