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Io non protesto
Italian singer Solidea Treu quit her hometown of Magnano in Riviera for the bright lights of Milan. There, alongside her studies, she discovered a passion for singing. Initially she signed with the small Magic record company, where she cut L’impronta di te in 1965. However, she is better known for the sales gimmick used to promote her move to the larger Jolly label the following year. Her first 45 was Ciao amici, a homage to the popular teen magazine of the same name. An alternative version of the record was also issued – for which readers of the magazine simply needed to cut out a coupon and pay a paltry 500 lira. A clever ploy, without doubt, though the singer narrowly missed the top 50 sales chart all the same. Our choice is the wonderfully catchy Io non protesto, the flip to the single Ma con chi, also issued in 1966, which was introduced to us by regular contributor Matthew Meek.
Out to get you
We’d always imagined that songwriter Chris Andrews had lost his mojo by the late 1960s. That assumption was based on the second-rate rehashes of his earlier work that he was passing off onto Sandie Shaw at the time. But every now and then you come across something of his as good as this or Sue Lynne’s Don’t pity me. This track became the second – and final – 45 cut by Sandra Bryant. The first was the better-known Girl with money, and both were issued on the Major Minor label. Sandra was born on 11 December 1948 in West Ham, east London. She was under contract to Dorothy Solomon, whose husband Phil founded Major Minor. Neither release was a hit and Sandra quit the UK in 1969 for Frankfurt, where she lives today. (Our thanks go to Sandra for biographical details and for clearing up the frequent confusion between her and the Edgeware-born, On the buses actress of the same name.)
OK, so your lover’s been away for a year and you’re missing him like crazy. What do you do? Well, obviously, these days you’d Skype or Facetime each other but those weren’t options back then. Phone him perhaps? Write a letter even? No, Germany’s Polly-Sisters opted to send a hot air balloon his way, to remind him how much they love him. It is lyrical nonsense such as this that may have cost the duo a chart hit. (Mind you, Nena didn’t fare too badly 15 or so years later with something along similar lines.) This appears to be the Polly-Sisters’ sole outing on vinyl. The track, issued in 1966 on the German Vogue label, was written by Peter Pollux and Friedel Berlipp, and the latter and his orchestra also provided the musical accompaniment.
The way of love
Mark Willerton, who runs the authorised Kathy Kirby website and who contributed a profile of the singer to RSG, has recently published a biography of the Ilford-born star. (Check out our review – and order a copy from Amazon.co.uk or through the authorised Kathy Kirby website – if you like the sound of it.) Reading the book reminded us just how great Kathy Kirby was. Although best known for wearing a lot of lipgloss and belting out a tune, our pick, the wonderful The way of love, finds Kathy in an altogether more restrained mood. That’s probably because she was full of cold when she went into the studio in 1965 to cut the song. It had originally been written for French Eurovision hopeful Frédérica, and has since been sung by a host of other singers, including, most famously, Cher. For us, Kathy’s plaintive delivery of the song can’t be topped. Sheer class.
Here, Barcelona-born singer Sonia – whose real name was Pilar Espí – performs the original composition Chico feo. The song was an unashamed attempt by her record label, Belter, to place her at the very heart of the emerging yé-ye sound. Perhaps surprisingly, given its catchy tune, it didn’t fare quite as well as her previous EP, Si tuviera un martillo, a take on If I had a hammer. Maybe teen record buyers simply didn’t fancy an ode to an ugly boy – who knows? If you’re less picky and you you like this track, you might be interested to learn that we’ll be publishing a full profile of Sonia, with loads more great songs, very soon.
Sur mon petit nuage
Christie Laume’s Pas de nouvelles EP is a difficult – and expensive – one to come by. So, we couldn’t quite believe our eyes when we saw that it is now available to download in MP3 format from Amazon. Rouge-rouge, which Christie had performed at Antibes’ Rose d’or contest in 1967, is widely held as the highlight of the release. That said, it’s great to be able to hear the others so readily too. Our pick, Sur mon petit nuage, was penned by Noël Commaret and Frank Gérald, who had been part of the songwriting team behind the singer’s career. After just one further EP, Christie packed in recording and headed off to the US, where she has remained.