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Millie Small set released

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The long-awaited Best of Millie/My Boy Lollipop, a collection of songs by trailblazing singer Millie Small, was released in Britain last week. A 20-track collection, it features songs she did with Island and Fontana Records.

These songs were recorded between 1963 and 1968. The highlight is the Clarendon-born Small's 1963 international smash, My Boy Lollipop.

Sweet William and Bloodshot Eyes, which were hits for Small in Britain, are also included on the set. Hey BoyHey Girl, a track featuring a young Jimmy Cliff and I'm Blue which Small cut with the hot Spencer Davis Group, should satisfy collectors.

Another little-heard track is the instrumental version of My Boy Lollipop by guitarist Ernie Ranglin who arranged Small's version.

Small was a little-known performer when she recorded My Boy Lollipop, a song first done by American singer Barbie Gay. The song is largely regarded as the first million seller by a Jamaican.

Although Sweet William, Bloodshot Eyes and Oh Henry fared well in Britain, Small's career declined in the latter stages of the 1960s.