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Luisa Casali: Il momento della verità
We kick off this month with Luisa Casali’s terrific Il momento della verità. If we were allowed to take a box of our favourite 45s to a desert island, this would be in there. The song, issued in 1967, had, somewhat surprisingly perhaps, been the singer’s entry to the Cantagiro contest. It didn’t win – possibly because it doesn’t sound like your average song contest fare. If you’re thinking you recognise Luisa’s name, it may be because she cut an earlier, Italian version of Dusty Springfield’s Give me time.
Barry St John: Everything I touch turns to tears
The release of the new film Northern soul has made us reach for this 1966 single by Scotland’s Barry St John, Everything I touch turns to tears. The song doesn’t feature in the soundtrack, but we reckon it’s one of the best northern soul numbers to have been performed by a British female singer. If you don’t believe us, check out our British northern soul special. Mind you, as much as we like the song, it wasn’t the pinnacle of Barry’s career, in our view. That honour goes to her 1965 B-side, Gotta brand new man.
Carmela Corren: Verzeih mir
Israeli singer Carmela Corren pinned her hopes of a comeback to the tails of this fine 45 from 1967. It was her first to be issued on Germany’s Vogue label. Although she was well known in the German-speaking countries, it was with rather schmaltzy material that she was associated. Her new contract offered the chance to turn her fortunes around. It wasn’t to be, however, and she parted ways with Vogue after just one further single. For us, though, this take on Caterina Caselli’s Italian hit Perdono remains among her finest.
Marisa Medina: No te acuerdas de mí
The story of a TV personality turning singer – or of a singer becoming a TV presenter – is all-too common. Forgive us, then, for forcing Marisa Medina on you this month. To be honest, we didn’t think you’d mind – after all, No te acuerdas de mí is too groovy for words. Viewers of state broadcaster TVE would have been familiar with Marisa long before ever she made this record in 1970. She was married to composer Alfonso Santisteban at the time of its recording and he also cut a version of it. Sadly, Marisa’s single didn’t sell well enough to prevent her from returning to her day job in front of the TV camera.
Lulu: Try to understand
Here’s another Scottish singer for you: Lulu. The Glaswegian gal has recently announced a UK tour, on which she’ll be performing her own hits plus some that have inspired her over the years. We suspect she won’t perform this track. It didn’t sell as well as it should have upon release – arguably because it had already been issued on an LP before being lifted to become a single. Plus, Lulu’s career was terribly hit or miss at the time – she only became a chart regular after switching to Columbia and being taken under the wing of Mickie Most.
Claire Dixon: C’est pour toi
We’ll publish a profile in the coming months, so we won’t give away too much biographical information about Claire Dixon at this stage. The French singer is perhaps best known for songs such as 1967’s Je n’ai besoin que de tendresse or 1968’s On m’appelle petit bout de chou. Claire had been recording for several years before either of those was released, however. Indeed, our pick is the title track of her third EP from 1964. Though it’s unlikely ever to rival either of her two better-known tracks, it is not without its charms.