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“We just don’t make singers like Lita Roza any more.” – ELTON JOHN

• Liverpool’s first pop star, long before the Beatles or Cilla Black, the first British female singer to top the charts. Inheriting her exotic good looks from her Spanish ancestry, Lita Roza’s real talent was as a sultry and sophisticated interpreter of romantic ballads; a British Julie London with a touch of Astrud Gilberto. A singer of integrity, an artist ahead of her time. A strong woman who could be outspoken in defence of her craft, Lita was a fiercely independent artist who emerged a decade too early. It’s ironic that her commercial breakthrough came in March 1953 with Bob Merrill’s much-derided ‘How Much Is That Doggie in the Window’, a novelty ballad that was scarcely representative of her work. Lita had been talked into recording the song and it reached Number One, but she thought it puerile, and resolutely refused to perform it again, in any context, “I said I would sing it once and only once and then I would never sing it again, and I haven’t”.

• Lita served a four year musical apprenticeship from 1950 – on tour and in radio broadcasts – with the Ted Heath Orchestra; her popularity (during the period she topped both The Melody Maker and New Musical Express Polls for Favourite Female Vocalist) made it possible for her to branch out into film and television and she soon found herself fronting her own Saturday night spectacular, the Lita Roza Show, making appearances on Six-Five Special, the programme which introduced skiffle and rock’n’roll to the BBC, and making an impressive cameo performing in a night club in Lewis Gilbert’s Cast a Dark Shadow (1955), a film noir starring a young Dirk Bogarde. Word of her abilities also reached Decca where she spent the greater part of the decade recording singles in a quite mesmerising array of styles (ballads from the Great American Songbook, Western themes, hits of stage and screen and even some reluctant rock ‘n’ roll); before making a fresh start over at Pye.

• Our edition comprises Lita’s much admired 1958 debut LP for Pye, “Me On A Carousel”, combined with selections from the sublime “Love Songs for Night People”, which she recorded for Ember in 1963; ‘Love Is A Beautiful Stranger’ from The Ginger Rogers film, Twist of Fate, ‘Leave Me Alone’, which Lita performs in Cast A Dark Shadow and a handful of her personal favourite Decca singles.

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5013929331839

ME ON A CAROUSEL

1. ME ON A CAROUSEL

2. THAT'S THE BEGINNING OF THE END

3. BUT BEAUTIFUL

4. ALL ALONE

5. THE OTHER WOMAN

6. I'LL NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN AGAIN

7. SOMEWHERE, SOMEHOW, SOMEDAY

8. NOT MINE

9. END OF A LOVE AFFAIR

10. OH OH DEAR WHAT CAN THE MATTER BE

11. LOVE CAN CHANGE THE STARS

12. I'VE GOT MY EYES ON YOU

13. AS CHILDREN DO

14. THERE'S NOTHING ROUGHER THAN LOVE



SELECTIONS FROM LOVE SONGS FOR NIGHT PEOPLE

15. TRUST IN ME

16. I CLOSE MY EYES

17. THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

18. PARADISE

19. WILD IS THE WIND

20. IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING

21. THEY SAY



BONUS TRACKS

22. LOVE IS A BEAUTIFUL STRANGER (FROM THE FILM, TWIST OF FATE) (1954)

23. LEAVE ME ALONE ("LE GRISBI") (FROM THE FILM, CAST A DARK SHADOW) (1955)

24. HEY THERE (YOU WITH THE STARS IN YOUR EYES) (FROM THE PYJAMA GAME) (1955)

25. JIMMY UNKNOWN (1955)

26. ALLENTOWN JAIL (1959)

27. ONCE IN A WHILE (1959)







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