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Madeline Bell: Picture me gone
US-born Madeline Bell came to London in 1964. She earned her status as honorary Brit girl during a solo career that took her from HMV to Columbia to Philips. She would also make a name for herself as a backing singer for Dusty Springfield and for her part in late-1960s/early 1970s combo Blue Mink. Here she performs one of our favourites, a take on an Evie Sands track, Picture me gone, which Philips released as a single in 1967. It failed to chart at the time but later became in demand on Britain’s northern soul scene.
Nicoletta: Je ne pense qu’à t’aimer
Here’s another track with a Dusty Springfield connection. The song is Je ne pense qu’à t’aimer, French chanteuse Nicoletta’s take on US group The Young Rascals’ How can I be sure. Her version is said to have inspired Dusty’s later recording of the song. The big hit of the release was the powerful Il est mort le soleil, which gave the singer a top ten hit. In Britain, Dusty also lucked out with her version of How can I be sure, which merely scraped into the lower reaches of the top 40. That David Cassidy would top the UK charts with a version just two years later only added insult to injury.
Anette & Mogens: Johnny is my guy
Never were Johnnies more popular than in the 1960s. Countless songs played tribute to Johnny – from a good Johnny, to a bad Johnny, to a ribbed one. (OK, we made that last one up.) No matter what nationality the singer, Johnny was a favourite. Here, Danish singer Anette Blegvad called upon the services of Mogens Petersen, the former lead guitarist in pop combo The Cliffters, to write and provide backing on this catchy A-side. The song was issued on Copenhagen’s Triola label in 1965. Sadly, Anette’s repertoire would later move firmly into Schlager territory.
Sonia e le Sorelle: Non ti accorgi di me
Sister act Sonia, Nadia and Luana Natali were signed by La voce del padrone label (HMV) and entered into several high-profile song contests between 1964 and 1966. This track was issued as the B-side to Italian girl group Sonia e le Sorelle’s Se mi lascio baciar in 1964. The plaintive track was somewhat uncharacteristic of the often upbeat trio. Eventually, the sisters went their separate ways professionally, leaving Sonia to enjoy some solo success.
Sandra Barry and the Boys: Really gonna shake
In 1964, former St Trinians actress Sandra Alfred had reinvented herself as Sandra Barry. In this guise, she cut Really gonna shake, which was issued on the Decca label and credited to Sandra Barry and the Boys. The Boys comprised singer Reggie King, guitarist Alan King, bassist Mike Evans and drummer Roger Powell. Later they would rope in guitarist Pete Watson to become cult Mod favorites the Action.
Monika Hauff: Geh hin zu ihr
Back in the 1960s, the Iron Curtain divided Germany in two – and on the eastern side stood singer Monika Hauff. She cut her first disc in 1967: the rather delightful Geh hin zu ihr. Within a few years she was earning more Ostmarks performing with Klaus-Dieter Henkler. The pair cut an impressive 300 songs together and hosted several TV shows. If you’d like to know more about the East German pop scene of the 1960s, check out our East German girls special.