Lois Reeves (AKA Sandra Delores Reeves) Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, and member of the legendary "Girl Group" Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, opens up about her friendship with Judy Garland.
The women befriended each other after Judy and fiancé Mickey Deans caught the Vandellas act at the Copa, and soon after began socializing together at various New York City hot spots.
Here is her interview with TJGE member, Amber Stankoff, on those heady times with Judy.
Lois Reeves: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my deep appreciation for the Great Judy Garland. There are not many entertainers that I have met that have left such a deep and lasting impression on me as Ms. Garland.
She was a fantastic entertainer, mother, wife, daughter, and human being who did it all!
Martha Reeves And The Vandellas circa 1968.
Amber Stankoff: How did you meet Judy Garland?
LR:While performing in the early 70's* at the world famous Copa Cabana in New York City. She and her husband at the time came to the show and asked to meet Martha Reeves and the Vandellas afterwards. She was quite impressed with our performance.
AS: When you met Judy Garland, what was she like and how did she treat you?
LR: She was extremely gracious and although she was by far more famous than we were she was warm, complementary and even invited us to come to a club she and her husband owned at the time called Mickeys after the show. We were living in New York at that time. We accepted the invitation and on several other occasions we visited the club after our initial meeting. While there she danced with us and introduced us to many of her friends.
Mickey Deans and Judy Garland, December, 1968.
AS: In your opinion, why do you think so many people loved Judy Garland? Do you think it has to do with how she treated people?
LR: Most definitely! She was approachable and she made you feel as though she had known you for years.
AS: In your opinion, do you think Judy Garland 'the person' appeared the same as Judy Garland 'the celebrity'?
LR: Yes! In my opinion she was one in the same! She was warm. easy to talk to and approachable. She made us feel special. We were amazed that she did not have a haughty spirit or act as though she was better than anyone around her. She was very impressed with Martha's talent and performance. The picture I forwarded you shows how warm she was. I will never forget her and how she made us feel. She made us feel like celebrities.
Mr and Mrs Mickey Deans, 1969.
LR: After meeting her it made me realize that entertaining is what I do it is not who I am. I am just like any other hard working person, trying to make it on this earth. She showed me that no one is better than the other person and there is no need to act differently or superior toward anyone. We are all "Stars" just doing different things. If I can make someone forget their troubles for an hour while enjoying our performances than I feel blessed. Ms. Garland made so many people forget their troubles and just get happy while she was on this earth and I am truly thankful that I had the opportunity to meet her and spend some time in her presence.
The Reeves Sisters today.
Big thanks to Lois Reeves for sharing her memories with TJGE special correspondent Amber Stankoff.
We would like to gently correct two factual errors. Ms. Reeves spent time with Judy in late 1968, not the 70's, and The Deans' did not own a club called Mickey's. They brought Lois and her sisters to a club called Arthur that was owned by Sybil Burton and where Mickey Deans was employed as the manager (although it is highly possible that Deans told Ms. Reeves that he owned the club).
Please watch the video to learn more about Lois Reeves and her career as a Vandella as well as a solo artist.