Over the years there were certain records that just jumped out of the radio, making us smile and want to dance. In 1964,one of those hits was My Boy Lollipop by Millie Small. She was a young girl from Jamaica who was the daughter of a Sugar Plantation owner. She won a talent contest at age 12 and began to pursue a singing career, and after she had a couple of popular records on the island came to the attention of Chris Blackwell, who became her manager and legal guardian.
Chris took her to London in 1963 where she took lessons in dancing and diction, much as Barry Gordy was doing with his artists in Detroit. In what was to be the first hit for Chris's new label, Island Records, he had a 1956 song, "My Boy Lollipop" rearranged into a bouncy Pop Sing Along and had a huge hit with his 18 year old protege's recording.
The song was considered to be the first hit in the Jamaican "Blue Beat" style, an ancestor of Reggae, and went #2 on both the Hot 100 in the U.S. and on the U.K. Singles chart. Then went #3 in Canada and #1 in Australia, eventually selling 7 million copies world-wide...Chris Blackwell didn't have to worry about financing his new record company any longer.
Like most artists that had a huge Novelty record that would be Millie Small's only big hit, although she did have a couple more modest chart records and toured until the early 70's. Fun Fact: Millie Small appeared on the 1964 Beatles TV special "Around The Beatles." So here she is doing her signature song live in 1973 shortly before retiring from show business. There's excellent picture and audio. @therealdonrocks
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