Song Of The Day 2/18/2015: Dana Gillespie - "Pay You Back With Interest"

None of the Puns I Came Up With For "Pye" Felt Right: This soul-ified cover of a song by The Hollies was recorded for the Pye label in 1967 by Dana Gillespie from Surrey, who was a four-time championship water skier. I didn’t realize that people from the United Kingdom did water sports. Gillespie played the role of Mary Magdalene in the original London cast version of Jesus Christ Superstar. She was mainly an actress in the late ’60s, though, appearing in the supporting cast of such unheralded flicks as The Vengeance of She, which was a sequel to a movie that was based on the great H. Rider Haggard book She. However, The Vengeance bore absolutely no similarity to anything Haggard ever said, did or probably imagined.

Gillespie’s actually had a kind of fascinating life. She was pals with Bob Dylan. She also sang backup vocals on David Bowie’s cover of “It Ain’t Easy” from that whole Ziggy Stardust business, and her career was initially overseen by Bowie’s management company Mainman. She developed an intense relation with the music and culture of India and released three albums in Sanskrit under the name “Third Man.” She had what her website calls “a #1 hit in Europe” with the Indian-themed “Move Your Body Close to Me” in 1983. Countries are left unspecified.

Dana continues to perform, nowadays entirely blues music, and had a record out last year. She also runs a blues festival on the microscopic island Mustique in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. I think Mick Jagger has a house there. It’s probably well-secured but I bet he lets you walk around barefoot.

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