Sunday, June 25, 2017

MOTOWN: CHARLENE - I'VE NEVER BEEN TO ME

We have all seen Priscilla the Queen of desert and it's fantastic opening act, right? Guess what? It's a Motown song! By one hit wonder Charlene, even a white woman. How random is that? 
The song's story is one of the weirdest in the music history: originally released in 1977 it ddn't go anywehere really. #97. The song was also recorded and releaed by Randy Crawford (the first pubished version really), Nancy Wilson and Walter Jackson. Mary McGregor tried her luck the year after. Nothing. Marti Cane. Nothing. Even Eurovision veteran Mary Roos had a take on it in German. 
In 1982 a Tampa radiodj started playing it on radio and all of sudden time was right. Motown signed and re-released it after tracking her down from London where she had gone to marry and become a hosuewife as she was convinced her career didn't go anywhere. The rest is history.
#1 in Australia, Canada, Ireland, UK #3 in US, #5 New Zealand, Norway, #7 Belgium, the Netherlands.... Sadly she never scored another hit but she recorded it also in Spanish, Nunca he ido a mi
 
The song's been covered by The Temptations, Howard Keel, Patricia Paay for said Priscilla, Tracy Huang Ying Ying (this version is the best known in Asia), Vivian Chow, Keiko Aso (for Japan), Karel Gott, Leonard, Gerry Hakker, Seija Simola, Kikki Danielsson.... it proved a popular song to do other language covers! Even Dustin the Turkey! So a lot of Eurovision connections here. 
Besides Priscilla the song has been either performed, played or quoted in Will & Grace, The Simpsons, Absolutely Fabulous, Desperate Housewives, Shrek the Third etc
Finally, a CNN poll listed it as the #4 worst song of all time..... Oh dear. I think it's a fantastic song!
What Charlene is up to today? Have a look here

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