Julie Grant

TrackSingle
Lonely SixteenPye 7N 15461 B-side
Up On The RoofPye 7N 15483
Count On MePye 7N 15508
Then, Only ThenPye 7N 15508 B-side
Cruel WorldPye 7N 15526 B-side
Don't Ever Let Me DownPye 7N 15545
Come To MePye 7N 15684
My World Is Empty (Without You)Pye 7N 15756 B-side
Giving UpPye 7N 15812
StopPye 7N 15937

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Contributor: Merric Davidson

My listening introduction to Julie Grant came via my mother who bought me Julie’s version of Up On The Roof rather than the one I really wanted by The Drifters. Bad karma! Anyway, I played it a lot, persuaded by the professional Tony Hatch production that it was vaguely acceptable.

In fact, I ended up with a whole lot of Julie Grant singles on Pye Records and became something of an enthusiast. Julie’s voice with its great range was pitched somewhere between Helen Shapiro and Billie Davis, and she was without any doubt one of the better vocalists of her era. Better indeed than a whole lot of female chart singers of the time. It was ever thus. She made some great records – and each one at around a glorious 2½ minutes!

I did see her perform, just the once, in 1963, when she had a slot on the Little Richard/Bo Diddley/Everly Brothers/Rolling Stones show but excitement that night was reserved for those visitors from America.

Julie Grant in concert

For a potted history of the career of Julie Grant visit the always excellent Ready Steady Girls! website.

 

These are the 15 singles that Julie Grant recorded for Pye Records between 1962 and 1965 in order of release:

Somebody Tell Him / Ev’ry Letter You Write (Pye 7N 15430, 1962)
A striking John Barry-Adam Faith type production on her first single written by Tony Hatch under his Mark Anthony pseudonym. A bouncy little number which lay down a marker for a new voice in town. Not a hit record – only three were mini-hits – but all the right signs were there.

So Many Ways / Unimportant Things (Pye 7N 15447, 1962)
The A-side is a cover of the Brook Benton 1959 US hit.

When You’re Smiling / Lonely Sixteen (Pye 7N 15461, 1962)
The recording of this hoary old classic may have seemed like a great idea (to someone!) at the time. It may also have been a portent of the TV variety show Stars And Garters (1963-65) and the dad’s favourite Kathy Kirby, but Julie didn’t seem too comfortable belting out When You’re Smiling; could maybe sense her career going backwards with this one before it had even really got started. Thankfully, the B-side is much more like it. It’s another cover, written by Billy Page and originally recorded in the States by Janie Black:

Day by day you stole my heart away
Then day by day our love went astray
Now that I’m 16 you have grown tired of me
You left me oh so blue with a capital B.

I didn’t want you when I was 14
Couldn’t resist you when I was 15
Now I can’t have you at 16
So it’s a lonely 16 for me.

Ah, all of early 60s pop music summed up here in a few lines; moon and june and excruciating rhyming. Love it!

Up On The Roof / When You Ask About Love (Pye 7N 15483, 1962)
Good to have a 60s female recording of this Goffin & King work of undisputed genius. B-side is a cover of the 1960 track by The Crickets.

Count On Me / Then, Only Then (Pye 7N 15508, 1963)
Written by Tony Hatch (Mark Anthony), this is an excellent single, both sides, bright and breezy, cheerful and catchy. Julie Grant’s standing was raised by this March 1964 follow-up to Up On The Roof, and Count On Me became her best chart placing in the UK at #24.

That’s How Heartaches Are Made / Cruel World (Pye 7N 15526, 1963)
I was already familiar with Baby Washington’s brilliant original of That’s How Heartaches Are Made, and although Julie’s was a very creditable version, it was the flipside that really appealed. Cruel World penned by Margo Quantrell of The Breakaways is a cracker. “It’s a cruel world we kids live in.” Margo sang backing vocals on all Julie’s records and you’ll find an appraisal of her and her group with an intro by Tony Hatch here.

Don’t Ever Let Me Down / Somebody Cares (Pye 7N 15545, 1963)
A-side is another Mark Anthony composition, as is the next release.

Hello Love / It’s Alright (Pye 7N 15590, 1963)
The A-side sounds a lot like a Sandie Shaw record which is odd as her first record wasn’t out until the following year. Maybe Chris Andrews was working with Tony Hatch at that time, I don’t know, but Hello Love sounds to me like a template for Long Live Love.

