14 Comments

  1. Wow, I had no idea she had done this or that it was a hit, and was a couple years before “To Sir With Love”. At the time, I thought she was mostly an actress, who incidentally could sing, so as long as they had her for an acting part, why not give her the title song too?

    Then much later, as “herself” (sort of – but these things are always just sort-of) on Ab Fab, I realized she had had something of a career all along, and was well-known enough to be a client and a desirable party guest.

    A quick look at IMDb tells me she is just short of a year older than me, and did not immediately tell me her ‘government name’ as they say now, if indeed it was not actually LuLu. I was for some reason looking up another Lulu recently who turned out to be Louise, and that seems to be pretty standard. Louise Brooks was apparently sometimes called Lulu. But NPR broadcaster Lulu Garcia-Navarro is Lourdes, and often credited either way just as often.

  2. Born in Glasgow in 1948. As a teenager, she toured the northern clubs with her band, “the Luvvers”. After her initial success with a cover of “Shout” reaching #7 in 1964, Lulu went on to establish herself as one of the biggest-selling British female singers of the 1960s. She made her film début in To Sir, with Love (1967), starring Sidney Poitier, and performed the title song, which went to No. 1 in the U.S., but was only released as a B-side in the UK with the A-side, “Let’s Pretend”, making #11. She was one of four joint winners of the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest with “Boom Bang-a-Bang”. In 1969, she married The Bee Gees’ Maurice Gibb, and moved more into family entertainment, building on the success of her self-titled BBC television show. She recorded a version of David Bowie’s song “The Man Who Sold the World,” which reached #3 in the UK charts (it hadn’t charted for Bowie), and sang the title theme to the James Bond feature The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), both in 1974.

  3. The Isley Brothers original had Part 1 on the A side of the 45. At the end it had a long note hanging with some crowd noise in anticipation so the DJ could segue right into part 2 on the other turntable with side B. ‘Member?

    You know, the 7″ vinyl with the big hole.

  4. A little surprised to see a white woman’s cover of a black-penned song here this week, but I, too, hadn’t realized that Lulu’s version had been a big hit in the UK.

  5. dollarbill, I was just yesterday in another thread talking about those 7-inch big-hole 45 RPM records. For a long time these continued to be made and sold, as the way “singles” would be released; and as the form that juke boxes would be loaded with. Geezers may also remember the variety of adapters used so that these big-hole records could be played on the narrow-spindle record players.

    But my note yesterday was about the way 45s could be used to form a set, e.g. for a longer composition or for a movie soundtrack or Broadway musical. (I was referencing “Hans Christian Andersen” as a soundtrack.) Though we’re calling the discs “singles” they could sometimes hold two songs. If you package together two or three of these 45s, you could get some six or up to ten songs in the set, and package them in a multi-segment cardboard folder, like what would be “double albums” in the 12-inch 33+1/3 LP rock era.

    It occurs to me now that we called the 33+1/3 records “albums” even when they were mostly packaged individually, one LP in one cover. Today still referred to as “album covers”. Since the 45s were so often packaged as sets, in a literal album, as were of course also the awkward sets of 78s, probably the term “album” for even one LP was a carryover from this era of literal albums at the older format records.

  6. Not quite a woman – she was only 15 when this came out in 1964.

    Shout became her sort of signature – Lulu appeared in a French and Saunders* sketch decades later (1996) where they were supposed to be body-guarding her. Eventually she launches into Shout once too often and F & S shoot her.

    Lulu was subject of a BBC “Who Do You Think You Are?” genealogy show episode in 2017, where she “uncovers the real-life Romeo and Juliet story of her Catholic grandfather and Protestant grandmother’s love affair across [Glasgow]’s strict sectarian divide. Digging deeper, she discovers some dark secrets about her grandfather’s past”. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0920g62

    *(I don’t know if French and Saunders as a sketch show travelled far internationally, but French was The Vicar of Dibley and Saunders created and was in Ab Fab, both of which, I believe, did).

  7. I actually got into the French and Saunders sketch show, on VHS rental tapes, well before diving into Ab Fab.

  8. The “album” term started with 78s. They came in a book with sleeves for the individual records.

  9. narmitaj, I followed your link, but it says that video is not currently available. How did you watch it?

  10. Edit/update: I did see the clips, which is what you probably saw, too. I’d love to see the whole thing.

  11. Speaking of 45s (singles) and LPs (albums), then there were EPs, which stood for “extended play.” They had 2 songs on a side, and always had a picture sleeve, which most of the 45s did not, in US, at least.
    One kid joked that EP stood for Elvis Presley, who had a few of them.

    I played the heck out of my Little Richard and Elvis EPs, and could even compare the versions of Rip It Up by both Elvis and Little Richard, who wrote it. Credits said his name (R. Penniman). His was better.

  12. Even after the development of CD technology, someone in marketing (or whatever) saw the need for a format that was promoted as EP — …

    I got that far, then stopped to look up some facts (like the standard size of a CD was 120mm), and at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_play found a more complicated history than I remembered, or than noted in dollarbill’s comment.

    … Anyway, objective facts off to one side, I remember being surprised in the 90s by physically smaller-diameter CDs. Just as the 7-inch 45rpm singles could be played on thin-spindle turntables made for 33+1/3rpm LPs, maybe requiring a special adapter snapped into the hole or maybe just a little thing built in to the turntable that could be riased — these mini-CDs also could maybe be plopped into a CD player that could self-adjust, or might be used with a snap-on adapter. The snap-on adapter for the mini-CDs went on the outside, while the adapter for the 45s went on the inside.

    The mini-CD that I ended up owning (and playing when I could be bothered to fiddle with the adapter) was Leonard Cohen’s (and Sharon Robinson’s) “Everybody Knows” — a selection of maybe 4 tracks from the LP (or full CD) release “I’m Your Man”.

  13. Further footnote to dollarbill’s comment — in the 1960s my friends and I “discovered” the songwriting credits in tiny print on the paper labels on LPs. So for instance we thought we had uncovered a big secret in noticing that Donovan’s songs were credited to a “D. Leitch.”
    (His performer stage name is apparently still “Donovan”, and “Donovan Leitch” is his son, an actor. Also per imdb, “Ione Skye was born on September 4, 1970 in Hampstead, London, England as Ione Skye Leitch”)

  14. Album makes more sense for the set of records which came in an “album” as shown by Brian in STL than the second record that became called an album.

    I grew up with 78s that were my parents’ – South Pacific, the Mikado, HMS Pinafore, Oklahoma… (plus lots of 45’s and 33.3s).

    To me 45s and 33.3s were the “new” type of records.

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