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Brunetta / Rita Pavone

Brunetta / Rita Pavone - Baluba Shake / Il Geghege (Ace)


RELEASED: 27th November 2020 (subject to change)
7" Vinyl Single

Format:  7" Single
Cat No:  NW5

Connoisseurs of 1960s she-pop have been very well served by Ace Records, particularly those with a predilection for American and British artists. But good music, of course, is not exclusive to the English-speaking world, as those familiar with our recent collections devoted to the female vocalists of Italy will be aware (not to mention similar projects focusing on Japan, France, Sweden, Hungary and Spain). In a country known for its song festivals, most notably the prestigious event held annually in Sanremo, highly orchestrated ballads have always been especially popular in Italy. For this celebratory single, however, Ace presents exemplary uptempo decks by Brunetta and Rita Pavone. 

Brunetta was one of the first Italian singers to record rock’n’roll. Among her early releases were the appropriately titled “The Explosive Brunetta” and “Ciclone Brunetta” EPs and the frantic ‘Precipito’, which she performed with wild abandon in the film Urlatori Alla Sbarra. New stars Mina and Adriano Celentano also appeared in the movie, so she was in very good company. Fast forward a few lower-profile years, she released the record for which she would become best remembered. Backed by the Balubas combo, she performed the somewhat non-PC ‘Baluba Shake’ at the Pesaro Song Festival in 1966, scooping top prize. These days, the track is an underground dancefloor favourite, original copies of which change hands for a pretty penny.

A tiny girl with a huge voice, freckle-faced firebrand Rita Pavone debuted in late 1962 after she won the Festival Degli Sconosciuti, a talent contest. She went on to storm the Italian charts six times, all before the end of 1963. ‘Cuore’, her great version of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s beat ballad ‘Heart (I Hear You Beating)’, was also successfully recorded by her in French and English. By the end of 1967 she had released many hit singles and had starred in six lightweight films. Among her hits were several aimed at the children’s market, so buyers beware. Less juvenile, fortunately, was the high-energy ‘Il Geghegè’, the theme song from one of her TV specials. Surviving footage of her belting out the breathless number on TV is an op-art sight to behold.


A. BALUBA SHAKE - Brunetta
B. IL GEGHEGE – Rita Pavone