Linda Lawley

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Linda Lawley -- also sometimes known as Linda Lee Lawley, or by her married name of Linda Lawley Pelfrey -- was best known as a singer with the sunshine pop group Eternity's Children. But her work with…
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Linda Lawley -- also sometimes known as Linda Lee Lawley, or by her married name of Linda Lawley Pelfrey -- was best known as a singer with the sunshine pop group Eternity's Children. But her work with that Mississippi-spawned outfit was only a small part of a 40-year career in music that started when she was in her teens. Born in Stillwater, OK in 1949, she grew up amid the various phases of the folk revival, and by 16 she was singing in clubs in Gulfport, MS. She joined Eternity's Children in 1966, and remained with them through 1970, recording a string of singles and pair of LPs (plus a brace of sessions that were unheard until 35 years later) -- Lawley's beautiful alto singing was a highlight of their sunshine pop sound, which could easily have made them an earthier competitor to Spanky & Our Gang; yet somehow, the group never connected with the public the way they should have. Following the band's breakup, she headed for New York City, where she appeared in several theatrical productions, including Hair. The Earl of Ruston, and Iphigenia, the latter (the cast of which included Patti Lupone) bringing her to London. She turned to songwriting in the wake of Iphigenia, in partnership with fellow cast member Margaret Dorn. Lawley did extensive work as a backup singer behind artists including B.J. Thomas, Petula Clark, and Kiss (just before they took on that name) and, with Dorn, formed the performing duet Lady in the mid-'70s. She later joined the Los Angeles-based septet Thieves -- the group broke up after recording one album, Yucatan (1980), on Arista, but Lawley and two other ex-members of the group, Jerry Donahue and Russ Buchanan, later formed Roommates, which became a top cabaret act in Los Angeles over the next decade, into the 1990s. She later married and formed a musical partnership with Danny Pelfrey -- the two ended up touring with Carole King on the latter's return to concertizing. Lawley died of cancer late in 2007 -- ironically, thanks to the efforts of Rev-Ola Records, during the last five years of her life, it was her work going all the way back to Eternity's Children, in the second half of the '60s, that was most visible in the music marketplace, as the latter group's complete output, including a significant body of never-issued recordings, was unearthed.