Dick St. John and Mary Sperling knew each other in Junior High School in the fifties but later went to different high schools. While Mary was attending college, they met up again when they both started working for See’s Candies in Los Angeles. On their coffee breaks they began singing and writing songs together.
Mary and Dick co-wrote their first single, Goodbye To Love, which was released in 1961. The record was on a small record label that was not happy with Mary’s name and changed it to DeeDee. Mary learned of her new stage name when she saw the record label that credited Dick and DeeDee instead of Dick and Mary. She still had writing credit for the song with Dick as Mary Sperling.
Dick had solo writing credit for the flip side of the single, The Mountain’s High. Radio stations in San Francisco noticed how much better that side of the record sounded and began playing the flip side of the record instead of the a-side. Liberty Records took notice and leased the single and took it into national distribution. In a short time, the record reached #2 on the Hot 100 and it eventually sold over a million copies.
Five of the duo’s next twelve singles reached the top forty. The group successfully toured backed by an early version of the Beach Boys, opened for the Rolling Stones at their stops in California, and appeared as part of countless shows with other popular groups. They also sang backup vocals and played instruments on at least two Rolling Stones songs.
The last hit single for the pair came in 1964 with the release of Thou Shall Not Steal, their cover of a country song written by John D. Loudermilk. They performed the song as well on American Bandstand in late 1964 and the single peaked at #13 in early 1965.
After another dozen singles failed to catch on, the group disbanded in 1969. Dick began touring again on the oldies circuit in the eighties with his wife Sandy taking over as his singing partner. He died in 2003 when he accidentally fell off a roof.
In 2008 Dee Dee recruited singer Michael Dunn as her new singing partner. Michael was briefly replaced by Deek Detanna but returned to singing with her in 2015.