b. Eileen Kelly, Cork, Eire. A part-time photographic model, she joined the Music Makers showband in 1964, replacing Della Heslin. After a year, she moved on to the more prestigious Nevada. During the mid-60s, the blonde Kelley specialized in ballads, particularly those recorded by Dusty Springfield. The Nevada continued to tour Eire and abroad up until the early 70s. Kelley alternated the lead spot on records with the talented Red Hurley and enjoyed hits with such songs as ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘The Wedding Song’. In 1974, she joined Brendan Bowyer (formerly of the Royal Showband) in the showband supergroup, the Big 8. Kelley lasted a year, but soon grew tired of the monotony of playing identical sets night after night in Las Vegas. Thereafter, she formed Kelley With Klass, before returning to solo work in cabaret.
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