Friday, December 26, 2008

Up In A Puff Of Smoke

The Unsinkable Polly Brown (oh wait ... that's the OTHER one!) had her 15 minutes of fame in 1975 with the Top 20 Hit Up In A Puff Of Smoke. Brown had formerly sung lead with Pickettywitch, a British pop group who scored a Top 40 Hit in 1970 with That Same Old Feeling. (It hit the Top 5 in the U.K.) She then joined Sweet Dreams, a soul / reggae duo, that hit the lower ranks of the charts in 1974 with the minor hit Honey Honey. (The other half of this duo was Tony Jackson.) Brown, a white singer born in Birmingham, England, performed in "black face" and Afro-wig with Sweet Dreams, under the stage name of Sarah Leone ... and really perfected her soul chops during this period. In fact, when she finally pursued a solo career, her producer must have told her to "go in and do your best Diana Ross impression"! Don't believe me? Give a close listen again to Up In A Puff Of Smoke with that thought in mind! (You probably haven't heard it in years anyway!!!) Amazingly, her biggest U.S. Hit failed to chart back home in Great Britain!