Welcome to this special dedicated web site, "Valerie Masters Calling", which celebrates the career of vocalist, entertainer and actress Valerie Masters, a very talented and professional lady. The site is named in respect of Valerie's exceptional Christmas recording from 1964 "Christmas Calling", produced by Joe Meek on Columbia Records.
Valerie has a long and successful career as a vocalist, an actress, and entertainer, and has performed in theatres and venues in the UK and across the world. Valerie's recording career is very under-rated, despite the fact that she made many outstanding records for Fontana, Columbia, HMV and Polydor Records. However, Valerie has never had an album or CD released containing her many excellent recordings.
This web site is dedicated to Valerie's massive contribution to the world of entertainment.
Valerie Masters: How it all began
Valerie was born on 24th April, 1940 in Stepney, East London to parents Jacob Muster and Sarah (Sally) Sassienie. She is 5ft 2ins tall, with green eyes, and always had a strong ambition to be in show business. At age 17, Valerie was a typist, but was having singing lessons in pursuit of her career. Fortunately, Valerie was recommended to band leader Ray Ellington by her singing coach, and eventually, Valerie was included permanently into Ray's band, replacing former singers Shirley Jackson and Marion Ryan and becoming lead vocalist. Valerie later left the band to follow a solo career, and as can be seen below, Valerie went on to make a range of excellent records, and to forge a music and stage career which spans the 1950s to the present day.
Valerie made her first professional appearance on Saturday, 30th November, 1957 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, and continued to perform regularly. Valerie made many brilliant records for Fontana, Columbia, HMV and Polydor. Here are just a few, and a list of Valerie's many recordings follows below:-
Valerie Masters : Recordings
H 132 Apl 58 'Sharing / The secret of happiness'
H 145 Jly 58 'Merci beaucoup / Ding dong'
H 175 Jan 59 'Dreams end at dawn / Wonder' (accompanied by the
Johnny Gregory orchestra)
H 195 Jun 59 'Jack o` diamonds / Say when'
H 224 Nov 59 'If there are stars in my eyes / Just squeeze me'
H 238 Feb 60 'No one understands / Oh gee'
H 253 May 60 'Banjo boy / Cow cow boogie'
H 268 Oct 60 'Fools fall in love / Sweeter as the day goes by'
H 293 Feb 61 'Too late for tears / I got rhythm'
H 322 Jun 61 'Birmingham rag / All the days of my life'
H 367 Jan 62 'African waltz / All night long'
POP 1125 Feb 63 'Sometime kind of love / The end of the world'
DB 7426 Nov 64 'Christmas calling / He didn`t fool me'
(Recorded in Joe Meek’s RGM studio)
BM 56056 65 'It`s up to you / Next train out'
BM 56135 66 'Don`t ever go / Say hello'
DB 8629 Nov 69 'Just wait a little while /
I don`t wanna play house
More information about Valerie's records can be found on a separate page of this web site, "Valerie's Recordings". Below is an early publicity picture of Valerie.
Valerie Masters Studio Photograph, 1961:-
Valerie is well, and living with her family in Surrey, England. However, Valerie retired from the music business some time ago in order to spend more time with her family. Valerie and her daughter Gillian also run a successful bridal wear business together.
Here are Valerie's amazing comments about the site, as well as some of her memories of her wonderful life in music and stage.
Valerie has also included some information about her early life, when Valerie lived with her two sisters and brother and a wonderful Mother in Stepney, East London:-
I would like to thank Valerie personally for all the positive comments which Valerie has made about this web site, and to wish Valerie every success in the future.
December, 2013, from Valerie :-
"Just a little note to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year. Thank you for your wonderful coverage of my career I have been so happy about it and the trouble you have taken."
Thank you, Valerie, for all of your enthusiasm and encouragement in support of the site during 2013 and 2014!
NEW YEAR OF 2015
A Very Happy New Year to Valerie, and best wishes for a Healthy and Prosperous 2015!
BELOW : Valerie, (Third from left), in a group photograph from 1961:-
Above: Some early pictures of Valerie Masters.
There is an excellent article about Valerie's music career in "Vision" magazine, which can be found on the Eurovision page of this site. The article includes information about Valerie's entry into the BBC's "A Song for Europe" in 1961.
"Vision" is the regular magazine of Eurovision fans in the U.K., and features many vocalists who have represented the U.K. and other countries in the annual Eurovision Song Contest.
This web site is dedicated to Valerie's Mother, Sarah (Sally) Sassienie.
Valerie has a wealth of recorded material, including many single releases, more of which can be seen on Valerie's Recordings Page of this site. Valerie also recorded "Somewhere over the rainbow", which can be found on the compilation record "Moon River and other great hits"
If you like Valerie and her excellent music, please leave your comments and memories in the Visitors' Book on this site.
The Recollections page includes some special memories of Valerie from the Visitors' Book, as well as details of some of Valerie's early television appearances, including the ITV music show "Thank Your Lucky Stars".
