Make the feeling go away
Billie’s is a story to bring a tear to the eye. Not only was she badly hurt in a car crash, she was then vilified by the media for her relationship with the married-though-separated Jet Harris and, to cap it all, she lost her place in pop – all in the space of a few weeks. Her career remained more or less in the doldrums, despite going on to release some first-rate material. This track from 1969 should have been huge, but wasn’t. There’s no justice in this world.
Boys gibt es viele
Young Margit hailed from St Gallen in Switzerland. After issuing a few singles as part of a duet with her sister, she struck out on her own in 1965 and cut three 45s, one on the Philips label and two on Polydor. Our choice is from her second solo effort, issued in 1966. Tucked on the B-side of the schmaltzy Ich hab’s dem Mond erzählt was the lively Boys gibt es viele. Here, she warns her current beau to be good to her – otherwise she’ll drop him for one of the other boys in town. The little hussy.
Bulgarian-born Sylvie Vartan proved quite the polyglot. Taken to the bosom of her adopted homeland of France, she also enjoyed great success in Italy, where she mostly served up translations of her French material. Our choice is the Italian version of L’enfant aux papillons, from her A doppia coppia album, issued in 1969. We know she struggles to make the words fit in places in this translation but there’s something we just love about it all the same.
Je sais qu’un jour
It’s not every girl that makes the transition from riding horseback in a circus to riding the airwaves, but it’s one taken by German-born Audrey. Sometimes known as Audrey Arno, she issued a string of 45s throughout the 1960s in France. We’re planning to give this Mary Tyler Moore lookalike a full page in the not-too-distant future, but in the meantime, join us in appreciating this rather intoxicating version of Lesley Gore’s Maybe I know. (And if your tastes extend to high camp, you might enjoy the rather amusing little video of her singing Un collège anglais currently on YouTube.)
Everybody I know
British singer Carol Friday was just 17 when she released this tremendous track. It was taken from her second single, issued in 1965, which she also recorded in French (oh, how we’d love a copy of that). She issued one further 45, in 1967, before making appearances in the Belgian made-for-TV movie Le parapluie des vedettes later that year and in the British TV series The saint in 1969. She also played the part of Flora in the 1969 film The best house in London.
Female singer-songwriters were few and far between in Europe in the 1960s – and Spain was no exception. Apart from Lorella, that is. Born María Dolores Ostiz in 1945, she issued just two discs as Lorella for the RCA label in the middle of the decade, though she later found much greater success under her own name. Our pick is a track from her debut EP, issued in 1965, on which she proved her talent by penning all four songs. Though quite why she agreed to sacrifice her street cred by dressing as a peasant for the record sleeve is anybody’s guess.