Born Joan Rosemary Yarrow, on 7th December 1928 in Bristol. Daughter of a civil servant she studied vocal piano and guitar at Salisbury's St Edmunds Girls School. In 1940 a broadcast on BBC Childrens Hour created a demand for her to sing at local venues, including some US Army bases. On leaving school she had several jobs before becoming a professional singer, performing with, among others, Ted Heath, Geraldo and Cyril Stapleton. She also sang with smaller jazz bands, led by Max Harris and Alan Clare.