Lois Reeves
Sandra Delores Reeves better known as Lois Reeves, is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 singer, most notable for being the younger sister of Motown legend Martha Reeves
Martha Reeves
Martha Rose Reeves is an American R&B and Pop singer and former politician, and was the lead singer of the Motown girl group Martha and the Vandellas. During her tenure with The Vandellas, they scored over a dozen hit singles, including "Jimmy Mack", "Dancing in the Street" and "Nowhere to Run"...

, for having replaced popular Martha and the Vandellas
Martha and the Vandellas
Martha and the Vandellas were among the most successful groups of the Motown roster during the period 1963–1967...

 member Betty Kelly
Betty Kelly
Betty Kelly is a former American singer, most famous for her tenure in the popular Motown singing group Martha and the Vandellas.-Early years:...

 as member of her sister's group in 1967, and for later singing background for records by Al Green
Al Green
Albert Greene , better known as Al Green, is an American gospel and soul music singer. He reached the peak of his popularity in the 1970s, with hit singles such as "You Oughta Be With Me", "I'm Still In Love With You", "Love and Happiness", and "Let's Stay Together"...

 in the seventies. Lois' nickname was "Pee Wee" as she is only 5'1" tall.

Music career

The daughter of Elijah Joshua Reeves and Ruby Lee Gilmore, Lois was part of a family of 11 children. Before her older sister, Martha, was a year old, the family moved from Eufaula, Alabama
Eufaula, Alabama
Eufaula is a city in Barbour County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 13,908.-Geography:Eufaula is located at 31°53'21.732" North, 85°9'13.586" West ....

 to Detroit. Both Elijah and Ruby enjoyed singing and playing the guitar, passing their love of music on to their children. Elijah's father, Reverend Elijah Reeves, was a minister at Detroit's Metropolitan Church; the family was very active in the church and in its choir.

Upon graduatation from high school, Lois Reeves began to travel extensively with her older sister, Martha Reeves, and her musical group, 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. The group put Lois' business knowledge to work; she took care of the bookkeeping, hotel reservations, travel arrangements and also helped negotiate contracts.

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
Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone
"Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone" is a 1967 single released by Motown girl group Martha and the Vandellas. The song's production was a departure from the Vandellas' repertoire as their label, Motown, was having a harder time staying with the times in the music industry and having a much harder time...

" and "Honey Chile
Honey Chile
For other uses of "Honey Chile", see Honey Chile "Honey Chile" is a 1967 single by Motown girl group Martha and the Vandellas on the Gordy label...

", 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 successfully opened at the renowned Copacabana
Copacabana (nightclub)
The Copacabana is a famous New York City nightclub. Many entertainers, among them Danny Thomas, Pat Cooper and the comedy team of Martin and Lewis, made their debuts at the Copacabana. The 1978 Barry Manilow song "Copacabana" is named after, and is about the nightclub. Part of the 2003 Yerba...

 nightclub in New York. Lois appeared with the group on The Mike Douglas Show
The Mike Douglas Show
The Mike Douglas Show is an American daytime television talk show hosted by Mike Douglas that aired in syndication from 1961 to 1982, distributed by Westinghouse Broadcasting and for much of its run, originated from studios of two of the company's TV stations.The program featured light banter with...

in 1968 and Soul Train
Soul Train
Soul Train is an American musical variety show that aired in syndication from October 1971 to March 2006. In its 35-year history, the show primarily featured performances by R&B, soul, and hip hop artists, although funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists have also appeared.As a nod to Soul Trains...

in 1971.

Lois and original Vandellas member Rosalind Ashford
Rosalind Ashford
Rosalind "Roz" Ashford-Holmes is an American soprano R&B and soul singer, famed for her work as member of the popular Motown singing group Martha and the Vandellas.-Early years:...

 often had to share background work with The Andantes
The Andantes
The Andantes were a prolific female sessions group for the Motown record label during the 1960s. Composed of Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps, the group sang background vocals on numerous Motown recordings, including songs by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, The Temptations, Stevie...

 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
I Should Be Proud
"I Should Be Proud" is a 1970 protest song written by Henry Cosby, Pam Sawyer and Joe Hinton and recorded by Motown girl group Martha and the Vandellas...

" and "Bless You
Bless You
"Bless You" is a 1971 hit single by Motown girl group Martha and the Vandellas and was the group's last significant hit before disbanding in 1972.-Overview:...

" and the entire Black Magic album, the Vandellas' final album, released in 1972.

Lois Reeves heavily contributed to the group's choreography. 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
Al Green
Albert Greene , better known as Al Green, is an American gospel and soul music singer. He reached the peak of his popularity in the 1970s, with hit singles such as "You Oughta Be With Me", "I'm Still In Love With You", "Love and Happiness", and "Let's Stay Together"...

's pivotal seventies work on songs such as "Call Me", "Livin' for You" and "L-O-V-E". Quiet Elegance, formed in 1971, also did background voice work with The Temptations
The Temptations
The Temptations is an American vocal group having achieved fame as one of the most successful acts to record for Motown Records. The group's repertoire has included, at various times during its five-decade career, R&B, doo-wop, funk, disco, soul, and adult contemporary music.Formed in Detroit,...

; Temptations members Melvin Franklin
Melvin Franklin
David Melvin English better known by the stage name Melvin Franklin, was an American bass singer. Franklin is best known for his role as a member of Motown singing group The Temptations from 1960 to 1994....

 and Otis Williams
Otis Williams
Otis Williams is an American baritone singer. Nicknamed "Big Daddy", he has also acted as a sporadic songwriter and record producer. Williams co-founded the Motown vocal group The Temptations in early 1960 as The Elgins, a group in which he continues to perform...

 were the original organizers of the group. It was at a Temptations show in Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 in 1972, where Hi Records
Hi Records
Hi Records was a Memphis soul and rockabilly label started in 1957 by singer Ray Harris, record store owner Joe Cuoghi, Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch , and three silent partners, including Cuoghi's lawyer, Nick Pesce....

' Willie Mitchell saw the group and signed them to a recording contract for his label. The group also performed on tour with both Al Green and Engelbert Humperdinck
Engelbert Humperdinck (singer)
Engelbert Humperdinck is a British pop singer, best known for his hits including "Release Me " and "After the Lovin'" as well as "The Last Waltz" .-Early life:...

 before disbanding in 1977.

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
Ian Levine
Ian Levine is an English songwriter, producer, and DJ. He is also a well-known fan of the long-running television show Doctor Who.Levine attended Arnold School in Blackpool from 1963 to 1970...

's giant Motorcity
Motorcity Records
Motorcity Records is a British record label formed by producer Ian Levine in 1989. The label aimed to record new material with former Motown artists.-History:...

 project. Patience Is a Virtue is one of the songs on the Ladies Of Soul 2 Motorcity album.

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, The Rhythm & Blues Hall Of Fame, and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame
Vocal Group Hall of Fame
The Vocal Group Hall of Fame was organized to honor outstanding vocal groups throughout the world. It is headquartered in Sharon, Pennsylvania, United States. It includes a theater and a museum....

 in 2003. She continues to reside in Detroit where she lives near her siblings and occasionally does consultant work for the NAACP, Detroit Chapter. Lois has also been involved with work for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Detroit, Michigan. Its main performance center is Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood...

. Motown Records held a 50th anniversary celebration, "Bop to the Ballroom", at the Roostertail in Detroit on November 20, 2009; Lois was one of those attending and celebrating fifty years of Motown music.
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