The Platters – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

This week I was lucky enough to spend some time with Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s Dad. Mitch is promoting his book Amy: My Daughter and Monday is the year anniversary of Amy’s passing. I spent most of Tuesday afternoon with him as we picked songs that Amy loved and recorded a radio show full of wonderful stories about them and the Amy Mitch knew. It’s broadcast on heat radio on Monday night at 8pm and will be repeated the following Sunday at 10am. It’ll make you laugh, and maybe make you cry, but it certainly makes clear that the pair had a brilliant father / daughter relationship – and also that Mitch is a fabulous storyteller. He should have more broadcasting in his future.

One of the songs Mitch chose is by 50s ‘boyband’ The Platters who Mitch described as ‘The One Direction of their day.’ Originally written for a 30s musical ‘Roberta’, it’s had versions done by all the great and the good from Vic Damone to Piaf to Dinah Washington to a terrible 70s version by Bryan Ferry – yet I’ve never heard it before. I absolutely love it when I discover an old song that’s new to me, no matter how famous it might be, particularly one that’s so intensely amazing that you forget to breathe for a second, and this is just that – it hasn’t been off since. ¬†From the opening bars the tender lush sounds wash over you and it’s simply the audio equivalent of being twirled round a dancefloor while staring into the eyes of the one you love. Utterly, utterly beautiful.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57tK6aQS_H0[/youtube]

Dionne Bromfield Grows Up

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85cyFeoAJ-E[/youtube]

It’s amazing what difference a year and a half can make. Remember Dionne Bromfield? Dionne is Amy Winehouse’s god-daughter and first appeared in summer 2009 signing to Amy’s own Island Records imprint Lioness Records. Back then she was a really cute little girl with a great soul voice, a covers album and a future promising great things.

That future has come quickly. Now 15, she’s just released the video for ‘Yeah Right’ the first single from her 2nd album. Newly confident and beaming with pop star qualities, Dionne looks classy and sounds great in this sassy girl-power anthem. Sounding like a Ronson production, the song has got quite a Duffy feel to it and is good, but not jaw-droppingly so. It’s enough though to suddenly totally reposition Dionne as an artist with serious potential. ‘Yeah Right’ also sees the UK debut of adorable US rap youngster Diggy Simmons – the son of Run DMC – and the pair look super cute together, even if they are bitching at each other!

Rehab in Jamaica

There are certain songs I’ve heard so many times that I feel like I never need to hear again in my life. This might change when the burn has healed but Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’ is certainly one of them. Or at least her version.

Now there’s a new version of the single being released in a few weeks by The Jolly Boys, a mento band from Jamaica who’ve been making music for over 60 years. Back in the 1940s they used to be quite the name on the Hollywood party circuit playing in particular for Errol Flynn after he bougth Port Antonio’s Navy Island and turned it into a party zone. His wife, Patrice, is the lady in the red hat in the video.

Just how much fun were they having making this video. there’s no way you can’t break into a grin watching the hugely charmismatic 72 year old lead singer Albert. He’s even the youngest member of the band. Brilliant.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqaadTlATqk[/youtube]

‘Rehab’ is out 20th September on Wall of Sound and they’re playing a couple of live dates in the UK next week.