Masthead

Our pick of the pops, April 2011

Vote for your favourite or comment using the forms at the foot of the page.

 

Fulvia

Una bambina grande

Very little is known about Italian singer Fulvia. She appears to have cut one disc for the small Saint Martin Record label – and this is it. Still, she’s in good company: the marvellous Giulia Shell, who we featured a couple of months back, also recorded for the label. Issued in 1968, this 45 featured backing from the Sili orchestra. Unjustly, it failed to sell by the bucketload and now is treasured only by enthusiasts like us.  

 

Jan Burnnette

Too young

British singer Jan Burnnette issued a clutch of singles in the early 1960s. Til I hear the truth from you and The boy I used to know are perhaps her best known tracks. On the latter she was accompanied by The Breakaways. Whether it’s the Liverpudlian trio providing back ups on this 1964 release, we couldn’t say. (But our guess would be yes.) Lyrically, the song’s cry for acceptance for an underage love is a familiar one, but there’s something about Jan’s vocal that lends it a particular poignancy.

 

Anne Kern

Il ne veut plus me croire

We’re feeling a bit soulful this month, as you’ll probably have worked out from our British female northern soul special. If purists class British soul as inferior to the American variety, we can’t help but wonder what they’d make of this French take on Betty Everett’s Gettin’ mighty crowded. OK, we probably can guess, but we won’t let that put us off. After all, where would French yé-yé have been without Anglophone hits to cover? This track by Anne Kern is one of our favourites. Now, where did we put that talcum powder? We want to get dancing...

 

Susanne Tremper

5 Uhr morgens

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a sweet song. Behind its charming melody, there’s a tale of insomnia and heartbreak. Poor Susanne: as the song’s title suggests, it’s five o’clock in the morning, and she’s been up all night. But not in a good way. She caught her boyfriend carrying on with another girl. Or, as Susanne describes her, “the girl from the drug store... with the tasteless lemon-yellow pullover”. Miaow. Presumably, the fact that this fabulous single didn’t propel Susanne into stardom didn’t help her mood any. Instead, she went back to providing voiceovers for films, including various Disney classics.

 

Gelu

Muy cerca de ti

We’ll be publishing a full profile of Spanish ye-yé star Gelu next month, but in the meantime we bring you this gem, Muy cerca de ti. The Granada-born singer was one of Spain’s first ye-yé girls, scoring hit after hit from 1960 onwards. Our pick is from 1966 – ironically, a time when Gelu’s career was beginning to go into decline. Competition from singers such as Karina and Rosalía was proving too fierce. When teenage record buyers lost interest in her recording career, Gelu followed suit, hanging up her mike for good at the end of the decade.

 

Tonia

Skibeldibabdi-baby

Tonia is best known internationally for 1966’s Un peu de poivre, un peu de sel, which gave her native Belgium its highest placing to date at the Eurovision song contest. Born Arlette Antonia Domenicus, she issued a string of singles in Belgium, often releasing versions in both Flemish and French. These included Geef mij voor mijn verjaardag toch een Beatle/Pour mon anniversaire je voudrais un Beatle, versions of a single originally by German girl group Die Sweetles. In fact, many of her releases were takes on German songs, including our pick, the B-side of her single Un grand bateau. Perhaps that explains why she went on to try her luck over the border in Germany, where she is remembered for Texas Cowboy Pferde Sattel Verkäuferin, from the 1969 Schlagerwettbewerb.  

Hear Fulvia Una bambina grande

 

Una bambina grande

Fulvia

Hear Jan Burnnette Too young

 

 

Too young

Jan Burnnette

Hear Anne Kern Il ne veut plus me croire

 

Il ne veut plus me croire

Hear Susanne Tremper 5 Uhr morgens

 

 

5 Uhr morgens

Susanne Tremper

Hear Gelu Muy cerca de ti

 

Muy cerca de ti

Hear Tonia Skibeldibabdi-baby

 

Skibeldibabdi-baby

Tonia

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Our pick of the pops

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Anne Kern - Ne crains rien Gelu: Reir reir reir Fulvia: Una bambina grande Jan Burnnette: Too young Susanne Tremper: 5 Uhr morgens Tonia: Un grand bateau