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Wirf dein Geld nicht zum Fenster ’raus
Jessy is often said to be the pseudonym of south America’s Maribel Galindo. That’s not true. We don’t know who she is but we assume whoever she was, she must have been on her way to Oktoberfest in fancy dress when she was called in for the photo shoot for this record sleeve. The singer had kicked off her recording career in Germany two years earlier, in 1965, at the Vogue label with Schuld war Karl der Grosse, a cover of France Gall’s multimillion-selling (but dire) Sacré Charlemagne. She followed it with Bis zur Hochzeit wird alles wieder gut – probably better known by East Germany’s Karin Prohaska – and Aber dann. The flip of the latter is, for us, Jessy’s best. The song is a cover of Brit girl Jacki Bond’s little-known He say. After one further single at Vogue, she switched to Teldisc before calling it a day.
And now I don’t want you
Suzy Cope is probably best known for her high-camp 1963 release Biggity big. The song was her third single for the HMV label. Our pick, though, is the later, somewhat downbeat And now I don’t want you, issued as the B-side to You can’t say I never told you in 1965. What’s most interesting about the Brighton-based singer is that she wrote much of her own material. Indeed our pick is a case in point. Her debut disc, 1961’s Teenage fool, was also one of her own compositions, which probably puts in a class of her own. We can’t think of another female singer who was penning her own tunes at that point in history. Miss Cope, we take our hats off to you.
C’est un voyou
If you’re going into business as a singer, your choice of material is key. Perhaps all the more so if you’re setting yourself up as a yé-yé girl in France, where the sound was defined by French versions of Anglophone hits. Figuring maybe that the obscure end of the market offered a greater choice, Scarlet picked four lesser-known tracks for her debut EP. They included our choice, C’est un voyou (a version of the Mark Barkan/Pam Sawyer-penned Just a little bitty baby). Translation came courtesy of Jean Albertini, who would work with some of the biggest names in the industry – including Christophe, Michèle Torr and C. Jérôme – over the course of his career. His good work did little to help Scarlet, mind – her debut EP also proved her final release. (Thanks to regular visitor Fane for finding this gem.)
No volveré a llorar por ti
Sexy Spanish señorita Ivana proved a headache for her record label. Bosses at Columbia knew she had sex appeal but they didn’t know how to pitch her for the record-buying public. So, erm, obviously, they put the Malaga-born miss forward for the Eurovision song contest. However, state broadcaster TVE opted to have Conchita Bautista perform her song, ¡Qué bueno, qué bueno!, instead. Jurors declared it their winner, though it fared poorly at the pan-European final.) Undeterred, Columbia issued Ivana’s version as the lead track on her first EP. For many, the real treat of the release, though, was this, No volveré a llorar por ti.
Something to give
The Brit girls of the 1960s have been enjoying some profile this month. Radio 4 invited Sandie Shaw, Petula Clark, Helen Shapiro, Jackie Trent and Ready steady go’s Vicki Wickham in for a reunion. It was very interesting, though it got a bit catty at one point. (The podcast is still available, if you’re interested.) Understandably, no mention was made of the singers of the period who remained undiscovered, such as Nita Rossi. The Bournemouth beat babe had to wait years – more than a decade, actually – before enjoying any popularity. You see, it wasn’t until the late 1970s that the northern soul cognoscenti latched onto her pounding Something to give. Terrific it is too, in our humble opinion.
In 1967, Gabriella Marchi shot to, well, we’d like to say ‘fame’, though we suspect ‘indifference’ would be closer to the mark. The Milanese miss was just short of 20 years old when she landed a contract with the Cetra record company. Label bosses spotted her on the RAI talent show Il pancrazio in 1966 and promptly snapped her up. However, they left Gabriella to sit it out in pop’s wings until the Un disco per l’estate contest the following year. There, she performed our choice, Diceva diceva, though she failed to make the top ten. Sales of the record proved disappointing too – it peaked at number 68 in the Italian charts in the summer of 1967 – and no follow up was ever issued.