Monday, February 17, 2020

Goodbye Pearl Carr (1923 - 2020)

British Eurovision pioneer Pearl Carr has passed away at the age of 98.
With her husband Teddy Johnson she represented the United Kingdom in 1959 with Sing Little Birdie and ended second behind the Dutch Teddy.
Sing Little Birdie became an evergreen even though it only made it to #12 in the U.K. charts. It got to #8 in the Dutch charts and was a popular song in Scandinavian countries.

The oldest tracable record featuring Pearl Carr I could find is Blue For A Boy with Dick James (1951).
Update: No it isn't, Lou Preager's Hang On The Bell Nelly from 1949 features Pearl Carr and Rusty Hurren on vocals.

Later Pearl Carr was a vocalist fore Dave King and the Keynotes. She was a frequent singer and comedian on various radio shows until she met her husband Teddy Johnson.
From then on they continued as a duo, performing on many British TV shows.
A rare record in picture sleeve was the EP Meet Teddy and Pearl which includes the 1957 single Tomorrow Tomorrow.
About a dozen singles followed up to 1965.
They only managed to score one more U.K. top 40 hit: How Wonderful To Know (#23 in 1961)
Teddy Johnson passed away in 2018 also at the age of 98.

Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson participated twice in the U.K. selection for Eurovision, each time with two songs.

Eurovision Song Contest British Final 1959
- Sing Little Birdie (finalist and winner)
- That’s It, That’s Love (semi) unreleased

Eurovision Song Contest British Final 1960
- When The Tide Turns (finalist)
- Pickin' Petals (semi)
Both songs on U.K. 7” HMV 45-POP 697
It was Teddy's brother Bryan Johnson who took the trophy and ended up 2nd in the Eurovision Song Contest with Looking High, High, High.

Sing Little Birdie releases
U.K. 7”   (Columbia 45-DB 4275), promos exist
U.K. 78 rpm   (Columbia DB 4275)
Netherlands 7”     (Columbia 45-DB 4275)
Germany 7”    (Columbia  C 21166)
Norway 7”    (Columbia 45 DD 697) Yellow vinyl
US 7”    (Capitol F 4211) possibly promo only

Sing Little Birdie proved to be a popular tune in Scandinavia, with 11 listed coverversions in Nordic languages. 
Some more Eurocovers post with The Birdie Song: Teddy Scholten, Oslo Weeks, Carla Boni, Festivalfavoriter, Marie Dieke / Ria Solar.

Below is a list of all the coverversions I know of. There's probably more, please let us know.
(It's a picture / scan of a word document, so it will be here forever, click it and it gets bigger and you can download it.)

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Rotterdam weeks: A Dream Come True for Cilla Black fans

Cilla Black, British institution, I guess she needs no introduction to most Eurocovers readers.
Below (at the end of this post) you can hear her lovely coverversion of the Dutch 1984 entry Ik Hou Van Jou as A Dream Come True. (It's Rotterdam weeks after all).
Cilla Black released her version of the Dutch classic in 1993 on her album Through The Years. (CD, LP and MC)
A Dream Come True also ended up as the b-side of the single Heart And Soul (recorded with Dusty Springfield). (7"inch and cdsingle)

You're Sensational!
The legendary singer, TVshow host and all round showbizz star passed away in 2015.
Now, for the first time, an unreleased song is released. On Valentines day!
You're Sensational was recorded in the early 70's and only recently uncovered. The track is remixed by Matt Pop.
There are two versions: An extended remix and a radio edit.
It's a digital single (ltd cdsingles are sold out now) but let's all buy it or stream it and get Cilla back to #1. (I'm talking to you Brits here, make it happen!, Update:  It didn't.).

You're Sensational at iTunes, Amazon
and a link to all digitessen

A nice bit of Eurovision trivia about Cilla Black, who of course would have been the dream representative for the U.K.. In fact (or: allegedly, to be safe) she was asked if she was interested to do Eurovision in 1968. Cilla didn't think it was a good idea to have another female singer after Sandie Shaw's victory and she declined.
She ended up hosting the Song For Europe contest that year with Cliff Richard in her BBC TV Show Cilla and Cliff ended up with Congratulations and a 2nd place in the London Eurovision.

I Can't Go On Living Without You
In 1969 it was Lulu's turn to do A Song For Europe. One of the six songs she performed was I Can't Go On Living Without You written by then little known songwriter duo Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Hard to believe now, but the song came last.
Cilla Black recorded the song for her LP  Sweet Inspiration (1970) and it was released as a single in Venezuela, New Zealand and as a b-side in Japan.

Links and sources
Cilla Black Website and FB
Matt Pop FB and more Matt Pop at Eurocovers
More Ik Hou Van Jou coverversions posts

Monday, February 10, 2020

La Strada Per Rotterdam: Diodato's Piove

Here's a lovely videoclip of Piove by Diodato, the 2020 Eurovision singer for Italy.

Piove a.k.a. Ciao Ciao Bambina was 2nd the Sanremo winner for Domenico Modugno and also his 2nd Eurovision entry. The song ended (only) 6th in the contest and was another worldwide hit after the Grammy winning 1958 entry Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare).

Diodato's Piove is taken from the 2014 album A Ritrovar Bellezza including coverversions of several Sanremo and other Italian classics.

Diodato will perform Fai Rumore in the Rotterdam contest. You can read all about that and full Sanremo 2020 release stuff and more Diodato info here at the Rotterdam Collection.

Find more: Piove at the 10.000 coverversions project and other related Eurocovers posts.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Rotterdam weeks: Una Salsa Para Amsterdam

40 years ago the Eurovision Song Contest was held in The Hague, Netherlands. Not because the Dutch had won but because Israel ran out of steam after two victories.
The Dutch entry, Amsterdam by Maggie MacNeal did well and ended 5th.
On the "Is it a classic meter" it scores about 8 I guess, it's one of those tunes many people can still sing along to after 40 years.
It has been covered a few times and remarkably half of those are in Finnish.
Here's one I didn't know about yet even though it's almost 20 years old.

Gerardo Rosales a.k.a. Señor Tambo is from Venezuela but he moved to the Netherlands in 1993.
He has recorded over 20 albums and worked as a percussionist for many artists and orchestras. Live and in the studio.

This track is from the CD La Salsa Es Mi Vida which was recorded in New York and released on the Dutch Jazz label Javaanse Jongens Tracks in 2001. (and even on SACD, I know some of you like that)
Vocals are by Astrid "La Holandesa" (Astrid Pulles)
It's a Salsa style Amsterdam for the dancefloor and I love it and so will you.

Gerardo Rosales website

More Rotterdam Weeks Eurocovers Specials