Chart-topping singer Joy Beverley, who lived in Northamptonshire as a teenager, dies of a stroke aged 91

Tributes have been paid to Joy Beverley after the “I saw Mommy Kising Santa Claus” singer, who was evacuated to Northampton during World War Two, died at the age of 91.

By Paul Lynch
Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 2:18 pm
Sir Harry Secombe shares a joke with the Beverley Sisters during filming on Northampton's Market Square n 1985.
Sir Harry Secombe shares a joke with the Beverley Sisters during filming on Northampton's Market Square n 1985.

As one third of the vocal trio The Beverley Sisters, Joy also had hits with Greensleeves and Little Drummer Boy in the 1950s.

Sadly reports have emerged that the 91-year-old, who was married to former Wolverhampton Wanderers and England captain Billy Wright, passed away on Monday following a stroke.

Her daughter Vicky said: “She was the most wonderful woman and inspiration, a wonderful mother and an unbelievable icon.

Joy, centre, with twins Teddie, left and Babs, had a string of hits in the 1950s. Picture shows the sisters in the 1990s.

“We’re going to miss her desperately but she’s with our dad, which is where she would want to be now. They loved each other so very much and she’s missed him so.”

Beverley and Billy Wright were considered a celebrity couple following their 1958 marriage.

Wright was the world’s first footballer to notch up 100 caps, and he led England as captain 90 times. He died of pancreatic cancer in 1994.

Joy was the oldest of the Beverley Sisters. The other two - Teddie and Babs - were twins, born in 1927.

Born in Bethnal Green, east London, the girls seemed destined to have a career in music. Their parents George and Victoria Beverley performed as a music hall duo.

During the Second World War, the sisters starred as “Bonnie Babies” in Ovaltine adverts.

They were evacuated to Northampton during World War Two.

Their status as celebrities blossomed and they landed their own TV show, Three Little Girls In View, which was later renamed Those Beverley Sisters.

Columbia Records signed them in 1951 and their contract made them the highest paid female act of their time.

Beverley married Wright in 1958 at Poole Register Office and they stayed married until his death.

The Beverley Sisters appeared in the 2002 Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest surviving vocal group without a change in line-up. They performed for the Queen and were made MBEs for services to music.

Beverley is survived by her sisters and her three children Vince, Vicky and Babette.