Various Artists

I Wish I Were a Princess: The Great Lost Female Teen Idols

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There weren't that many female teen idols in the late '50s and early '60s to begin with, so you might justly wonder how you could fill up a CD with 24 one or two-shot artists in the genre. Collectors' Choice managed to do the job with this rather wildly erratic compilation, walking the wide plank between the exuberant rockabilly of Janis Martin's "Will You, Willyum" to Hayley Mills' woefully inept "Let's Get Together," a strong contender for the most obnoxious song ever to enter the Top Ten. As the almost gleefully sardonic liner notes admit, much of this anthology falls far closer to Mills than Martin, whether it's Ginny Arnell's painful "Dumb Head" (with some of the most unfeminist-friendly lyrics in the English language) or Janie Grant's silly novelty "That Greasy Kid Stuff." A lot of this is triflingly innocuous '60s pop/rock that's more pop than rock; Kathy Linden, Margie Rayburn, and Diane Ray are names that now only matter to wild-eyed collectors who are trying to assemble CD versions of every Top 40 single made before 1970. Still, some of it is fairly good, like Diane Renay's fine girl group-ish one-shot "Navy Blue," Rosie & the Originals' doo wop-flavored "Angel Baby," Linda Scott's bouncy "I've Told Ev'ry Little Star," Little Peggy March's "I Wish I Were a Princess," and Rita Pavone's mildly soulful "Remember Me." Many cuts have rarely or never appeared on CD, though in some cases that's probably because nobody has exactly been clamoring for them.

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