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Our pick of the pops, April 2014

Hear Lady Lee: Ninety nine times out of a hundred

Lady Lee

Ninety nine times out of a hundred

Hear Laura: Tu loca juventud

Laura

Tu loca juventud

Hear Die Crazy Girls: Der Feuerstuhl

Die Crazy Girls

Der Feuerstuhl

Hear Betina: Hay tantos chicos en el mundo

Muriel Day

Nine times out of ten

Hear Agnès Loti: Mais peut-être

Agnès Loti

Mais peut-être

Hear Sonia e le Sorelle: Lo faccio per amore

Kiki Dee

Senza te

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Our pick of the pops

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Lady Lee: Ninety nine times out of a hundred

Lady Lee may have passed largely under the radar back in the 1960s, but these days she brings this website literally thousands of visitors, sometimes in one day. And all because she was the wife of TV’s Kenny Everett. When the BBC broadcast a drama about the gay funny man last year, interest in his one-time singer wife proved phenomenal. (She was played in the 90-minute drama by Katherine Kelly, who has starred most recently as Lady May in the series Mr Selfridge.) In our choice this month, Lady Lee performs the catchy Ninety nine times out of a hundred. We love it, though she never really cared for it.

 

Laura: Tu loca juventud

Issued in 1965, Tu loca juventud remains perhaps the best known of Spanish singer Laura’s career. She was born Clotilde Rodríguez Blanco, but took the shorter stage name Laura when she was offered her first recording contract, with Mercury, in 1964. She later joined first Philips then NoVoLa before swapping a solo career for work as part of girl group Ellas.

 

Die Crazy Girls: Der Feuerstuhl

The uninitiated might imagine the Shangri-Las’ Leader of the pack to be the campest record ever made. We reckon it comes a close second to this, Der Feuerstuhl, the German take on the ‘death disc’ classic. There is something about the slightly po-faced vocal delivery that could launch a thousand German drag acts – and keep them up to their Spanks in bookings. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the Crazy Girls themselves. The trio – Rosi Rohr, Gretel Kästel and Dutch singer Ans Plevier – enjoyed success as part of the Botho-Lucas-Chor in the early 1960s, with hits such as Berliner Polka, and Danke, but couldn’t repeat it in this incarnation.  

 

Muriel Day: Nine times out of ten

Some regard this song as a guilty pleasure from Britain’s northern soul scene. It's not the coolest of tracks you'll hear on a dance night, but it'll have you up on the floor all the same. It was written by Peter Warne, one of the writers behind Lulu’s Eurovision song contest winner, Boom bang-a-bang. Indeed it was at the contest in Madrid where he first met Muriel Day, who was there representing Ireland. Her song failed to convince judges on the night, but Ireland's record-buying public loved it all the same, and the song, Wages of love, kept Marvin Gaye’s I heard it through the grapevine off the Irish number one spot.

 

Agnès Loti: Mais peut-être

French singer Agnès Loti started out as a Jordanette, part of the group that provided backing vocals for singer Frankie Jordan. However, she jumped at the chance of a solo career and C’est toi mon idole – her version of Millie Small’s My boy lollipop – became the lead track of her debut EP. Issued on the AZ label in 1964, the disc proved her biggest hit. We think the three other tracks on the release may have contributed to its success. Here’s one of our favourites, the original Mais peut-être.  

 

Kiki Dee: Senza te

By 1965, Kiki Dee was in need of a hit, no matter in which country. She was duly dispatched to Italy to join fellow countrywomen Anita Harris, Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark at the San Remo song festival. There she performed Aspetta domani, which had been written by Italian singer Fred Bongusto, who also sang the same song, as was the custom at the time. It didn’t win but Kiki’s recording was considered strong enough to gain an Italian release. Even better was its B-side, Senza te, a version of her UK single Baby I don’t care. The singer would go on to cut material in French, German and Spanish too.

Laura: Tu loca juventud Lady Lee: Ninety nine times out of a hundred Die Crazy Girls: Der Feuerstuhl Muriel Day: Nine times out of ten Agnès Loti: C’est toi mon idole Kiki Dee: Aspetta domani 0 Bar small

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