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Caterina Caselli: L’uomo d’oro
Caterina Caselli was one of two reasons we first got into Italian female singers (Rita Pavone was the other). We were absolutely blown away by her 1966 San Remo song festival entry, Nessuno mi può giudicare. Mind you, we weren’t the only ones to be taken by it: the song spent nine weeks at the top of the Italian charts that year. Our pick this month, L’uomo d’oro, was another song contest entry, this time at the Un disco per l’estate contest, and gave the singer another big hit. (In Britain, Toni Daly – aka Antoinette – cut a terrific version of the song as The big man said.)
Carol Friday: Big sister
Carol Friday is best known for her 1965 singles Gone tomorrow and Everybody I know. Here, though, courtesy of site regular Fane Jones, we bring you Big sister, the B-side of her third and final single for Parlophone, issued in 1967. It finds Carol seeking advice over a first date. “I asked my big sister what I ought to do, ‘cause I’ve seen all the guys that have kissed her and somehow I knew that she’d know what to do.” Without wishing to reveal the ending of this three-minute slice of teen angst, when her guy doesn’t show up for the date, Carol can’t find her sister to talk to… As it happens, fact fans, Carol’s sister was actually TV dance troupe Pan’s People member Louise Clarke.
Stone: C’est le marchand d’eau
French singer Stone will forever be associated with her 1970s collaborations with her husband, Éric Charden. The latter was part of her life personally and professionally long before then – he wrote or co-wrote much of her 1960s material, including this 1968 track from the EP Je reviens chez moi. It’s not one that turns up on the French femme pop compilations, but it’s worth a listen all the same. The same can’t always be said of the couple’s later Saturday night variety show fodder.
Cornflakes: Kein Weg ist zu weit
Phil Spector’s production of Ike and Tina Turner’s River deep – mountain high was so colossal that, for many, it eclipsed all his previous work. The song bombed in the US, arguably because Spector had failed to grease enough palms to secure airplay. The song was a hit in Europe, however. It also prompted any number of cover versions, including one by German group Cornflakes. It was issued by United Artists in 1971, possibly as a result of a US hit version by The Supremes and The Four Tops. Sadly, it fared less well for this studio act and no further singles followed.
Petula Clark: Ya ya twist
If you caught Petula Clark on the BBC last month, you’ll have been reminded just what a Francophile she is. She was fronting an hour-long TV special on the history la chanson française – covering the likes of Charles Aznavour, Édith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg. It brought to mind just how good her French catalogue was. In fact, prior to the UK success of Downtown, the singer had been thinking of giving up on her British homeland to concentrate on the French market. We’re glad she didn’t. This 1961 release is one of our favourites of her French repertoire.
Patricia and the Harbourlights: Tambourine girl
Dutch singer Patricia Paay’s Tambourine girl was a reworking of a song she had cut originally in German. On the Dutch release, she was teamed with the Harbourlights, who included her her younger sister, Yvonne (1970s international star Yvonne Keeley). A year later, in 1969, Patricia cut another disc with the group: Sing me a love song, a take on a track by little-known US girl group The Glories. The single has caused all sorts of confusion since but that’s another story.