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Tammy St John: Nobody know’s what’s goin’ on (in my mind but me)
Northern soul all-nighters may not quite have young people trekking across the Pennines in flares as they once did but demand for the music remains perennially high. Cue the new Casino classics triple-CD set from Cherry Red Records. One of the highlights of the box set, for us, is Tammy St John’s Nobody knows what’s goin’ on (in my mind but me), a British reworking of a single by US girl group The Chiffons. Read our review of the CD or head over to Amazon.co.uk to order a copy. (We get a kickback from Amazon for sales leads from the website, which helps us cover our costs. So, we’d appreciate it if you could follow a link from this site if ever you’re buying from Amazon.)
Véronique Sanson: Le printemps est là
We don’t often shamelessly plug new CDs – let alone twice in one month – but we’ll make an exception for the new Toujours chic! compilation from Ace Records. (You can read our review or buy a copy from Amazon.co.uk.) We have been humming Véronique Sanson’s Le printemps est là since the CD arrived on our doormat. It is one of the highlights of the album, though it went unnoticed at the time of its release. Indeed the singer herself didn’t touch the public consciousness until three years later, when she broke through with Amoureuse.
Manuela: Mama, ich sag’ dir was
Manuela was Germany’s princess of pop – or rather its queen of Schlager. She enjoyed hit after hit after scoring with Schuld war nur der Bossa Nova, a cover of Eydie Gormé’s Blame it on the bossa nova, in the spring of 1963. The song reached number one on the German charts, selling over 500,000 copies and remained in the top ten for a staggering 21 weeks. We’ve opted instead for the singer’s first 45 of 1964, Mama, ich sag’ dir was, on which she was joined by the group Die 6 Dops. Ironically, it wasn’t a hit though it remains a fan favourite to this day.
Jackie Trent: Il mondo degli altri
With Cilla Black and Dusty Springfield topping the charts with covers of Italian songs, it should have surprised no-on when Jackie Trent had a go at a big, Italian-style ballad. The result was Open your heart, but the difference was that this was a song that the singer had penned herself with Tony Hatch. Re-recording the song in Italian must have seemed the most obvious thing in the world to do, and here is the result, the charming Il mondo degli altri. What Jackie may have lacked in the phonetic subtleties of the language, she made up for in sheer gusto. Atta girl!
Los Mismos: Voy a pintar las paredes con tu nombre
Together, Elena Vázquez Minguela, Antonio Pérez Gutiérrez and Benjamín Santos Calonge were known, first, as Los Jollys at Columbia Records in 1965. They switched to Belter in 1968 and took the name Los Mismos. There, they would enjoy their greatest success, notably with their summer hit of 1968, La puente. It’s perhaps a little cheesy for us, so our pick is their Voy a pintar las paredes con tu nombre, issued a year later. This catchy, organ-tastic number is much more the ticket, we reckon. When the group split in the late 1970s, singer Elena went on to enjoy a solo career as Helena Bianco.
Carol Deene: He just don’t know
Brit girl Carol Deene was an artist whose career didn’t survive the beat boom. After 1963, she simply couldn’t score a hit. In need of a change of direction, Carol switched management in 1965 and moved from the HMV label to Columbia. Complete with a new ‘do, she issued the excellent He just don’t know in the autumn of that year and even started making plans for an album. However, in early 1966, the singer was badly injured in a car crash and by the time she recovered, it was too late to salvage her pop career.