Most Americans of a certain vintage will remember Little Peggy March from her huge hit “I Will Follow Him.” The song topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts in the spring of 1963. Only 15 at the time, March stood four foot, ten inches, hence the “little” connotation. She scored a couple more minor US hits until fading into obscurity. But did she?
What many don’t realize is that March enjoyed tremendous success in Europe, especially Germany, for the rest of the 1960s and well into the 1970s. In fact, she moved to Germany in 1969.
She transformed from the perky, petite, brunette “Little” Peggy, to a svelte, blonde vivacious German chanteuse, with a clear, power-packed voice.
She won the Deutscher Schlager Contest in 1965 and her song “Mit 17 hat man noch Träume” (“At 17 you still have dreams”) placed No. 2 in the German Singles Chart. Search for her on YouTube and you’ll many of her German recordings.
One of my favorite of her performances is this one from 1971. She sings “A Banda” (“The Band”—also recorded in German by French ye-ye Girl France Gall in 1968) and the soulful, driving Motown-inspired “Lieben Ist Schoener Als Traumen,” which was a German single for March in 1971. Both songs showcase her powerful voice and versatility. Note the Jay Leno lookalike on guitar at the top of “Lieben…” 😉 Enjoy!
June’s edition of “C’est La Mode” on Miami’s Jolt Radio includes a tribute to the late, great Scott Walker, artists with June birthdays including Brian Wilson and Ray Davies, and of course a great selection of eclectic ’60s pop, soul and more.
You’re All Around Me—The Walker Brothers
I’ll admit, my news sources have been somewhat limited lately, so I was saddened to hear that Scott Walker died earlier this year. I’m a huge fan of his work as primary lead singer of The Walker Brothers, three Yanks who made it BIG in the UK with a string of hits between 1965–1967, including two number ones. One of my favorites is “You’re All Around Me,” written by Scott with female British singer-songwriter Lesley Duncan. The song appeared as the b-side of their single “My Ship Is Coming In” in 1965 and on their debut album “Take It Easy With… .” I love the guitar on this and the female backing singers’ swell on the chorus (mostly likely the prolific Breakaways).
Lightning’s Girl—Nancy Sinatra
There’s more to Sinatra’s 1960s recordings than “These Boots Are Made for Walking.” Case in point is the 1967 single “Lightnings Girl,” penned by long-time collaborator Lee Hazlewood. It packs a power punch: a hybrid of country-psychedelic-pop, highlighted by slinky heavy percussion and a fuzz-tone guitar figure played backwards for sinister effect with strings and cellos. Made the top 30 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Get Rid of Him—Dionne Warwick
A great track from Warwick’s superb 1964 album “Make Way for…,” this jaunty girl group number was penned by Helen Miller and Howard Greenfield (frequent collaborator with Neil Sedaka, (i.e. “Where the Boys Are”). Love the attitude on this, especially the background singers’ advice offering lyrics. Overall it’s a close cousin to the Shirelles’ 1963 hit “Foolish Little Girl,” which was also a Miller/Greenfield composition. The Shirelles were also label mates of Warwick on Scepter Records.