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Françoise Deldick: Le garcon de l’été
With tunes as cool as this 1964 release, it’s surprising that Françoise Deldick didn’t make it as a pop star. Born in 1939 just outside Paris, she landed her first recording contract – of many – in 1963, when she joined the Germinal label. Our pick was issued on the Monte Carlo label, part of Vogue Records, a year later. Françoise is perhaps better known among French femme pop fans for 1968’s Hum! Hum!, issued on the Flair label. None of these releases scored well, leaving Françoise to enjoy greater success as an actress. In 1988, however, she raised a few eyebrows when, as Jackotte, she issued As-tu ta capote coco? as part of an AIDS awareness campaign.
Lesley Dawson: Run for shelter
Sharing a music publisher with Paul Anka opened doors for Brit girl Lesley Dawson. The Canadian star wrote this track for young Lesley Dawson. It was issued in 1967 as the third of four singles she cut at Mercury. She’s been spotted a year earlier in Spain and told to go and get herself a recording contract in London. She didn’t need telling twice. She launched herself on the record-buying public in June 1966 with Pastel shades of love, from the pens of David Cummings and Peter Lee Stirling, with Alan Freeman at the production controls. Eventually, Lesley quit Britain for the US.
Wilma Goich: Le formiche
Wilma Goich often gets overlooked when Italian stars of the 1960s are reviewed. That is perhaps a little unfair – her distinctive vocals made her instantly recognisable. She took part in a seemingly unending number of song festivals during her career. Our choice this month isn’t one of her song contest entries, however. Le formiche was issued as the flip to the 1968 single Tu cuore mio. It had been written by Lucio Battisti, who would go on to sell literally millions of records in the 1970s. We can’t help but think it should have been the A-side.
Jenny and the Rascals: You told me a lie
Dutch beat combo Jenny and the Rascals provided support for The Troggs on some of their mainland European dates in the mid-1960s. With 16-year-old Jenny Streur on lead vocals, the group impressed audiences with their show. Beatles manager Brian Epstein was also captivated by young Jenny and approached her to come to Britain under his wing. We’re not sure why but she turned him down. All that’s left of the group is two great 45s that continue to delight fans of the garage girl genre. Our pick, You told me a lie, was the first of them and was co-written by Jenny herself.
Waltraud Dirks: Dornröschen
At RSG Towers, we love a good cover version. We have been known to go crazy for a rather anaemic one too on occasion. Which brings us to this offering from Waltraud Dirks. Here, the German singer takes on Sylvie Vartan’s massive Irrésistiblement and transforms it into a gentler tale of Sleeping Beauty. It was issued as the B-side to her 1969 single Du hast keinen Grund zum Weinen. Waltraud remains better known for her earlier cover of Bacharach and David’s I just don't know what to do with myself, retitled Wenn ich nur wüßt’ was ich tu’ ohne dich.
Gillian Hills: Tut, tut, tut, tut
Cairo-born Gillian Hills will forever be associated with British camp caper Beat girl. As teen terror Jennifer Linden, she enthralled cinema audiences. The chatter caused by the film helped the singer land a contract with Paris’ Barclay Records. There, she would cut a string of great EPs. Our pick is from the tail end of her time with the label. It is from the 1965 release Rien n’est changé, and is a take on US girl group The Lollipops’ Busy signal. It didn’t reinvent her fortunes and Gillian soon found herself playing bit parts in films such as Blow up and A clockwork orange.