She began her musical profession as a singer, to glowing reviews.
When she appeared in 1975 on the Coriander, a restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, John S. Wilson of The Times called her a “startling performer” who sang “in a deep, strong, beautifully controlled voice that’s full of vivid colours, as she moves from low, sexy passages to an open, lusty shout.”
Virginia Mary Redington was born on May 13, 1945, in Brooklyn and raised within the Bay Ridge section of the borough. Her father, Joseph, was a naval architect. Her mother, May (O’Brien) Redington, was a teacher.
Virginia attended Fontbonne Hall Academy in Brooklyn and graduated from St. Josephs College, also in Brooklyn, with a level in English in 1966.
She and Mr. Dawes — a founding father of the folk-pop group the Cyrkle, best known for its 1966 hit single “Red Rubber Ball,” written by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley of the Seekers — married in 1979 and, merging their talents, formed TwinStar Music to supply jingles
The couple also wrote the book, music and lyrics for “The Talk of the Town,” a show concerning the fabled literary round table on the Algonquin Hotel, whose members included Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and George S. Kaufman. First produced in 2004, it ran nearly two years on the Bank Street Theater before it moved as a cabaret show to the Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room.
Reviewing the show for Bloomberg News, John Simon wrote that its music and wit matched “the infectious energy and class of the real-life luminaries it relies on.”
Ms. Dawes was also a collector of antique jewelry and the creator, along with her husband (who took the pictures) and others, of several books on the topic, including “The Bakelite Jewelry Book” (1988), with Corinne Davidov, and “Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830” (2007), with Ms. Dawes’s fellow collector Olivia Collings.