Songs Of The Day 2/17/2015: Jackie Trent - "You Baby" + "Send Her Away"

None of the Puns I Came Up With For "Pye" Felt Right: Jackie Trent was known as “the Vera Lynn of the Potteries.” The Potteries refer to the towns that made up the Staffordshire industrial area, all of which are now known as the single city Stoke-on-Trent. It’s near where Jackie Trent was born, as Yvonne Burgess, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, or just Newcastle for the hyphen-phobic. They call the area “The Potteries” because it was the center of ceramic manufacturing, and is still the go-to place for pottery, china and earthenware in the United Kingdom.

Trent was a crack songwriter, especially in partnership with former husband Tony Hatch. They cowrote “Joanna,” which was Scott Walker’s biggest hit as a solo artist. Their most reliable muse was Petula Clark; their best-known song for her was “Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” which remains a capital piece of advice for people in most walks of life. Jackie’s songs hold up favorably next to chanteuses of her time like Sandie Shaw, Helen Shapiro, Cilla Black and Lulu. I could do a whole week on Brit Girls. In fact, let’s schedule it now. I’m making an editorial decision as we speak. Week of May 3. Book it.

“You Baby” was a single written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector, who collectively gave the world “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” Separately they covered even more ground. But it’s the B-side, “Send Her Away,” which I’m slobbering over at the moment. Hatch wrote this song solo and it’s delirious in its charms. The manic intro, that lovely suspended chord in the second and fourth lines of the verse, the insistence of the set-up to the chorus. It’s the thematic forebearer to Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend,” which is also a perfect moment of delicate sociopathology. Ready-steady-pout!

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