BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON——-
MILLIE Small, the trailblazing singer who has not performed in Jamaica for over 40 years, says she plans to return home in two years to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her monster hit, My Boy Lollipop.
Small, 65, who reportedly maintains a low profile in London, responded to email questions from the Jamaica Observer last week.
SMALL… plans to return to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her monster hit My Boy Lollipop
The connection was established and certified by her close friend Charley Cross.
“I do have plans to be back on Jamaica’s stage. That would surely be a great event,” she said.
Small revealed that she recently returned to the recording studio and is getting ready to release some new songs “in the not too distant future.”
“That’s what I’m working at now, to have something out there for the people to dance to,” she said.
Released in 1964, My Boy Lollipop went to number one in Britain and was also a strong seller in the United States.
The song is recognised as the first million-selling song by a Jamaican.
It made the Clarendon-born singer an overnight sensation, but although she had a favourable follow-up with Sweet William, Small fell off the radar at the dawn of the 1970s.
There was speculation that she would turn up at the National Honours and Awards ceremony last October to accept her Order of Distinction for contribution to the development of Jamaican music.
The award was received on her behalf by Edward Seaga, former prime minister of Jamaica and one of the country’s early music producers.
Small says she retains a passion for her homeland.
“I love Jamaica and my people. Jamaica is still and always will be my home and my favourite country,” she said.
Born Millicent Dolly May Small, she was the daughter of a sugar plantation overseer who started recording in her teens alongside Roy Panton at producer Clement ‘Coxson’ Dodd’s Studio One.
In late 1963 Small went to London to make her fourth recording — an Ernest Ranglin-arranged version of My Boy Lollipop, originally recorded by American singer Barbie Gaye in 1956.
Small says she enjoys all types of Jamaican music, from the quadrille to dancehall.
“I like the music of today from wherever or whoever. But the lyrical content just has to be up to the required standard.”