Several of the British female vocalists associated with the '60s pop/rock scene were, in reality, probably more comfortable with the role of all-around entertainer, at equal or greater ease emulating MOR nightclub belters as American girl group sounds. You could put Cilla Black or Petula Clark in that category, along with a good deal of other less-successful peers of the time who may have had a minor hit or two, and helped fill out the numerous British pop package tours of the mid-'60s. Julie Grant was one of those figures, landing some minor U.K. hits between 1963 and 1965 with "Count on Me," "Up on the Roof," and "Come to Me." Undoubtedly she had a strong, versatile voice, applying it to orchestrated ballads, pseudo-Merseybeat, American girl group covers, renditions of songs by the Drifters and the Moody Blues, and more. Versatility can be a hindrance when you don't corral in killer material, though, and listening to her many singles today, one is not struck so much by her talent as her inability to carve out out a recognizable stylistic niche. Pye Records certainly gave her a lot of opportunities; she recorded no less than 15 singles for the label between 1962 and 1965. But she may have sealed her fate when she passed on an opportunity to record a Tony Hatch composition, "Downtown," that Petula Clark made into one of the biggest records of 1965. Still shy of her 20th birthday, Grant's recording career came to an end after 1965, leaving her to concentrate on building a livelihood as a singer at hotels, resorts, cruise ships, and the like.
Share this page