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Dans les dix premiers
Diminutive singer Jocy – she stood 1.5m, or 4’11”, tall – is understood to have hailed from the upmarket French city of Nice. She made just two records, and our pick is from the first of them. It was issued in 1968 on the small SEM label. The song is a cover of Shivel Bunny’s Top twenty. Also included on the EP were takes on Jenny let him go and Please don’t hurt me anymore, both of which had been recorded four years earlier by Brit girl Antoinette, plus an old Peggy Lee number for Benny Goodman, For every man there’s a woman.
Stop fooling around
We love Lulu. She’s received some flak over the years, notably for some song choices, for her forays into politics and, more recently, for promoting her skincare range while Botoxed to her eyeballs. But none of this has diminished our respect for her. And this track is one of our favourites by the Scottish songstress. It was the flip of the 1965 single Tell me like it is, though we reckon it would have made a better A-side. It was written by Mark London, who went on to write Lulu’s US chart topper To sir with love with Don Black, among other songs.
Linda van Dyck
Baby, what am I doing
Amsterdam-born Linda van Dyck was one of the Netherlands’ best beat singers of the 1960s. Her debut disc, 1966’s Stengun, which she cut with Boo and the Booboos, is something of a holy grail for fans of the genre. This track, which was issued as her follow up single, flopped upon its release and remains largely overlooked. We’re at a loss to figure out why. Linda went on to issue just two further 45s – Sunday kind of feelin’ and Seduction song – before jacking in the music business for a successful career as an actress.
Un ragazzo come te
Unfortunately, Liana Prinz played only a very small part in the history of Italian pop music. In 1968, the singer cut the laid-back T’aspetterò as a single for the Matata label. Our choice, though, is the
B-side, the more danceable Un ragazzo come te. Liana was backed by I Paladini for the release. Sadly, when it failed, she disappeared without trace.
Te veré en septiembre
This month, appropriately enough, we’re hooked on Marta Baizán’s Te veré en septiembre. The singer was born in Morocco and grew up in Spain, where she joined the Columbia label in 1965, at the age of 16. She switched to Sonoplay a year later and issued this great track on her first EP for the new label. The move marked a change of style, away from the sweeter, adolescent ye-yé. Her acting career took off at the same time, and appeared alongside Karina in the cult film Los chicos del Preu in 1967. (If you like Spanish singers, check back next month, when we will launch a Spanish girls section of this site.)
Stop the beat
Renate Kern enjoyed only modest success until 1968 when she finally cracked the German top ten with Lieber mal weinen im Glück. Sadly, the song’s Teutonic marching-band chorus set the tone for the rest of her 1960s career. Despite its punchiness, perhaps the lyrics of this earlier release, from 1967, put off record buyers. After all, who would have wanted to be a guest at one of her soirées? Not only were “a hundred bottles of lemonade” the only refreshments on offer, but also party pooper Renate was calling an end to the proceedings just as they were getting going. It’s too noisy, she wailed, and “the neighbours aren’t getting any peace”. Still, the song’s as catchy as hell.