yardie's reggae collection - artist page



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1964-1966 - Spectrum - studio - discs:1

Millicent Small was born on October 8th, 1946 in Clarendon parish, Jamaica. In 1958 she entered the Vere John's Opportunity talent contest, followed by her victory at the Palladium Theatre in Montego Bay. Four years later she moved to Kingston where Clement "Coxson" Dodd placed her under the wing of the singer Owen Gray. He taugh her vocal technique and their collaborations were released as pre-releases for Dodd's Sound System. A song called "Sugar Plum" was a radio hit. Around spring 1962 Millie recorded with samuel Augustus "Roy" Panton the succesful "We'll Meet", released by Roy Robinson's E&R label. The duo called Roy & Millie hit the dance with further singles cut for Dood, Lindon Pottinger's Gay Disc Records and Prince Buster. During 1962 the legendary Chris Blackwell had released her singles in the UK on his Island label. In 1963 Blackwell, along with his partners Graeme Goodall and Leslie Kong, brought her to London where a England tour followed. In London Millie cut three singles under Blackwell's tutor and associate, Harry Robinson. By this time Blackwell and Chris Peers established B.P.R. (Blackwell-Peers-Robinson) production company. Their international hit was "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry" by the London duo The Caravelles. In London Blackwell made Millie to record her self-composed single "Don't You Know" for Fontana Records. The single was not a success and Blackwell opted for a different musical approach. He called the great Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin to oversee the arrangements and add some Jamaican oriented flavour. The choice proved succesful and Millie hit the streets in February 1964 with the stellar "My Boy Lollipop", a single backed by the British rhythm & blues group The Five Dimensions. This song had been previously cut in 1958 by the American unknown rock'n'roller Barbie Gaye. The first recording of "My Boy Lollipop" had the harmonica of The Five Dimensions's front man Jimmy Powell, but Blackwell did not like it and called Pete Hogman to recut it. The present collection presents the original version. The song, a mixture of Ska and Pop, selled 300.000 in three months and reached number two in the national charts. In March Fontana released the following single "Sweet William" (with "Oh Henry" as its B-side). The single was not a success in the UK, and sold just a little better on the American market. Fontana records soon released her debut album called "More Millie". The set was arranged by Ernest Ranglin. It contained some good material including a version of Derrick Harriot's "Sugar Dandy", a version of the South African Elias & His Zig-Zag Jive Flutes group' "Tom Hark", and a version of Chuck Willis's "What Am I Living For". During 1965 Millie appeared in countless TV shows and live performances. Blackwell created the duo Jackie & Millie, bringing the Jamaican Wilfred Jackie Edwards and Millie in the studio to cut a lot of singles. Blackwell also brough to London James Chambers, also known as Jimmy Cliff. Their efforts was called "Hey Boy, Hey Girl", a version of Oscar McLollie & Jennette Baker's 1958 hit. Other hits came with her collaboration with the Spencer Davis Group, including the version of the Ikettes' "I'm Blue". At this point the 60's Ska was spreading everywhere, but her success started to fade. In 1971 she left London and moved to Singapore. Two years later she went back to London, but the glorious days were gone. In 1987 she received the Medal of Appreciation from Jamaican Prime Minister, Edward Seaga. This is the story of a Jamaican country girl that hit the world during the 60's with Pop oriented songs. Some of them are worth listening and are very very enjoyable, even if the Jamaican flavour is missing most of the times. Surely "My Boy Lollipop" is a song that is still able to shake the floor and the audience, almost fifty years after when it was recorded.!


1. My Boy Lollipop
2. Tom Hark
3. Sweet William
4. Chilly Kisses
5. Jackie & Millie - Ooh Ooh [aka Ooo-Ooo]
6. Jackie & Millie - Wings Of A Dove
7. Jackie & Millie - Killer Joe
8. Jackie & Millie - Be My Guest
9. Jackie & Millie - Since I Met You Baby
10. Jackie & Millie - Don't You Know
11. Jackie & Millie - My Street
12. Jackie & Millie - You Better Forget
13. Jackie & Millie - Pledging My Love
14. Jackie & Millie - Bloodshot Eyes
15. Jackie & Millie - Sugar Dandy
16. Jackie & Millie - What Am I Living For
17. Millie & Jimmy Cliff - Hey Boy, Hey Girl
18. Spencer Davis Group featuring Millie - I'm Blue [Gong Gon Song]
19. Spencer Davis Group featuring Millie - Oh Henry
20. Ernest Ranglin & Orchestra - My Boy Lollipop [Instrumental Version]

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yardie-reggae.com - 2007