This month, Swedish Ready steady girls! visitor Johan Westin joins us as guest editor. Read all about his pick of the pops below – and vote for your favourite or comment on these fab tracks using the forms at the foot of the page.
French singer Katia is a bit of a mystery – but judging by the label of this release, she probably wrote the songs herself (K. Roudiak). It was produced by Germinal Tenas, the man behind the careers of Clothilde and Christine Delaroche, amongst others. In France, the release came with a picture sleeve, while the Canadian issue came in a plain company sleeve. Canada, especially the Quebec area, is recommended for all of you out there who are looking for French girl pop records.
Tu as perdu la tête
Sadly, German-born Ria’s career ended in a fire, in which she was killed. Before that she lived for a while in Canada releasing some material on the Pathé label. Among those releases came this brilliant LP with a beautiful cover. Recorded in 1964, this is a cover of a song called Somebody else’s baby by American singer Diane Castle.
Listening to Rita is a bit like riding a rollercoaster – sometimes you’re screaming for joy, sometimes you feel a bit sick. This song must be one of her finest moments. On this one she is backed by a group called the Talismen. The name made me curious – and after some research I discovered that the Talismen were actually a group from Cheltenham, in England. They made a 45 on the Stateside label in 1965 and after some strange management they ended up with a contract with the RCA studio in Italy. There, they worked with a number of Italian artists over the next couple of years.
A brilliant release on France’s AZ label. Delizia is Adamo’s sister. While he scored countless hits, Delizia fared less well. She cut a string of singles and EPs in France in both the 1960s and the 1970s, but none brought her much success. Let’s not worry too much about that – just put on your dancing shoes and hit the floor with Delizia!
Mon homme a les cheveux longs
Annie is the oldest of the ladies represented this month. Born back in 1939 in Belgium, she started her career as early as the 1950s. This is a Canadian release on the Select label, and the song was originally issued on the Belgian Hebra label. Annie made several EPs and singles on different labels and under different names (such as Dora Neri), but this one really stands out. This hard-hitting female stomper is one of those songs I would take to a desert island. Number five in my top ten list!
Arlette Zola (born Jaquet) turned 60 this year and is still active, performing in small clubs and at special occasions. She was born in Switzerland and in 1982 she represented her country at the Eurovision song contest with Amour on t’aime. The song I have chosen is from her EP on the AZ label, released in 1966, on which she is backed by an unknown group called the Sounds.
Our thanks go to Johan for sharing these six great tracks with us. If you’d like to be a guest editor on this site one month, get in touch. You don’t have to be a music industry expert, just someone with a passion for 1960s European female singers. (And if English isn’t your first language, don’t worry, we can help.)