Rita Pavone

Wenn Ich ein Junge War

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Don't let the German title fool you -- although Wenn Ich ein Junge War contains nine German-language recordings by Italian pop singer Rita Pavone, it also has the English-language recordings she waxed in New York and Nashville. Three of these recordings saw some chart action in the U.S.: "Remember Me" made the Top 30 in 1964, and "Just Once More" and "Wait for Me" "bubbled under" the Top 100. Pavone was a teenager at the time she recorded most of these songs, and her heavily accented English is a prominent feature of the U.S. recordings. Her bubbly personality and accent give her performances an unusual flavor, even though they are otherwise indistinguishable from the teen pop of the period. In fact, one suspects that the novelty of her accent was a large part of her appeal in America. Pavone's repertoire, a mixture of teen pop/rock and pop ballads, includes a handful of covers of American hits such as Bobby Darin's "Splish Splash," Bobby Vee's "Rubber Ball," and Connie Francis' "Lipstick on Your Collar." The standout track on the anthology might be the German-language "Es Ist Aus," co-written by the prolific German songwriter Heino Gaze. The three previously unreleased recordings are fully realized Chet Atkins productions from 1965 that RCA Victor declined to release for whatever reason. Pavone's Italian and Spanish recordings have been anthologized several times, so Wenn Ich ein Junge War fills a niche by reissuing only those songs that specifically targeted the German and American markets.

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