Every Day I Have To Cry / Watch What You Do With My Baby (Pye 7N 15615, 1964)
The A-side is, as every country soul fan will know, an Arthur Alexander song. And that’s ironic (for me) as I was toying with doing an Arthur Alexander toppermost when my mind’s eye shifted to Julie Grant – and I’d forgotten she’d recorded this! The B-side was also recorded by (Little) Peggy March, and also by Cliff Richard as the flip of I’m The Lonely One that same year, 1964.

You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You / I Only Care About You (Pye 7N 15652, 1964)
This 40s classic wasn’t a hit for Julie, and ironically it was just a little while later that Dino had a smash hit with it. Such a shame that her label was trying to show how well she could handle a big band number rather than trying to find her some fresher hit material.

Come To Me / Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind (Pye 7N 15684, 1964)
Come To Me is the best of all of Julie’s singles. By a long chalk. It’s just a really beautiful song and should have been a much bigger hit than its UK high of #31. It’s written by John Beveridge and Charles Prior and it may be the only thing they ever did together, who knows? (Beveridge also wrote Joe Brown’s excellent A Picture Of You). Why on earth Come To Me wasn’t a huge hit I will never know. As a postscript, the song was also recorded the same year by Richard Anthony as Si Tu As Besoin D’un Ami.

Baby, Baby (I Still Love You) / My World Is Empty (Without You) (Pye 7N 15756, 1965)
Written by Cynthia Weil and Russ Titelman, Baby, Baby (I Still Love You) was first recorded by The Cinderellas in 1964, and the flipside is not the Supremes song but a beautifully sung ballad – see clip below.

Giving Up / ‘Cause I Believe In You (Pye 7N 15812, 1965)
A-side is R&B with a great cover of Van McCoy’s hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips, and Julie shows her versatility with the B-side and the down home country style of Don Gibson’s Cause I Believe In You.

Lonely Without You / As Long As I Know He’s Mine (Pye 7N 15884, 1964)
Another Tony Hatch top side and by this stage don’t be too surprised that the flip was of more interest, with a cover of Smokey’s song recorded originally by The Marvelettes (I know it didn’t make my Marvelettes topper-ten but it is written by Smokey so it’s gotta be a good un!).

Stop / When The Lovin’ Ends (Pye 7N 15937, 1965)
Stop is a Denny Laine/Mike Pinder song from the first Moody Blues album, The Magnificent Moodies, and Julie does a fine job on it. She is one of three co-writers of the B-side.

 

And that was it. No LPs during the 60s. Just the one highly desirable EP release in the UK which I pounced upon at a record fair some years ago.

There are only a handful of tracks on spotify and the playlist doesn’t totally represent this top ten, so, until it does, I hope you’ll give a listen to some of the youtube links.

Julie did appear on a few TV shows in 1963/64, including Thank Your Lucky Stars and Ready Steady Go, but sadly none of these performances seem to have made it onto youtube.

All her singles (As & Bs) can be found on these CDs: Count On Me: Julie Grant Complete Pye Sessions (1994) from RPM, and the same track listing on Come To Me – The Pye Anthology (2004) from Castle. Neither are readily available today so most likely to be a second hand purchase. Worth it though.

Julie Grant should have been a big star and to some of us, she was.

 

 

Lonely Sixteen (youtube)

Up On The Roof (youtube)

Then, Only Then (youtube)

Count On Me (youtube)

My World Is Empty (Without You) (youtube)

Giving Up (youtube)

Stop (youtube)

Julie Grant today

Julie Grant interview

Julie Grant biography (iTunes)

TopperPost #450

3 Comments

  1. Paul F. Newman
    Jun 7, 2015

    Agree with all you say and remember all those titles well. The one single I kept by Julie Grant was ‘You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You’ – she seemed to be allowed to put her singing personality into that one and let herself go – marvellous voice. Had that sort of big band vocalising been more in vogue then (the UK would accept and revere Americans singing like this but completely ignore their own) she could have been a massive international star.

  2. Peter Viney
    Jun 7, 2015

    Good stuff and an interesting way of presenting it single by single. I also treasure the “This Is Julie Grant” EP, and ‘Come to Me’ but I haven’t got anything else. I’ll seek that Pye Anthology CD. I was led to follow the link to Julie Grant today. She’s had quite a long “post-Pye” career apparently. She also looked great in the 70s, but I think you can be forgiven for not including “The Disco Years (1978-80)” nor “Julie Grant-Live (1978)”.

  3. Stuart Caulfield
    Apr 5, 2018

    Been a fan of Julie Grant since the early sixties, deserved greater success just wish they would play her singles occasionally.

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