We’re forever indebted to RSG visitor Riccardo for sending us this 45. We’ve been playing it on a loop since it landed on our doormat. Paola Campanile was born in Treviso, in northern Italy, in 1950. As a teenager, she landed a contract with the Prima label, where she released this fab single in 1966. Success may have proved elusive, but that hasn’t stopped Paola. She continues to sing to this day, performing anything from hits of the 1960s to traditional Neapolitan songs at local parties and events.
One in a million
We’ll be publishing a page on London-born singer Karol Keyes very soon, but in the meantime we thought we’d share this wonderful track with you. Maxine Brown cut the original and a number of other singers have also recorded it, but this version is our favourite. It was one of a string of great singles by Karol. Sadly, they were all overlooked at the time. Perhaps that’s why she ended up reinventing herself as Luan Peters. Under this moniker she moved into acting, appearing in various states of undress in some Carry On-style capers, amongst other things. Her biggest hit came with I’m on fire in 1975 as lead singer of group 5,000 Volts.
La vie c’est toi
Nicole Josy was born Nicole van Palm in 1946, in Wemmel, a town in the Flemish half of Belgium. She issued a number of singles in French, Flemish and German in the 1960s, including this, her take on Brit girl Julie Grant’s Then, only then. But she enjoyed greater success after teaming up with Hugo Sigal in 1970. The pair are famous – or perhaps infamous – for their performance at the Eurovision song contest in 1973. If you’ve ever seen one of those shows that gives the best and worst of the contest, you’ll have seen them. We’re too polite to say whether they’re considered a high or a low, but let’s just say, they were both wearing purple flared jumpsuits, doing a dance routine that is best described as ‘memorable’ and finished in last place...
Meine Reise ist zu Ende
America’s Connie Francis began, er, breakin’ in a brand new career in Germany when the hits dried up at home. She’d already struck gold in Germany in the early 1960s with songs such as Schöner fremder Mann. And by the end of 1962, when her top 20 hits in the US ran out, she focused her efforts abroad, including on the German market. She enjoyed over 20 German-language hits, often with songs playing on her Italian roots, such as Napoli and Du mußt bleiben, Angelino. Sadly, however, in 1966, the more contemporary Meine Reise ist zu Ende proved prophetic – within a year, her journey up the German charts was indeed at an end.
Prior to joining girl group Ellas in 1967, Spanish singer Laura had enjoyed a solo career that had spawned four EPs and five singles. She also appeared on Spanish TV screens in 1964 in the programme Salto a la fama. She was born Clotilde Rodríguez Blanco, but adopted the shorter stage name Laura when she landed a contract with Mercury in 1964. Our pick is taken from her sole release for the label before she moved on to Philips briefly and finally settled at the NoVoLa arm of Zafiro.
Petula Clark was a child star who went on to sing perky pop in the early 1960s. Then, after the Charlie Chaplin-penned This is my song became a huge international hit in 1967, it all went a bit downhill, musically. So it’s easy to forget just how good she was in the three-year period in between. This track, from her Downtown LP, shows off her soulful side. For us, it ranks right up there with some of her French material – La nuit n’en finit plus or Que ton coeur me soit fidèle, say – which many would argue were decidedly cooler than a lot of her UK releases.
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