Tawny Reed: Adamsdown’s Forgotten Star

15 Jul

Just two hundred metres from Adamsdown School, where the vocals for Adamsdown Song were recorded, lies Diamond Street (as featured in the song’s chorus). Living on Diamond Street in the 1960s was a young woman called Giliian Reed. Gill was a young woman with an exceptional singing talent. She was signed to Pye Records, renamed Tawny Reed, and touted as the next Lulu or Cilla Black. Sadly Tawny’s first two singles failed to chart, the record company dropped her, and she was never heard of again. But anyone hearing her fantastic soulful voice will surely agree this was a terrible waste of talent.

Sadly Tawny Reed died over twenty years ago, but if there is anyone who knew her or her family, please get in touch. Adamsdown should surely do something to commemorate her.


Posted by on July 15, 2009 in Uncategorized


19 responses to “Tawny Reed: Adamsdown’s Forgotten Star

  1. D Bennington

    January 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Tawney Reed was my wifes auntie.

    We are trying desperatly to do something to mark her life. We would love for you to get in touch via e-mail and mark this wonderful singer and family members life.

  2. danny

    January 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    hi tawny reed was my wifes aunty.
    if you e-mail us we would love to do something to commeretate her life

    • jonblake12

      February 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

      I’ll have a word with the people at Adamsdown Community Project – but you haven’t left an email address, Danny.

  3. Ceri

    August 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    hello my mums aunty was tawny reed (Gillian) Danny is my step dad i would love to get the lyrics from her 2 songs so that i can sing them please my email address is šŸ™‚

    • jonblake12

      August 14, 2013 at 8:07 am

      I’ve emailed a link, Ceri.

  4. Doc James

    March 31, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Hi, I played guitar with Gill – Tawny on two tours of Germany in the 60s we were very close for a few years, I can remember coming up to roath and staying at diamond st and meeting her gran sad to hear she’s passed away a really great vocalist Doc James

  5. doc james

    April 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    hi,i played guitar with Gill/tawny on several tours of germany & europe in the 60s via m&b enterprises myron & byron from up the valleys who had managed tom jones,came up to roath a few times stayed with her mother in diamond street i think her name was philyis also met her gran who lived just round the corner,am sorry to hear gills passed away a really great vocalist a one off orignal we were very close for a while back then doc james email address is

  6. Lars Karrback

    March 26, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Tawny also recorded two singles on Stiff Records under the of “Jill Read” together with dave Edmunds.

  7. jonblake12

    March 28, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I think this may be one of them:

    • Lars Karrback

      March 28, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Yes it is.
      It was for a long time said that Dave was the singer, but we have discovered who the girl was.
      I have talked to Dave Edmunds about it and he confirmed that. This has been a mystery since 1977.
      In a Swedish Blog have we written the story behind the two singles. And also a short presentation of Tawny.

      Unfortunately for you guys it’s in Swedish.
      The Blog also show the two Stiff Records Singles were Tawny sung.

      I have written about this in English on Dave Edmunds Facebook Wall likewise on Stiff Records FB Wall.

      Besides, Tawny recorded two singles for PYE Records and one for the US market on Congress Records.

      • Jeremiah

        October 12, 2015 at 8:35 pm

        Can somebody update the Wikipedia site for “Maybe”? It still says (without any reference) that Dave Edmunds sang it and modulated the vocals to sound like a female.

  8. Jim K.

    July 9, 2015 at 3:22 am

    I saw Tawny’s performance of “Needle in a Haystack” on another poet’s site a few years ago
    and was totally blown away by her gutsy delivery. I guess the timing was wrong for the pops,
    but I think there is a special extra depth and power compared to Petulia or even Lulu.
    I’m just glad the web caught her and I found her tunes. If someone could make sure the videos
    get re-posted now and then…

  9. geoff maddin

    May 31, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    There is a story going the rounds that she sung under the name Jill Read on Stiff Records, the song is now a classic (Maybe being the title. Dave Edmunds produced it.
    Her records a worth a fortune.

    • Lars Karrback

      June 3, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Geoff,

      I trust that you have not read my comments above.
      Its not just a story, it’s the actual fact.
      Tawny was the lead singer in a Cardiff band lead by Dave’s best friend. That’s how she became singing on Dave’s Stiff Records recording.
      I have that also confirmed by the guys at Rockfield Studio where the actual recording was made.

  10. saturdaynightweaver

    June 8, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I spent one year with Gill in London playing keyboards in her band The Heatwave. We lived together through that time with little money and work. She was an amazing singer and performer and deserved more recognotion than she got. So sad to hear that she is no longer with us. R.I.P Gill…

    • Steve Lucas

      March 19, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Derek, I remember playing bass with yourselves and Steve Hammond on guitar, can’t remember the drummer, but I do remember travelling back up north (I am originally from Liverpool) and playing in Wales and the Northwest, but the gigs were few and far between as you mention. So sorry to hear of her early demise, she had a great soulful voice, maybe so much competition at that time, and too little promotion, whatever, R.I.P Tawny…

      • Jon

        March 20, 2018 at 9:21 am

        Thanks so much for your comment Steve – if you have any memories of Gill I would be very grateful to hear them for further articles I’m writing with an aim of getting some kind of permanent memorial in Cardiff. My email is I’ve written a little more on Gill at A drummer called Ken McEwen got in touch with me who played with Gill in Germany – maybe not the one who played with you?

  11. Jon

    January 9, 2017 at 11:46 am


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