Old Melodies ... | category: Girls | (page 10 of 11)


Old Melodies ...

Beat, Garage,Psychedelic... and much more in one place.

Alice Babs - Lollipop

 A popular singer when she was still a young teenager, Alice Babs has had a long and varied career. She made her recording debut in 1939 at the age of 15 and, although her yodelling made her initially popular and the novelty "Swing It, Mr. Teacher" was her first hit, Babs even at the start had a highly appealing voice and a lightly swinging style. She mostly recorded in jazz and swing-oriented settings throughout the years of World War II. Babs remained active throughout the 1950s and '60s in Europe, singing everything from jazz (recording with Duke Ellington in 1963 and performing the classic "Heaven" at his second spiritual concert) and pop to a bit of classical music. By the late '70s, Alice Babs had become less active but into the mid-'90s, she occasionally performed on special occasions. Although her important first set with Duke Ellington (on Reprise) remains out of print, a Phontastic CD (Swing It!) does a fine job of summing up her first 15 years on records.

Brenda Lee - This Is... Brenda & Emotions

One of the biggest pop stars of the early '60s, Brenda Lee hasn't attracted as much critical respect as she deserves. She is sometimes inaccurately characterized as one of the few female teen idols. More crucially, the credit for achieving success with pop-country crossovers usually goes to Patsy Cline, although Lee's efforts in this era were arguably of equal importance. While she made few recordings of note after the mid-'60s, the best of her first decade is fine indeed, encompassing not just the pop ballads that were her biggest hits, but straight country and some surprisingly fierce rockabilly.

Lee was a child prodigy, appearing on national television by the age of ten, and making her first recordings for Decca the following year (1956). Her first few Decca singles, in fact, make a pretty fair bid for the best preteen rock & roll performances this side of Michael Jackson. 'Bigelow 6-200,' 'Dynamite,' and 'Little Jonah' are all exceptionally powerful rockabilly performances, with robust vocals and white-hot backing from the cream of Nashville's session musicians (including Owen Bradley, Grady Martin, Hank Garland, and Floyd Cramer). Lee would not have her first big hits until 1960, when she tempered the rockabilly with teen idol pop on 'Sweet Nothin's,' which went to the Top Five.

The comparison between Lee and Cline is to be expected, given that both singers were produced by Owen Bradley in the early '60s. Naturally, many of the same session musicians and backup vocalists were employed. Brenda, however, had a bigger in with the pop audience, not just because she was still a teenager, but because her material was more pop than Cline's, and not as country. Between 1960 and 1962, she had a stunning series of huge hits: "I'm Sorry," 'I Want to Be Wanted,' 'Emotions,' 'You Can Depend on Me,' 'Dum Dum,' 'Fool #1,' 'Break It to Me Gently,' and 'All Alone Am I' all made the Top Ten. Their crossover appeal is no mystery. While these were ballads, they were delivered with enough lovesick yearning to appeal to adolescents, and enough maturity for the adults. The first-class melodic songwriting and professional orchestral production guaranteed that they would not be ghettoized in the country market.

Lee's last Top Ten pop hit was in 1963, with 'Losing You.' While she still had hits through the mid-'60s, these became smaller and less frequent with the rise of the British Invasion (although she remained very popular overseas). The best of her later hits, 'Is It True?,' was a surprisingly hard-rocking performance, recorded in 1964 in London with Jimmy Page on guitar. 1966's 'Coming on Strong,' however, would prove to be her last Top 20 entry.

In the early '70s, Lee reunited with Owen Bradley and, like so many early white rock & roll stars, returned to country music. For a time she was fairly successful in this field, making the country Top Ten half-a-dozen times in 1973-1974. Although she remained active as a recording and touring artist, for the last couple of decades she's been little more than a living legend, directing her intermittent artistic efforts to the country audience. By Richie Unterberger

 This Is... Brenda  1960

 Brenda Lee's third album was significantly above the average for a pop/rock LP of the era. The orchestrated Nashville production was lush but tasteful, Lee's singing unfailingly committed, and the material pretty strong, even if there was nothing else on the album as strong as its big hit, "I Want to Be Wanted." The record did lean more toward pop than rock, but it was clearly not either Nashville country or straight adult pop, even if by this time in her career she was taking her shots at (and doing quite well with) standards like "Teach Me Tonight." The rock & roll side of her sound was represented by "Love and Learn" and covers of Ray Charles' "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" and Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" and "Walking to New Orleans," though she really did better with the ballads. And some of the ballads here are among her stronger material that you won't find on typical Lee greatest-hits collections, à la "If I Didn't Care," "Pretend," and "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)." It was certainly among the most commercially successful of her albums, reaching number four in the LP charts.

 Emotions 1961

Brenda Lee's fourth album, Emotions, stayed with the approach she'd used on her previous LP, This Is...Brenda, mixing gorgeously produced Nashville orchestration with a bit of rock & roll and lush pop ballads. While it was the kind of record that could appeal to both kids and adults, it wasn't watered down, as the production on its own was pretty delightful to listen to, matched by the excellence of Lee's incredibly (for a teenager) mature vocals. "Emotions" was the big hit on the record, which also contained its B-side, "I'm Learning About Love," which made the Top 40 under its own steam. Nothing else on the album is too well known to listeners other than serious Lee fans. But there are some good ballads here, particularly "If You Love Me (Really Love Me)," which is nearly on par with her big hits in that style. While the rock covers (the Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind" and "Swanee River Rock") were more on the filler side, Lee still brought commitment to each and every one of her vocals. Also leaning toward the rock & roll side of things was a decent frisky number, "Crazy Talk," co-penned by Mel Tillis, who had a few of his tunes cut by rock & roll artists in his early years.

