Italian-American girl-group The Delrons formed in 1963 at St Brendon’s High School in Brooklyn, New York.
Their first single, Your Big Mistake (1964), was a flop, so the producer decided a catchier name was needed for the group. Lead singer Mary Aiese chose ‘Reparata’ after the nun who had presided at her confirmation.
The change did the trick, and their follow-up single, Whenever A Teenager Cries, reached #60 on the Billboard Hot 100.
By 1968, Reparata and The Delrons were on their third label and hadn’t charted for over three years.
Then they released the poppy Captain Of Your Ship which fizzed in their native US but burst into the British charts.
The group were astounded to have a genuine hit across the Atlantic but thrilled to be able to visit the UK – to appear on Top Of The Pops and at a grand party in their honour at Mayfair’s swinging Revolution Club.
Captain Of Your Ship was the only British hit for Reparata and The Delrons, although Mary scored a minor solo hit in the UK in 1975 with Shoes.
She then left the music industry and became a teacher, eventually retiring to Rockaway Beach.
Mary “Reparata” Aiese