Valerie Masters Calling :
Celebrating Valerie's Music and Stage Career
Valerie's career progressed very quickly after joining the Ray Ellington Quartet as their vocalist. Below are some interesting facts about Valerie's music, and the shows in which she featured:
Valerie's first record was with Fontana Records in 1958.
This record was called "The Secret of Happiness", released April, 1958.
Valerie also made her first solo broadcast on Workers' Playtime.
More records followed, and Valerie became a familiar face on TV.
Valerie left the Ray Ellington Quartet at the end of 1959.
Valerie pursued a solo career from 1959, with the help of Dick Katz.
Valerie made her solo debut on 14th March, 1960 in Manchester at Rolls Restaurant.
Valerie married Dick Katz, (Former Ray Ellington pianist), in 1961. (Valerie and Dick Katz pictured at the piano below).
Valerie joined a music tour in the UK in 1960, with Lance Fortune & Al Saxon
Valerie was at the opening of Border Television in 1961.
Valerie entered BBC's "A Song for Europe" in 1961.
This contest was to choose the UK's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. (1961).
Valerie's entry in 1961 was with her excellent song "Too late for tears"
The Allisons went on to win, with their song "Are you sure?".
Valerie worked in cabaret, as well as on TV and radio.
Valerie sang on "Easy Beat" on the Light Programme.
Valerie also had her own show on Radio Luxembourg "Valerie and her boyfriends"
MORE FACTS ABOUT VALERIE'S SUCCESSFUL CAREER
Valerie appeared on the Tyne Tees television programme "Young at Heart", and co-hosted the programme.
The first "Young at Heart" show was broadcast on Wednesday, 4th May, 1960 at 6.30pm.
Valerie also appeared in the "Request Time" series.
Valerie sang the title credits for the 1959 film "The Hellions".
Valerie also sang the well-known Pepsi promotion : " Come alive, you're in the Pepsi Generation" advertisement song, which was an iconic radio advertisement of the 1960s.
Valerie also starred, and demonstrated her fine acting abilities, in the 1970s war time drama series "Secret Army".
Valerie went on to sing all over the world, and had a successful music career, making records for Fontana, Polydor, HMV and Columbia Records.
Valerie made many excellent records, many of which are shown above, but despite this, Valerie had little success in the Music Charts.
Valerie's "Banjo Boy" entered the NME charts in July, 1960, but the record unfortunately didn't reach higher than chart number 27.
Valerie's musical talent is very much under-rated, and it is a pity that no CD has been produced which includes all of Valerie's songs.
One of Valerie's most enduring songs is "Christmas Calling", which is an amazing Christmas record, produced by Joe Meek, and demonstrates Valerie's strong vocals, with the fantastic Joe Meek production:-
CHRISTMAS CALLING by VALERIE MASTERS, (1964)
"Winter's on its way again,
Sky is turning grey again,
Snow is on the ground
Everywhere the sound of
Many thanks everyone who has helped to contribute to this web site, including Farley David, (Valerie's cousin). Also, many thanks to Valerie's sister, Jacqueline Crooks, for sending in some special memories of when she used to play Valerie's records on her Dansette record player.
Photographs and images used on this site are courtesy of the original providers, and permission has been sought to use these on this special tribute to a great musical and stage talent, Valerie Masters.
If any item on this site requires to be removed or updated, please contact the site via the Visitors' Book, or via the site email address below, and it will be removed or amended immediately.
This site and the images and text shown are Copyright, 2011.
THANK YOU FOR VISITING VALERIE MASTERS CALLING!
ABOVE: A PROMOTIONAL PICTURE FROM 1964 FOR VALERIE'S RECORDING OF HER GREAT SONG "CHRISTMAS CALLING"
During Valerie's career, Valerie always loved to sing, and even at the age of four, her Grandfather would hold her up to the microphone for her to sing!
Valerie was also voted Top Girl of the North East when she was on the "One O'clock Show". Valerie also appeared at the London Palladium on several occasions, and also in shows such as "The Singing Detective", "The Wombles", "The Faith Brown Show", "The Stanley Baxter Show", and "The Grace Kennedy Show".
Valerie also sang with Quincy Jones at the Tivoli Gardens, and led the BBC team to come First with their winning show in the Nordring Festival in 1983.
Valerie also sang titles in many films including working with Cubby Brocolli on the James Bond films, Hobs Choice, "The Wall" with Bob Geldof, and "Yentl" with Barbara Striesand. Valerie also sang in several British and American advertisements and jingles, including Scottish Cheddar, Knorr Soups, Bangor Jeans, Tetley Tea, and of course Pepsi.
Valerie is now married to Tony Nunn, Property Owner and Theatrical Agent, and who was also a great violinist.
Valerie runs a successful bridal wear business with her Daughter Gillian Katz now, and their motto is "You are our star- Call - And let us make you feel that way". Gillian is a TV and Film Hair and Make-up Stylist.
Valerie has a great knowledge of jewellery and Wedding designs, and has made a great success of her business through her extensive awareness of fashion and elegant clothes design.