Millie Small | My Boy Lollipop

Originally posted on MissBackInTheDayUSA

My Boy Lollipop” (originally “My Girl Lollypop“) is a song written in the mid-1950s by Robert Spencer of the doo-wop group The Cadillacs, and usually credited to Spencer, Morris Levy, and Johnny Roberts. It was first recorded in New York in 1956 by Barbie Gaye. A later version, recorded in 1964 by Jamaican teenager Millie Small, with very similar rhythm, became one of the top-selling ska songs of all time.

Small’s version was a massive hit, reaching number two both in the UK Singles Chart and in the US Billboard Hot 100, and number three in Canada. It also topped the chart in Australia. Initially it sold over 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom. Including singles sales, album usage and compilation inclusions, the song has since sold more than seven million copies worldwide.

Small was not a one-hit wonder. For example, subsequent recordings such as “Sweet William” and “Bloodshot Eyes”, both charted in the UK at numbers 30 and 48 respectively. “My Boy Lollipop” was doubly significant in British pop history.

It was the first major hit for Island Records (although it was actually released on the Fontana label because Chris Blackwell, Island’s owner, did not want to overextend its then-meagre resources; in the US, the record appeared on the Smash Records subsidiary of Mercury Records), and Small was the first artist to have a hit that was recorded in the bluebeat style (she was billed as “The Blue Beat Girl” on the single’s label in the US).

This was a music genre that had recently emerged from Jamaica, and was a direct ancestor of reggae.She appeared on the 1964 Beatles TV special Around The Beatles.
On 6 March 1965, Small appeared on the Australian television programme Bandstand. This was as part of a concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Kings Domain, Melbourne, part of the Moomba Festival. She performed “My Boy Lollipop”, “What Am I Living For” and “See You Later, Alligator”. Small continued to tour and perform up to the early 1970s. wiki

12 thoughts on “Millie Small | My Boy Lollipop

    1. What an interesting sound that would be. Are you going to be on watch this week?

      1. Yes. You know I almost forgot. Later.

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