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Liz Brady: Partie de dames
Liz Brady is one of our most-loved French singers – well, leaving aside that she isn’t actually French, that is. She was born in Egypt but married a Brit and carved out a career for herself in France and, later, Canada. Partie de dames is our favourite of her recordings, so we will be upset if it doesn’t fare well in this month’s poll. Inexplicably, the song – issued on her fourth EP – went the way of its predecessors into the bargain bins, before being rediscovered by fans of the genre many years later. By that time, the former Raymonde Fleurat had carved out a new life and career across the Atlantic.
Louise Cordet: Don’t let the sun catch you crying
Louise Cordet will forever be associated with her debut single, 1962’s highly catchy I’m just a baby. For many fans, though, the best was still to come. Don’t let the sun catch you crying is a case in point. When Louise appeared on the same bill as Gerry and the Pacemakers on a Beatles tour, Gerry Marsden offered her the song and it became her fourth British 45, in February 1964. Annoyingly for Louise, after it flopped, Marsden released his own version and enjoyed a top ten hit with the result.
Isabella Iannetti: Un amore inutile
Italian singer Isabella Iannetti had trouble recognising herself in the mirror. One minute she was being billed as the next Rita Pavone, the next she was the new Caterina Caselli. None of this helped her career any as she became a poor man’s version of whoever was the most popular singer of the day. Our pick, Un amore inutile, was issued as the B-side to her single È stato bello per me in 1968 – and we reckon it deserves more credit than it has been given.
Ann-Louise Hanson: Nur einen Augenblick
Sweden’s Ann-Louise Hanson joined a host of other Scandinavian singers – Dorthe, Gitte, Siw Malmkvist and Wencke Myhre, to name but a few – in seeking success in Germany. She wasn’t as fortunate as some of the others, arguably because her material wasn’t always quite as strong. On our pick, however, she comes up with the goods. In fact, we reckon it’s by far the best of her German career. It’s just a pity record buyers didn’t agree.
Cilla Black: Love of the loved
We can barely wait for the new three-part television dramatisation of the early years of Cilla Black’s career. The show stars Sheridan Smith and is due to air on ITV very soon (watch a preview on YouTube). According to the blurb, the show “will recount the dark days of her early career, her on-off relationship with Bobby, who struggled to accept Cilla’s iron determination to succeed and become a star at the expense of practically every other area of her life”. Mind you, Cilla’s PR people are all over it, so don’t expect anything too warts-and-all. Never mind. In the meantime, here’s her 1963 debut single, the terrific Love of the loved.
Ivana: Dos veces no
We finish this month with Spain’s Ivana and her version of French star Sylvie Vartan’s It’s not a game, retitled Dos veces no. It was issued on the Malaga-born singer’s second EP, issued in 1966. The release led with the dramatic Es la última noche. Three years later, she took the female lead in the film A 45 revoluciones por minuto, before packing in performing for a career in journalism. Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up.