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Samantha Jones

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A one-time key member of the Vernons Girls, Samantha Jones bidded fair for stardom in her own right in early-'60s England -- some think she might even have been a potential rival to Dusty Springfield had things gone right -- but somehow she never made the cut. Born Jean Owen, she'd distinguished herself among the dozens of women who passed through the ranks of the Vernons Girls and had sung on all of the group's early-'60s hits for English Decca before exiting in 1964. Jones signed with United Artists and recorded in England with ex-Vernons Girls arranger Charles Blackwell and in America with producers Gerry Granahan and Arnold Goland ("No Chemise, Please"). Jones was modestly successful in England despite a powerful voice and great songs to work with, and her magnum opus with Granahan, "I Deserve It," which compares favorably with the best work of Darlene Love or the Ronettes with Phil Spector, never even got released in the U.K. until 1994. She later scored hits in the category of Northern soul and retreated to more of an MOR style in the 1970s. ~ Bruce Eder