The history of pop music is filled with singers who might have become big stars but didn't. Usually, these singers had one or two hit records, however minor, but Glenda Collins somehow failed to register a hit of any size. A closer look at her story shows that she was desperately unlucky. After several years trying, she quit the business but later realized that she may have quit too soon. Nevertheless, this collection contains both sides of every single that Glenda recorded and which can be found - it is possible that other recordings were made but this is unclear.
Glenda was just sixteen when she began her recording career in 1960 for Decca. Her first two singles sold poorly and nothing more appeared until 1962 when a third single fared much better but still didn't chart so Decca dropped her. Meanwhile, Glenda had kept busy with radio and cabaret work.
At this point, Glenda's father managed to get her a recording deal with Joe Meek, a maverick independent producer who was very successful with many different singers and groups but is perhaps best remembered for his production of Telstar, a British and American number one hit for the Tornados. In fact, the Tornados also acted as backing musicians for some of Joe Meek's other artists and they fulfilled this duty on Glenda's first single for her new label, the brilliant I lost my heart in the fairground, featuring fairground sounds and plenty of Joe Meek touches in the production. It should have been a huge hit but wasn't because its release to the public was delayed. When it finally appeared, the Beatles and other Mersey groups had taken over the charts and Glenda's record didn't sell.
Glenda's next single, If you've got to pick a baby, showed that she and Joe Meek had adapted their sound (The Outlaws replaced the Tornados as backing musicians) and she performed the song on important TV pop shows to support its release. With rave reviews, this also might have been a big hit in the run-up to Christmas. The record was so popular that initial pressings sold quickly but the record company didn't press any more. They were too busy with the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five. By the time it was possible to press more copies, the momentum had been lost.
With two obvious opportunities for major hits lost, Glenda (through no fault of her own) found the going tough after that. Her next few singles didn't get the publicity accorded to her two missed chances although they are excellent records in their own way. Joe Meek committed suicide on the eighth anniversary of Buddy Holly's death (a date that may have been deliberately chosen by Joe).
Following Joe's death, Glenda's father managed to get hold of a couple of songs that eventually became top ten hits for others. Nobody can even know what would have happened if Glenda had recorded them first. With more opportunities for female singers in the late sixties, Glenda might finally have had that big hit. However, Glenda had lost heart and quit.
So we are left with a legacy of what might have been. If those two big misses had both been big hits, who knows how many of the later misses would also have been big hits? We will never know, but this compilation shows that Glenda Collins was every bit as good as many of her compatriots who had plenty of hits.