My Legends of Pop Music – Part Seventeen – Pussycat
If I get this right, there will be many cover versions by future bands. I shall try and link live versions if they exist from the tellybox or a film, the sound quality may not be the best, but there is nothing like watching a real talent live.
So, in a sort of chronological order, my seventeenth legends are Pussycat.
Pussycat was a Dutch country and pop group led by the three Kowalczyk sisters: Toni, Betty and Marianne. Other members of the band were guitarists Lou Willé (Toni‘s then-husband), Theo Wetzels, Theo Coumans, and John Theunissen. Their song “Mississippi” was a No 1 hit in most European countries, including the UK, in 1975/76.
When this came out I was serving in Hameln and absolutely loved the song and Toni’s voice.
Prior to forming the band, the three sisters were telephone operators in Limburg, whilst Theunissen, Wetzles and Coumans were in a group called Scum. Lou Willé played in a group called Ricky Rendall and His Centurions until he married Toni, and created the group Sweet Reaction that eventually became known as Pussycat.
In 1975 they scored a big European hit with the song “Mississippi“. However they had to wait a further year for the single to make the British charts when it climbed to number one in the UK Singles Chart in October 1976. Penned by Werner Theunissen, who had been the sisters’ guitar teacher, it is estimated that “Mississippi” sold over five million copies worldwide. It was followed by “Smile” in 1976, and “Hey Joe” in 1978. Other hits were “If You Ever Come to Amsterdam”, “Georgie”, “Wet Day in September” and “My Broken Souvenirs”. Their career in Europe spanned more than a decade and included some seventeen albums. By 1978 Hans Lutjens had replaced Coumans on drums, as the band continued to release albums and tour, travelling as far afield as South Africa. They made regular appearances on the West German TV series, Musikladen, in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
I often play their stuff and I have put a special link in near the bottom for a Toni Willé performance in Fiji. I play the whole of this concert 2 or 3 times a year, as it really is superb.
A full list of their songs is here: Discography – Pussycat
Georgie – From ToTP in 1976 – Superb.
Smile – From a German TV music show, again in 1976, looking gorgeous and a terrific song.
My Broken Souvenirs – ToTP in 1977.Stunningly great song. Bigly beautiful indeed.
If you ever come to Amsterdam – Great tune, vocals are amazing. This promo video shows how it used to be.
The Same Old Song – ToTP in 1978. Covering the Four Tops classic.
Wet Day In September – This is from some foreign show in 1978. Not released in the UK. Toni’s vocals superb of course but her ex-husband Lou on guitar is awesome.
Hey Joe – Great song this, bit of country and western style.
Daddy – ToTP in 1979 – Another one just awesome!
Then The Music Stopped – ToTP from 1981. Love this song, great vocals as ever and some well cheesy dancing.
Teenage Queenie – Some foreign show, good tune, tartan wearing before The Bay City Rollers. Sister pretending to play guitars, pretty sure they cannot.
My favourite ballad, possibly only behind 10CC with I’m Not in Love is this:
I’ll Be Your Woman – German TV show from 1977. Awesome
As promised the Toni Willé performance from her tour with the Daniel Rae Costello and the Cruzez, they were quite big in Fiji, but a rather brilliant backing group for her Toniness.
1 hour and 20 minutes of magnificence:
Singalong, enjoy and be happy!
Links to previous Legend articles:
© Phil the ex test manager 2021