Over the years there have been any number of compilations and collections chronicling the impact and importance of Liverpool on modern pop culture. And rightly so! No other British city has contributed more … little wonder that eminent philosopher Carl Jung called the pulsing port city “the pool of life”. So what better way to start a new year than with another slice of scouse nostalgia! Ace has just released a new 25 track retrospective of Liverpool pop…. but this one’s a little different. You see, as the title makes obvious, ‘She Came From Liverpool’ turns the spotlight on the women artists that the city produced…. and you may well be surprised by how many there are!
The album has two main focuses… the Vernons Girls and the Liver Birds. The Vernons Girls predate the beat era and were formed by the social department of Vernons Football Pools as an artistic outlet for their female workers. The choir became so good that they won a recording contract and went on to feature on TV rock and roll shows like ‘Oh Boy’ and ‘6 5 Special’. In time the “Vernons” splintered into various smaller combos – like the Breakaways and the De Laine Sisters while others forged solo careers and/or became in-demand session singers. Soul covers collectors will be delighted to have here one-time Vernons Girl, Samanatha Jones’ version of Teddy Randazzo’s ‘I Don’t Want To Be The One’.
The Liver Birds (not to be confused with the TV sit com) were very different – a proper guitar and drums combo who became “big in Germany”. They were so popular there that they rarely played in Liverpool and this album offers a couple of their tracks which proved that despite what a certain John Lennon said “girls could play guitars”.
In between the Vernons and the Liver Birds, there are all kinds of Scouse ladies – some, like Cilla Black, a lot more famous than others. Most notable is Beryl Marsden – a singer rated by Scousers as far superior to “our Cilla”. Little wonder that Martha Reeves regularly used Beryl as a Vandella when she toured the UK! Here you can enjoy two Beryl Marsden tunes including the Motown esque ‘What’s She Got’ while if you’re looking for soul and R&B covers you may well be surprised by Cilla Black’s take on Arthur Alexander’s ‘Shot Of Rhythm And Blues’.