One trivia bit from The Rolling Stone Rock Almanac that didn’t make it into Zero to 180’s big Summer Beach Read:
April 30, 1965: The Kinks begin their first headlining UK tour, with The Yardbirds and Goldie and the Gingerbreads providing support.
I have always been curious about the ‘all-girl’ beat group with such a playful name, so a quick browse of their discography in 45Cat immediately drew me to this 1965 French EP with the arty and urbane cover photo:
There was something appealing about the song title “The Skip,” so I queued it up on YouTube and, what do you know — it’s a jaunty organ dance instrumental produced by Shel Talmy, of early Who and Kinks fame:
“The Skip” Goldie and the Gingerbreads 1965
As the crawl text in the YouTube streaming audio clip above notes, “The Skip” began life as the B-side of a Decca single that was released April, 1965 in the UK, as well as the closing track on a French EP (noted above) issued by Decca France three months later. Sadly, “The Skip” never graced any of their US singles, nor did it appear on an LP, as Goldie and the Gingerbreads’ recorded legacy consists solely of 45s — Billboard’s Chris Hutchins explains why in this report from London, one of the “Music Capitals of the World,” in the October 2, 1965 edition:
The successful all-girl American group Goldie and the Gingerbreads, based in Britain, is breaking up because the girls claim working together is not profitable. They had a hit here [Top 30] earlier this year with “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” on Decca. Now Goldie is going solo, two of the others are hoping to form a new group and the fourth is returning to the U.S.
Chris Hutchins would subsequently report in Billboard‘s February 5, 1966 issue that “Immediate [Records] has signed Goldie, who previously led the U.S. all-girl group Goldie and the Gingerbreads who were signed to [UK-based] Decca.”
Fascinating to discover in the course of poking around that Goldie recorded the original version of Goffin & King’s “Goin’ Back” in 1966 prior to The Byrds’ better-known version released the following year as a Columbia 45 (and included on The Notorious Byrd Brothers). Goldie’s version, heartbreakingly, was withdrawn from the marketplace at the insistence of the songwriters due to unauthorized lyric changes, thus paving the way for Dusty Springfield’s subsequent hit version, as detailed by Paul Howes in The Complete Dusty Springfield.
Use of “King’s English” [Going vs. Goin’] in UK song title
Au contraire, counters Goldie herself (in a comment you will find attached to the end of this piece):
“The Song ‘Going Back’ was not withdrawn, Goldie made a decision to withdraw it -Goldie did not like being questioned about lyric change, and asked Andrew L Oldham to withdraw it.
Dusty made a big to-do as to why the song was given to Goldie after she ( Dusty ) held on to the demo by Carole King for possible future recording of the song. To make things worse, Dusty claimed I even changed a lyric …to which the response from Carol King was….I like what Goldie did.”
Genyusha “Goldie“ Zelkowitz, who later become known as Genya Ravan, would sing in Ten Wheel Drive and make four solo albums between the years 1972-1979. NPR Weekend Edition‘s feature piece from 2016 informs us that this pioneering musician (leader of the “first all-female rock band to be signed to a major label”) returned to the music world in recent years as a host of two radio shows — “Chicks and Broads,” featuring women artists and “Goldie’s Garage” showcasing new talent — on the Sirius/XM channel “Little Steven’s Garage Underground Garage.”
2016 would also see the reissue of “Going Back” as the B-side of a UK 7-inch, with the previously-unreleased “Could It Be” as the featured track [recorded in January, 1966 — link to 45 Cat record of EMIdisc acetate].
Goldie: Bandleader at 18
Prior to the formation of Goldie and the Gingerbreads, Goldie would join – and then subsequently assume leadership of – Coral recording artist, The Escorts, as evidenced by the evolution of the group’s name over the course of just three singles: The Escorts vs. The Escorts Featuring “Goldie” vs. Goldie And The Escorts.
A 2005 Haaretz feature piece on Genya Ravan, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor who emigrated to the US in 1947, offers an astonishingly unfiltered biographical overview in which we learn —
- Her first boyfriend was a Puerto Rican named Colorado who would be memorialized years later in a song she recorded with Lou Reed.
- An impromptu “audition” for The Escorts earned Ravan an invitation to become lead singer by the group’s leader, none other than Richard Perry, future A-list record producer (Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, Harry Nilsson, Barbra Streisand).
- Before signing to British label, Decca, Goldie and the Gingerbreads first inked a contract offered by Atlantic Records’ Ahmet Ertegun, who was suitably impressed with the group’s performance at NYC’s Peppermint Lounge.
- Goldie and the Gingerbreads were barred from releasing “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” in the US by the single’s producer, Alan Price, who is said to have taken the recording without permission.
- At a live performance in 1972 while on tour with Sly & the Family Stone, one audience member in attendance with family, Muhammad Ali, impelled the show’s producer — in response to Ravan’s liberal use of the F-bomb — to dispatch the police, who ended up arresting her.
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