don't try to touch me,
don't try to touch me
'cause that will never happen again
It's time to continue playing our game
of Six Degrees with the Paris Sisters,
the early 60s sister act/girl group that
was groomed for success by the wizard
behind the Wall of Sound, Phil Spector.
Dell Rat Ron has joined me
again and Ron, looks like
you've got another great
Paris platter cued up!
Shady, in our previous
post we heard "Be My
Boy," the Paris Sisters'
initial release for Phil
Spector on Gregmark
Records as well as
their second release
and biggest career hit,
"I Love How You Love
Me." Both recordings
featured the soft purring
of lead singer Priscilla,
a vocal technique she
learned from the group's
mentor Phil Spector. On
"All Through the Night,"
the B side of their big hit single, The Paris Sisters cut loose
and did some uncharacteristic rocking and rolling.
"All Through the Night" - Paris Sisters (November 1961,
uncharted B side of "I Love How You Love Me")
The Paris Sisters' third Gregmark/Spector single, "He Knows
I Love Him Too Much," didn't burn up the chart like their
previous release, but it was popular enough to make the
top 40. It started out as WSBA York's Pick Hit of the
"He Knows I Love Him Too Much" - Paris Sisters
(March 1962, highest chart position #34)
"Let Me Be The One," the Paris Sisters' 4th Spector/
Gregmark single, I believe also made Pick Hit of the
Week on The Mighty 910. It was another excellent
recording but one of the least successful Gregmarks,
relegated to the lower end of the Billboard Hot 100.
Ron, those sistas
are sensational and
I'll be playing the
killer bee of that
single next time!
Now, move over,
Rover, and let
Shady take over!
Three years after their string of Gregmark hits came to an end the Paris Sisters waxed "Always Waitin'," a quintessential girl group recording that was released on 45 but for some reason never even made the Bubbling Under chart. I found this gem on the girl group anthology Growin' Up Too Fast.
The recording was produced for Mike Curb and the backing track arranged by Jack ("The Lonely Surfer") Nitzsche, one of Phil Spector's famous proteges. Released as a single in 1965 by Mercury Records this one's an under appreciated genre classic.
"Always Waitin'" - Paris Sisters (1965, uncharted)
Shady's Rule: Good girls
are infinitely more exciting
than bad girls.
The Paris Sisters came across as sweet and wholesome but at the same time there was also a hint of seduction. To me that is the most potent combination.
The Paris Sisters exuded more sex appeal than Spector's Ronettes, more than the Shangri-Las, more than Nancy Sinatra or any other female artist or group that opted for
a tough, bold look and sound. Understated girl power beats overstated girl power every time and Priscilla and the Paris Sisters delivered subtle sexiness! Here's more evidence of
it in their 5th Gregmark single, "Yes - I Love You."
"Yes - I Love You" - Paris Sisters (1962, uncharted)
In all fairness there were occasions when those brash and sassy girl groups managed to rival the Paris Sisters in terms of sex appeal. It was when they dialed back the tough girl vibe, revealed a softer side, and allowed themselves to express sadness and vulnerability. The best example I can think of is "Past, Present and Future," a dramatic spoken-word recording by Mary Weiss and the Shangri-Las voiced over Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." "Past, Present and Future" was released as a single in the summer of 1966 and enjoyed only modest chart success. Today, however, it is regarded as one of the Shangri-Las' greatest recordings, a teen angst classic, and was named by Mary Weiss herself as one of the top 5 Shangri-Las executions. Please watch this marvelous interpretation of the Shangri-Las' "Past, Present and Future" performed by a gifted YouTube lip sync artist.
"Past, Present and Future" - Shangri-Las (July 1966,
highest chart position #59, lip sync performed by
What thoughts and feelings run through you
as you listen to the following song?
"In Dreams" - Roy Orbison (April 1963, highest chart
I think of a room filled with sickos and I feel sheer terror.
What kind of images do you see in your
mind's eye when you hear this familiar
old love song?
"Blue Velvet" - Bobby Vinton (October 1963, highest chart
My mind conjures up images of brutal, cruel, sadistic, twisted sociopath Frank Booth unleashing his pent up rage on innocent victims.
Never underestimate the power of
juxtaposition and context to turn beauty
into horror. Ron and I will be exploring
that topic in part 3 when we finish playing
Six Degrees of the Paris Sisters this coming
Monday. Please join us!
Have a Shady day!