Mary Weiss was just a teenager when she recorded some of the most iconic singles of the 1960s as a member of the legendary girl group the Shangri-Las, but it was nearly four decades after their run of hits had come to a close that Weiss launched a solo career, making one of the most talked-about comebacks of 2007. The Shangri-Las were famous as the "tough girls" of the '60s pop scene, and Weiss came by her tough side honestly; born in Queens, NY, in 1948, Weiss' father passed away when she was only six weeks old, and her mother struggled to support the family working odd jobs. While growing up, Weiss developed a passion for music and discovered she loved to sing. In 1963, she formed a vocal group with two of her friends, twins Mary Ann Ganser and Marguerite Ganser (aka Marge Ganser), who she'd known since grammar school. Weiss handled the lion's share of the lead vocals, and after playing the usual rounds of high school dances and talent shows, they caught the attention of Artie Ripp, a producer who signed them to record deal.