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|Title - 'White Horses'
Artist - Jackie Lee
For those not in the know, Jackie Lee is an Irish popular music singer, who has actually recorded under various names. Lee was a musical child prodigy. She won a scholarship and trained as a soprano for four years. Upon finishing her studies she became a vocalist with the top show bands playing prestigious Irish venues.
Lee experienced similar success when she moved to London and joined the popular dance band; The Squadronaires. In 1955 her first solo record was released, followed by a further two the next year. From 1959 to 1964, Lee was a member of The Raindrops, a successful quartet who made countless appearances on British TV and variety shows, had a BBC Radio show and released a string of records, the majority of which had Lee as lead vocalist.
In 1962, she entered the UK heats of the Eurovision Song Contest as a solo act with 'There's No-one in the Whole Wide World' and performed it at the British national finals for BBC TV. This number was later covered and performed by The Beatles in concerts during this period.
Lee decided to become a solo artist in 1965 and recorded 'beat' records until 1967. One of these releases, "Just Like a Man", reached the NME chart. The B-side; "I Gotta Be With You", were in the Northern soul idiom. Lee recorded this single under the name of 'Emma Reade' for EMI. Lee also had an alternative career as a respected session singer, through her groups The Jackie Lee Singers and Tears of Joy. She provided the backing vocals for such global number ones as 'Green Green Grass of Home' by Tom Jones and 'Release Me' by Englebert Humperdink. She demonstrated her unique vocal range, ability and versatility on such diverse recordings as 'Hey Joe' by Jimi Hendrix; and much of the James Last catalogue at the time.
In 1968, as 'Jacky', she had a UK Top Ten hit single with 'White Horses', the theme from a Children's TV programme. In 2003, her definitive version was voted the best TV theme tune of all time by The Penguin Television Companion. Her jazz-styled album of the same name was also released in 1968, which included contributions from Dudley Moore as pianist.
By 1970, 'Jacky' reverted to 'Jackie Lee' and had another hit record; "Rupert" from the TV show based on the famous cartoon character, Rupert Bear. It was shortly after this that she prematurely retired owing to vocal complications and throat trouble, yet she remained a respected vocalist and, it has been said, that her work has "firmly embedded itself in the subconscious of a generation.
Released via Gonzo MultiMedia on November 4th, 2016, White Horses: Expanded Edition has already put a lot of smiles on a lot of her fans' faces. Bringing together the original ten (10) tracks along with two (2) what-are-known-as "Favourites", and then under "Extra Favourites" six (6) more tracks, this romantically pop beautiful album from 1968 now flows freely amongst us once more.
1. 'White Horses' (Stereo)
2. 'I Can Sing A Rainbow'
3. 'Things I Don't Mean'
4. 'Well, That's Loving You'
5. 'We're Off And Running'
6. 'I Think I Like You'
7. 'Scarlet Ribbons'
8. 'Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?'
9. 'Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind'
10. 'Too Many Chiefs And Not Enough Indians'
11. 'I Cry Alone'
12. 'The Busker'
13. 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow'
14. 'There Goes The Lucky One'
15. 'Here I Go Again'
16. 'Down Our Street'
17. 'The Locomotion'
18. 'The End Of The World'
We begin with the gentle pop bounce of the title track, 'White Horses', a song that still ebbs and flows as gracefully now as it did back then. Indeed, Jackie herself has since said about the track, "I am quite astounded that my recording of the White Horses theme song is still remembered so fondly and played on the radio so regularly." That it is, Jackie. That it is. Moving on and next up is the beautiful color-counting 'I can Sing a Rainbow', which is backed by a trio of delights: 'Things I Don't Mean' (performed with Dudley Moore on piano), 'Well, That's Loving You', and 'We're Off And Running.'
The epicly soaring, orchestrally stunning, trumpet perfect 'I Think I Like You' is up next and that's backed by the gentle guitar work of 'Scarlet Ribbons', and then the Peggy Lee classic 'Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?' The original album then rounds out with 'Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind' and then the cute cowboy pop trot of 'Too Many Chiefs And Not Enough Indians.'
In her "Favourites" section, the taken-from-vinyl cut 'I Cry Alone' is another string soaring, heartfelt beauty and that's followed by 'The Busker'. An interesting one this, for the track has never been released before and was actually part of an album that Lee created with Christopher Gunning called Calendar. 'The Busker' is about April showers, the album was never released and to date and track is the only song known to have survived.
In the last section named "Extra Favourites", and bringing together five tracks from her days with The Raindrops, we begin with 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow', a song everyone knows, and that's backed by 'There Goes The Lucky One', a track that showcases Lee's vocal range as best as any song she's ever performed on, in my humble opinion. 'Here I go Again' is then followed by the scratchy-sounding 'Down Our Street', and then the entire Expanded Edition album comes to a close with the infamous Little Eva hit 'The Locomotion', and then finally her solo alongside the delicate harp plucking of the Skeeter Davis hit, 'The End Of The World.'
CD Purchase Link www.JackieLee.org
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