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Soulful Sundays: Millie Small

Before Millie Small was catapulted to fame in 1964 with the hit song, My Boy Lollipop, she had been part of a duo in Jamaica that had some minor success.

Millie Small
Millie Small

She went to London in 1963 to record My Boy Lollipop, the song that put both her and Island Record on the map internationally. My Boy Lollipop reached number on the UK and US charts and was the first hit song for the Chris Blackwell’s fledgling label. It was only recently in an interview with Blackwell at the New York Public Library, that I learned that the song had been released originally in the US by Barbie Gaye.

Small’s hit was recorded in the bluebeat style, the genre of Jamaican music that predates ska and reggae.

Although she continued to tour into the 1970s, Small never had another hit on the order of My Boy Lollipop.

In August this year, the Governor-General conferred on her the Order of Distinction for her contribution to Jamaican music.

Millie Small or Little Millie Small as she was called back then, was born Millicent Dolly May Small on October 6, 1946 in Clarendon, Jamaica. She resides in the U.K.

Please take a listen to My Boy Lollipop.