Christine Quaite

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Among the myriad British teen singers signed to major label deals in the rush to replicate the success of 13-year-old superstar Helen Shapiro, Christine Quaite enjoyed commercial and creative success…
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Among the myriad British teen singers signed to major label deals in the rush to replicate the success of 13-year-old superstar Helen Shapiro, Christine Quaite enjoyed commercial and creative success greater than most, even cracking the U.S. charts with 1964's "Tell Me Mama." According to a comprehensive overview at the Spectropop website, Quaite was born in Leeds on May 11, 1948. At age eight, she entered her first talent showcase and became a fixture of the local amateur circuit, later joining the Judean Club, a Jewish youth performance group whose ranks included teen Vivienne Foreman, later known as British pop sensation Julie Grant. After placing second in a Manchester talent contest, Quaite received a contract offer from Oriole Records, and in early 1962, the 13-year-old issued her debut single "Oh My," quickly followed by a cover of Johnny Crawford's "Your Nose Is Gonna Grow." Neither sold, and a similar fate befell her excellent third single "Whisper Wonderful Words," which borrowed its melody line from Bizet's opera Carmen. However, with 1964's "Tell Me Mama," Quaite ascended to the number 89 spot on the Billboard pop charts, guaranteeing a worldwide release for the follow-up, the Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry-penned "Here She Comes." In the wake of her next release, "Mr. Stuck-Up," Oriole went bankrupt and in June 1965 Quaite signed with manager Bunny Lewis, who negotiated a deal with the New York City label Laurie for the Bobby Goldsboro-written "If You've Got a Heart." Laurie never advanced the single past the acetate stage, however, and instead it came out on the U.K. label Stateside, also home to the follow-up, the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition "Long After Tonight Is All Over." The single was Quaite's swan song. Little is known of her subsequent musical pursuits, although she later married and started a family.