Polly Brown and Pickettywitch
Polly Browne and Her Group Pickettywitch
Polly Brown (occasionally spelled Browne) was the lead vocalist with the early 1970s pop band, Pickettywitch.
Although the group was not around for all that long - at most three years with Brown at the helm - it did manage to make a minor impression on the music world with a few memorable songs.
Blonde, slim and radiant, Polly Brown made a lasting impact on this teenager during his hormonal years. Much the same kind of impact that Sally Carr of Middle of the Road had prompted around the same time.
However, it was not only about her looks; her voice was something of a magnet too. Particularly on later recordings, it was difficult to believe this kind of voice was coming out of this woman. Her arranger at the time, Gerry Shury, described her best as soulfully sweet sounding and between Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick.
I couldn't agree more.
On Video: Pickettywitch
Enjoy this compilation of Pickettywitch songs from the late 1960s and early 1970s. It includes the band's British hits That Same Old Feeling, (It's Like A) Sad Old Kinda Movie and Baby I Won't Let You Down. Pure melodic pop enhanced by fashion and haircuts for which only the 1970s could be responsible.
A Mix of the Group's Hits
The Polly Brown Story
Bewitched! The Polly Browne Story covers many of the recordings made by Polly Brown during her heyday of the 1970s.
You'll hear the hits she had as lead singer with Pickettywitch, those as half of the duo Sweet Dreams, as well as much of her output as a solo singer.
If things had worked out differently Polly Brown would have been a regular in the British music charts of the Seventies. She recorded Amoureuse, which became a hit for Kiki Dee, as well as Love Bug and Dance Little Lady, Dance which were later chart hits for the popular Tina Charles.
Her one shining moment as a solo singer came in 1975, when her recording of Up In A Puff of Smoke made the US Top 20. Unfortunately, it did not make the same impression in the UK, failing to make the Top 40.
However, all of these songs can be enjoyed again on one of the very few albums currently available from either Polly Brown or Pickettywitch. Bewitched! The Polly Browne Story is obtainable for download from Amazon.co.uk.
More Songs From Pickettywitch
Polly Brown With Sweet Dreams
In the summer of 1974, Polly Brown teamed up with Tony Jackson to form the duo, Sweet Dreams. Although they recorded six singles, the one featured in the video below became their sole hit when it bounced into the British Top 10. If you're an ABBA fan, you'll know the song well: Honey, Honey.
At the time, Polly Brown caused some controversy with this appearance, deciding to don a black wig and powdering her face light brown. The newspapers were all over the story; Polly Brown citing that she did it to conceal her identity. You'll also notice that Jackson doesn't have much to do other than sway around and "sing" a few lyrics. In fact, he was miming to another guy's voice.
1970s US Hit
If you were around in the 1970s and living in the US, you might remember hearing this toe-tappin', butt-swayin' tune on the radio at the time. It was Polly Brown's biggest success as a solo artist and I have to say that Up In A Puff of Smoke is a stonkingly good tune!
I'll let Music Mike tell you all about the song. It's just a shame that it wasn't a bigger hit in her homeland than it turned out to be.
Up In A Puff of Smoke
More Solo Tracks From Polly Brown
It's no wonder that many have called Polly Brown one of the great white soul vocalists of the 1970s, when you listen to some of her back catalogue featured here.
The comparisons to both Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick are evident and it is such a shame that she did not receive the recognition she so richly deserved at the time.
Each link will lead you to a YouTube video featuring the song in question:
Polly Brown: A Song For Europe - 1976: Solo and With Sweet Dreams
In 1976, Polly Brown tried to kick start her career again, this time seeking to become the representative for the UK at that year's Eurovision Song Contest.
She had two shots at the national heats of A Song For Europe, firstly as a soloist and also with her other interest, Sweet Dreams. Sadly, neither song (Do You Believe In Love At First Sight? and Love, Kiss & Run) made the cut.
The former placed tenth while the latter finished in fourth position, losing out to the eventual winners of Eurovision '76, Brotherhood of Man with Save Your Kisses For Me. You can hear the songs below and, for the time, they're not too bad.
Do You Believe in Love at First Sight?
Love, Kiss & Run
Polly Brown Sings the Blues - Polly in Later Years
Will the real Polly Brown/Browne please stand up?
It seems for all the pop and dance music she recorded, Ms. Brown's heart really lay with the Blues. Here's a later video of her singing a selection from her album, The Blues Collection which was released in the UK in June, 2011.
Now in her 60s, it seems Polly Brown has found that place where her distinctive voice belongs. The lady sings the Blues.
Don't Go Messin' With My Heart
Polly Browne: The Blues Collection
A collection of Blues standards, along with some very satisfying self-penned material, makes up this classy collection from Polly Browne. Includes Don't Go Messin' With My Heart, along with nine other tunes that prove the talent of this much underrated singer.
It's also available from iTunes USA, as well as iTunes UK.
Read More About Polly Brown & Pickettywitch
- Pickettywitch | AllMusic
Pickettywitch was a recording outfit that was very much aligned with the music genre promoted by the likes of the Tremeloes, Edison Lighthouse and Paper Lace.
© 2011 Richard