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Nita Rossi: Untrue unfaithful (that was you)
Poor old Nita Rossi. Here she is, giving herself a hard time for falling in love with a Lothario. Untrue unfaithful (that was you) was the first – and arguably the best – of four singles cut by the Bournemouth teenager. Released in 1965 on the Piccadilly label, the song was penned by Tom Jones’s manager, Gordon Mills. Catchy as hell, it should have gone big. Like so many other great records before and since, however, it didn’t.
Nathalie Degand: Tu n’oublieras jamais
Ironically perhaps, French singer Nathalie Degand is better known these days under her later stage name, Zoé. Born in February 1944, she passed an audition with the Pathé label in 1963, and issued Maman m’a dit. Several further EPs followed, each without success. In 1966, as Zoé, she joined the independent Monte Carlo label, where she would record the Serge Lama-penned gem Avant qu’on ait 20 ans. Our pick is taken from her 1965 release Mon ami Dominique and was co-written by Éric Charden, who later found great success as half of duo Stone et Charden.
Le Snobs: Sha la la la la
Stevie Wonder’s La la la la la became Sha la la la la in the hands of Italian girl group Le Snobs. The group comprised sisters Annamaria, Ornella and Renata Giusti, plus their friend Gianna Raffa, and hailed from the town of Desenzano del Garda, in the Brescia region of Italy. They cut the song as a single and they can be seen performing it in the 1966 music film Per un pugno di canzoni. Later that year, the lure of marriage and ‘proper’ jobs led to girls to call a day on the group.
Britt Kersten: Tanz an einem Frühlingsabend
Britt Kersten was a star of the East German music scene. Ignored outside the communist state for many years, Britt and her fellow GDR girls are only now achieving the recognition they deserve. Here she performs 1969’s dance floor favourite Tanz an einem Frühlingsabend. Three years later, the glam rock-styled Männer müssen Männer sein proved her biggest hit.
Paula Parfitt: Love is wonderful
We love a bit of northern soul – and, unlike purists, we have no problem with pop-soul fusions such as this, Paula Parfitt’s Love is wonderful. It was issued in September 1969 on the small Beacon label. Paula’s first claim to fame was as an unsuspecting victim on TV’s Candid camera. Whether that helped her land a job with Jeannie and the Boyfriends is open to question. After a spell with group, she left to go solo under the management of Miki Clarke, who helped to pen this track. It was issued as the B-side of her debut 45, I’m gonna give you back your ring. We rank Love is wonderful as one of our top 25 British northern soul numbers.
Our final selection this month is the lead track from Spanish singer Lorella’s debut disc, Sandy. Born María Dolores Ostiz in 1945, she would find much greater success under her own name, just a few years after issuing this record as Lorella for the RCA label in 1965. As a female singer-songwriter, she was unusual at that time. Indeed, many of her contemporaries – at home and across the planet – recorded material written by others. We think this is a corker.