THE ALLUSIONS
Gypsy Woman
(Dorsey Burnette - Joe Osborn)
Australia 1966
#11 Sydney #18 Brisbane

Single on Parlophone by Mersybeat-influenced Sydney band with vocal harmonies. The Allusions were together from 1965 till 1969, managed throughout by Alistair McEwan, himself a musician.

Gypsy Woman was the exception among the twelve songs released by The Allusions on six singles 1966-1968. All the others were original songs, eight written by rhythm guitarist & vocalist Michael Morris and three by bassist Bruce Davis who joined in mid-1966. Morris and Davis had both been in Dennis Williams & The Delawares.

The band's biggest hit was Morris's The Dancer (1966, #7 Sydney, #13 Brisbane, #53 Perth).


Commentary:

The Allusions left behind a fine batch of records... If this band will be remembered... it would be for their extremely tight and inventive sound, those complex vocal harmonies, and their mastery of the three-minute beat-pop single idiom.
  Paul Culnane, Milesago.com

(The Allusions' self-titled album, 1966) remains a versatile work crammed with intelligently crafted pop songs, most of which are adorned with nifty little guitar solos and carefully thought out, unobtrusive harmony.
  Garry Aurisch, The Allusions (Moonlight Publishing, 1994)

The Allusions were one of the most stylish and inventive of Sydney's 1960s beat pop bands.... 'Gypsy Woman' and the Michael-Morris-penned 'The Dancer'... are rightly regarded as Australian 1960s classics.
  Ian McFarlane, The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)


References, further reading: 1. The Allusions history at Milesago. 2. The Allusions, Garry Aurisch's 28-page booklet on the band's history, is available from Australian Music Books3. Ian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop, (1999), p.15. 

Thanks to Sheena.

On CD: Sixties Downunder Vol. 3

 
RICKY NELSON
Gypsy Woman
(Dorsey Burnette - Joe Osborn)
USA 1963
Original version
#14 Melbourne

Single on Decca label, B-side of String Along. Also on 1963 LP For Your Sweet Love.

Double-sided hit in Melbourne with String Along. (In Brisbane and Adelaide String Along alone charted.)

Co-writer Dorsey Burnette and his brother Johnny wrote several songs for Ricky Nelson. See this archived Dorsey Burnette webpage.

Co-writer Joe Osborn is a legendary session bass player who was at this time a member of Ricky Nelson's band. His session credits are extensive, having been one of the "Wrecking Crew", nickname for an unofficial collection of first-call studio musicians in Los Angeles. See the Wikipedia entries on Joe Osborn and the Wrecking Crew.


Gypsy Woman was also recorded by 90s Washington State indie garage revivalists Mono Men.

Later versions:

THE SAINTS
Gypsy Woman
(Dorsey Burnette - Joe Osborn)
Australia 1981
Later version

B-side of single, Let's Pretend.

By this time, following the departure of Ed Kuepper and Ivor Hay at the end of the 70s, only Chris Bailey remained from the line-up that produced the Saints' 1976 breakthrough single (I'm) Stranded.

Thanks to Aaron Curran for clarification.

References, further reading: 1. History and discography at Wikipedia. 2. Ian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (1999), pp. 546-548.

THE IMPRESSIONS
Gypsy Woman
(Curtis Mayfield)
USA 1961
Red herring
#20 USA #17 Adelaide

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'GYPSY WOMAN' BY THE ALLUSIONS.

Also a 1970 hit for Brian Hyland (#3 USA, #45 UK, #35 Sydney, #4 Melbourne, #5 Brisbane, #11 Adelaide, #8 Perth).

MUDDY WATERS
Gypsy Woman
(Muddy Waters [McKinley Morganfield])
USA 1947
Red herring

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'GYPSY WOMAN' BY THE ALLUSIONS.

Also known as Gypsy Women. From Muddy Waters' first studio session, for the Aristocrat label in 1947, this became his first release, a 78 rpm single with Little Annie Mae. With Sunnyland Slim on piano.

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.