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Thursday, June 27, 2013


Born Richenda de Winterstein Gillespie in the affluent county of Surrey (outside London), the persona of Dana Gillespie was born when, at age 13, she attended The American Folk Blues Festival in 1962. Dana began frequenting the Marquee club as a young teen (and was offered a contract by The Yardbirds manager which she declined), this precocious young singer and actress fell into a friendship with Donovan (Leitch). Donovan assisted her from the beginning (her recording debut was in 1965), and in 1968 wrote this song exclusively for Dana that was poised to be a smash hit. Not only was the single (and subsequent LP) amazing, but Dana was a gorgeous young woman. For whatever reason, the record sis not become a hit but it has taken on a life of its own as one of the ultimate examples of (late period) British psych-beat.

Listening to the seasoned voice on this record, it's hard to believe that Dana was only SEVENTEEN years old when she cut it.

This 45 has been a holy grail for me for years; I've had the LP for ages (the superb Foolish Seasons) but this was another record that I've consistently been outbid on whenever it came up for sale. Now to snag the equally excellent (and impossibly scarce) American cover by Karen Verros and my mind will be all set.

Dana's career found her continuing on through the present day as a singer (blues) and actress (she starred as Mary Magdalane in the original London cast of Jesus Christ Superstar).

from 1968...



W said...

And Jimmy Page plays on this! (BTW Not to be a stickler, but Surrey is a county, not a town.)

Russ said...

She was born in Woking in Surrey (same town as Paul Weller). Surrey is a county something akin to a US state.

Saying she was born in the town of Surrey is a little saying someone from Chicago was born in the town of Illinois

Derek See said...

yep, you guys got me. I fixed it.

Chris said...

Dana has also recorded some interesting albums of Indian music made under the pseudnym of Third Man or her own name , that are sung mostly in Sanskrit.

Chris said...

Dana has done some interesting albums of Indian devotional music sung mostly in Sanskrit, either under her name or the pseudnym of Third Man.

Jazz, blues, pop or indian music, she can do it all!!!!!