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Shangri Las

The group was formed at Andrew Jackson High School in Cambria Heights, a part of Queens in New York in 1963. They consisted of two sets of sisters: Mary Weiss (lead singer) (born 1948) and Elizabeth "Betty" Weiss (born 1946), and identical twins Marguerite "Marge" (1947-1996) and Mary Ann Ganser (1947-1970).The girls often appeared as a trio, Betty Weiss rarely on stage until late 1965, preferring to avoid touring.

They began playing school shows, talent shows and teen hops, coming to the attention of Artie Ripp, who arranged the group's first record deal with Kama Sutra. Their first recording in December 1963 was "Simon Says", later issued on the Smash label, on which Betty Weiss sang lead. They also recorded "Wishing Well" / "Hate To Say I Told You So", which became their first release in early 1964 when leased to the small Spokane label.

Initially, the girls performed without a name. But when they signed their first deal, they began calling themselves the Shangri-Las, after a Queens restaurant.

Some discographies list The Beatle-ettes and The Bon Bons, who both issued singles in 1964, as early versions of The Shangri-Las. However, they are different groups.

Mary Weiss was the main lead singer, Betty however took lead on "Maybe", and a number of B-sides and album tracks. One of The Ganser Twins took lead on "I'm Blue", which is a cover of the Ikettes biggest hit at the time, and was included on their 1965 album "Shangri-Las 65!". And one of the twins takes the lead on "Sophisticated Boom Boom" b-side of "Long Live Our Love".

50s, 60s Hits

Leader Of The Pack

Members of this Group


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