Julie London - Our Fair Lady (1965)

 Julie London spent most of the 1960s recording middle-of-the-road vocal pop albums of varying degrees of worth before returning to West Coast jazz with a vengeance on 1965's All Through the Night. Recorded the same year as that excellent Cole Porter tribute, the bland Our Fair Lady comes off like corporate payback for a quick jazz rebellion. The arrangements on this release are lifeless, and though she projected a sexy, confident image on album covers, Julie London was always better at singing torch songs of unrequited love then whispering winking, come-hither tracks like "Never on Sunday" or kitsch songs such as "Theme From a Summer Place." While Our Fair Lady seems like a stopgap release, the balance between jazz and upscale pop was achieved on London's next release, the fine For the Night People.

Julie London - Our Fair Lady (1965)

Brenda Lee - By Request (1964)

By Request, a Top 100 album for Brenda Lee in 1964, is heavy on ubiquitous easy listening ballads like "Days of Wine and Roses," "Tammy," and "Blue Velvet," but don't pass it over just yet. It also contains four of Lee's hits from 1963: "My Whole World Is Falling Down," "I Wonder," "The Grass Is Greener," and "As Usual," all of which charted in the Top 25. They are also reissued on the two-disc set Anthology, Vols. 1 & 2 (1956-1980), which leaves half a dozen overly familiar adult contemporary songs for your consideration. By Request offers a useful roundup of hit singles for vinyl addicts, but no surprises for completists.

Brenda Lee - By Request (1964)

Connie Francis - Artists Of The Week

 . Heartbeat (02:37)
. He's My Dreamboat (02:41)
. Jealous Heart (02:32)
. La Paloma (02:35)
. Mama He's Makng Eyes Of Me (02:14)
. Many Tears Ago (01:53)
. My Happiness (02:26)
. My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own (02:30)
. No One (02:46)
. Oh Boy (02:36)
. Playin' Games (02:10)
. Quierema Mucho (02:51)
. Raining In My Heart (03:04)
. Second Hand Love (02:49)
. Spanish Nights And You (02:20)
. Vacation (02:19)
. When The Boy In Your Arms (02:41)
. Where The Boys Are (02:36)
. Who's Sorry Now (02:15)
. Whose Heart Are You Breaking Tonght (02:21)
. Your Other Love (02:04)
. Zingara Gypsy (03:00)

Connie Francis - Artists Of The Week

Dinah Lee – The Sound Of Dinah Lee (1965)

Dinah Lee – The Sound Of Dinah Lee (1965)

 Dinah Lee is the stage name of New Zealand-born singer, Diane Marie Jacobs (born 19 August 1946), who performed 1960s pop and then adult contemporary music. Her debut single from early 1964, "Don't You Know Yockomo?", achieved No. 1 chart success in New Zealand and, across the Tasman Sea, in Brisbane and Melbourne. It was followed in September by her cover of Jackie Wilson's, "Reet Petite", which also reached No. 1 in New Zealand and peaked at No. 6 in Melbourne. The Australian release was a double A-sided single with "Do the Blue Beat". On her early singles she was backed by fellow New Zealanders, Max Merrit & His Meteors. Lee appeared regularly on both New Zealand and Australian television variety programs, including Sing, Sing, Sing and Bandstand. She toured supporting Johnny O'Keefe, Ray Columbus & the Invaders and P.J. Proby. According to Australian rock music journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, in the 1960s, "Lee was the most successful female singer of in [sic] both her New Zealand homeland and Australia ... on stage and on record Dinah had all the adventure and exuberance for the time the boys had"

01 what kind of love is this (2:03)
02 what did he say (2:16)
03 twist and shout (1:53)
 04 It's for you (2:10)
 05 oh boy (1:41)
 06 hey chickie baby (1:53)
07 i'll forgive you then forget you (2:16)
08 he can't do the blue beat (1:45)
09 long way from st louis (2:17)
10 shout (2:35)
11 hot spot (2:12)
12 is it true (2:13)

1965 album for kiwi songstress Dinah Lee, good beat, pop and even ska from this talented vocalist
Songs: What Kind of Love Is This, What Did He Say, Twist and Shout, It's For You, Oh Boy, Hey Chickie Baby, I'll Forgive You, Then Forget You, He Can't Do the Blue Beat, Long Way From St Louis, Shout, Hot Spot

Glenda Collins - This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'

Glenda Collins - This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'

One of the many girl group-type solo singers who had a hard time making it in Britain in the early and mid-'60s, let alone the United States, Collins released 11 singles -- all flops -- between 1960 and 1966. Any interest she's been able to attract from collectors is due to her association with legendary British producer Joe Meek, who was at the helm of eight of the 45s. There's no question that Meek did his level best for his protégée, writing most of the singles himself and investing many of them with his immediately identifiable eccentric production values -- tons of echo, manic speeded-up tapes, weedy organs, and over-the-top orchestras. The stinging session guitar of Ritchie Blackmore graces a few of these singles, some of which were recorded with British instrumental groups the Tornados (of "Telstar" fame) and the Outlaws. Collins herself had a fairly good, belting voice, though she didn't show a particularly deep feeling for rock & roll. Collins never recorded again after Meek's death in early 1967.

Glenda Collins - This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'
Alice Babs - LollipopBrenda Lee - This Is... Brenda & EmotionsJulie London - Our Fair Lady (1965)Brenda Lee - By Request (1964)Gigi & The Night ShadowsNastya - Bridges over Neva Patti Page -The Singing Rage RocksConnie Francis - Artists Of The WeekDinah Lee – The Sound Of Dinah Lee (1965)Glenda Collins - This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'

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