Aug. 16th, 1934
Hope, Arkansas, USA
Ketty Lester's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Ketty Lester (born Revoyda Frierson) is an American singer and actress known for her 1962 hit single "Love Letters", which reached the top 5 of the charts in the U.S. and the UK. She is also known for her role as Hester-Sue Terhune on the American television series Little House on the Prairie. The daughter of a farmer, she was born in Hope, Arkansas, one of a family of 15 children, and first sang in her church and school choirs. She won a scholarship to study music at San Francisco State College, and in the early 1950s began performing under the name Ketty Lester in the city's Purple Onion club. She later appeared as a contestant on the game show You Bet Your Life, and toured Europe as a singer with Cab Calloway's orchestra.
Returning to California, she recorded her first single, "Queen For A Day", for the Everest label. She was introduced by the singer and comedienne Dorothy Shay to record producers and songwriters, Ed Cobb and Lincoln Mayorga, of The Four Preps and The Piltdown Men, who won her a contract with Era Records in Los Angeles. In 1961 they released her single, "I'm a Fool to Want You" b/w "Love Letters". Radio listeners and disc jockeys preferred the B-side, a reworking of a 1945 hit by Dick Haymes, and Lester's recording of "Love Letters", which featured Lincoln Mayorga's sparse piano arrangement and Earl Palmer on drums, rose to # 5 in the Billboard Hot 100 early in 1962. The record also reached # 2 on the R&B chart, and # 4 in the UK Singles Chart, selling over one million copies in all, and in 1991 was ranked 176th in the RIAA-compiled list of Songs of the Century. In 1962 she toured the UK as a support act on the Everly Brothers tour. By the early 1970s, she gave up singing commercially and turned to acting.until 1998
- Had a #5 pop hit with "Love Letters" in 1962.
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