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The Breakaways were an English female vocal trio, formed in 1962. Britain's premiere session vocalists throughout the 1960s, The Breakaways also recorded a handful of little-known girl group singles.
The original members consisted of Vicki Haseman (Vicki Brown after marriage to Joe Brown), Margot Quantrell, Barbara Moore (who also was a Lady Bird), and Betty Prescott. The girls were originally members of the Liverpool girl singers The Vernons Girls. Prescott was replaced by Jean Ryder in 1963.
Haseman was later replaced by the original member Betty Prescott. In addition to recording their own songs, they did session work with many artists, including the background vocals on The Jimi Hendrix Experience's version of "Hey Joe".
Having signed with the Pye label, their background vocal activities included collaborations with Petula Clark. Most notably this was on Clark's international hits, "Downtown" (not only the original English version, but also in French, Italian and German). There followed "I Know a Place", "Round Every Corner", and "A Sign of the Times", and on several of Clark's most successful French recordings, among them "Je me sens bien auprès de toi", "Mon bonheur danse" (a vocal version of The Shadows' "Foot Tapper") and "Tu perds ton temps".
They worked with Dusty Springfield on her first solo recordings for Philips. They went on to sing on hundreds of sessions supporting Springfield, Cilla Black, Normie Rowe and Lulu. For example, the Breakaways were credited as backing vocalists on Cilla Black's 1964 single, "You're My World", and her 1974 album, In My Life. They continued to work with Cilla regularly as backing singers on her BBC television series. In 1968, they backed Cliff Richard for his performance of Congratulations at the Eurovision Song Contest in London at the Royal Albert Hall, placing 2nd in the competition. In 1971, they returned to Eurovision, backing Clodagh Rodgers for her performance of Jack In The Box, joined by Clodagh's sister Lavinia. This time they placed 4th. They toured behind American stars such as Little Richard and Sam Cooke, and regularly appeared on Ready Steady Go!. Their first single for Pye Records was "That Boy of Mine" (1964), written by Tony Hatch: although the single was a minor hit, the follow ups including "He Doesn't Love Me" and "That's How It Goes" flopped. Their 1965 work on the Burt Bacharach song "Trains and Boats and Planes" and album Hit Maker! was uncredited. They continued to do session work. Their last single was the Mike Leander song "Sacred Love" (1968).
Vicki Brown died of breast cancer on 16 June 1991, in Henley-on-Thames. She was 50.
Margo Quantrell died on 24 June 2016 at the age of 74.