The “Golden Hits Of The 60s 

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“Nothing But A Heartache”

(Wayne Bickerton, Tony Waddington)

Deram 85038

No. 34    May 24, 1969




Nothing but near nothing is known about these three momentary-success flirters who left their New

York City base to be “discovered” in the land of the fab four.   We do know that for their brief duration

the Flirtations were Earnestine and Shirley Pearce from South Carolina and their buddy Viola Billups

from Alabama.    Reportedly the sisters had previously recorded as the Gypsies and each had been

separately making the tours of recording studios for four to five years when one fated day in 1967 they

conceived of the idea of reversing the British Invasion by leaving their turf for Liverpool, England and

hopefully the big-time. Once in England Viola, Shirley and Ernie were hit upon by Wayne Bickerton and

his songwriting buddy Tony Waddington.   Wayne and Tony were aspiring creators with a plump bag of

numbers for the Flirts to try on.   The fellows apparently had some connections with the London Record

group of labels for in a pinch of time many Fllrtation sides were laid out, taylored and cut.    The lasses

second release, “Nothing But a Heartache”–complete with something of a “Motown Sound,” worked out

well enough to place the girls just inside that magic hit line.


For a mini-moment the air of success was theirs.   But to a careful listening the Flirtations sounded too

much like an unwantoned and uninspired Supremes’ “B side”. The Bickerton and Waddington material,

the girls almost exclusively utilized on their lone album and two or three follow-up singles, just didn’t

make much of a dent on anyones memory banks.   And before the old year was rung out the consecutive

one rung in the girls were quietly shown the exit door by their record label.   Their post-flirting careers

and whereabouts are unknown.   All of their recordings have long been out of print.