Led by Riss Chantelle (formerly known as Iris Lana), British girl group The Chantelles cut some high-quality material in the mid-1960s, made numerous TV appearances and even starred in the film, Dateline Diamonds (1965).
The trio formed in 1965 and consisted of Iris ‘Riss’ Chantelle (née Long), Sandra Orr and Jay Adams. Riss led the group, which had evolved from The Lana Sisters, in which Dusty Springfield launched her career in the late 1950s.
After establishing a name for themselves as a live act, The Chantelles landed a contract with Parlophone, and in April 1965 issued I Want That Boy as their first single. The song made the top 40 chart of pirate radio station Radio London.
The follow-up, The Secret Of My Success, proved disappointing but the girls bounced back in October 1965 with pop gem Gonna Get Burned. The B-side, Gonna Give Him Some Love, later found favour on Britain’s northern soul dance circuit.
The group was invited to appear in the 1965 crime caper Dateline Diamonds, alongside Kiki Dee and The Small Faces. In it, The Chantelles performed the ballad I Think Of You and the more danceable Please Don’t Kiss Me. Both songs were issued on a single in April 1966, timed to coincide with the film’s release.
Switching to Polydor they cut the single There’s Something About You in 1966. Another dance floor filler on the northern soul scene, the track has since become their most in-demand single.
Switching labels again (to CBS) in 1967, The Chantelles released an updated version of the Gershwin standard The Man I Love.
Their final single for the label, Out Of My Mind, failed to even gain a UK release and was issued only in Germany and the US, in 1968 (they were billed in America as ‘The Chantelles of London’ to avoid confusion with the American girl group The Chantels).
Nola York joined the group in its later stages, after Jay quit the group. When the group disbanded in 1968 Riss became Nola’s manager. Nola has since enjoyed success on the stage in London’s West End, while Riss formed her own music publishing company, Chantelle Music.