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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Army Typist=It's My Party

It was sad to hear that Lesley Gore had died of lung cancer in Manhattan on Monday, aged 68. I so well remember Gore's biggest hit, It's My Party, when it came out in 1963. Gore as just 16 at the time. She was born in Brooklyn on May 2, 1946.
Lesley Gore on Hullabaloo in March 1965
It's My Party is an anagram for Army Typist.
Gore was never in the army and she was not a typist. But the woman who recorded the demo of It's My Party was a typist. 
She was Barbara Jean English (above, 1946-). It's My Party was written in 1962 by John Gluck, Wally Gold and Herb Weiner, who were staff writers at Aaron Schroeder Music. English was a girl group veteran (The Clickettes, The Fashions) who was then working as both a receptionist-typist and, with Jimmy Radcliffe, serving as Shroeder's in-house demo singer. Radcliffe produced the demo and according to English "tried to persuade Musicor [the label owned by Schroeder] to release it as a record, or to take me into a master studio and redo it, but they weren't interested."
The first real recording of the song was by England's Helen Shapiro in Nashville in February 1963. Shapiro had heard English's demo in London. But the track was not chosen as an advance single from her album and by the time the album was released in October Gore's version had long since been a hit.
The Clickettes in 1959, with Barbara Jean English bottom left.
Gore heard English's demo when her producer Quincy Jones brought 200 discs for her to review in the den of her family home in February 1963. It proved to be the only demo Gore and Jones found agreeable. Gore recorded It's My Party in Manhattan on March 30.
Meanwhile, further south, Cuban rebel army typists in 1959

1 comment:

Bill M said...

I played many of Lesley Gore's songs many times throughout my life. This is the first time I knew of the relation to Army Typist. She will live on through her songs -- which I have in my record collection.