Pop Archives

Lynne Randell - Ciao Baby (1967)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
#14 Sydney #3 Melbourne #5 Brisbane #10 Adelaide #5 Perth

Single on Epic, March 1967 YouTube. The Australian release on CBS followed in April.

Recorded in New York by Australian singer Lynne Randell (1950-2007), a former Melbourne hairdresser born in Liverpool UK, who toured the US on the same bill as The Monkees and Jimi Hendrix.

The single was produced by Ted Cooper with arranging and conducting by Cooper’s frequent collaborator Herb Bernstein. See also That’s A Hoe Down.

Co-charted in Sydney and Adelaide with UK version by The Montanas.

Further reading: The Lynne Randell entry at Wikipedia is comprehensive and well-sourced. It is especially good on the circumstances of Randell’s “discovery” in a hairdressing salon, showing that she was an aspiring singer who had already performed in public, and that she was not merely overheard singing as she worked. Highly recommended.

The Montanas - Ciao Baby (1967)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
#14 Sydney #10 Adelaide #5 Perth

Single on Pye, March 1967 YouTube probably before Lynne Randell's version in the same month.

The Montanas, from Wolverhampton near Birmingham, were a popular local band. The consensus is that they were never as successful as they should have been, in spite of their professionalism and versatility, and the quality of their recordings.

Bruce Eder's assessment at All Music is representative: Everyone who ever saw the Montanas perform live respected and admired them as one of the top bands in Birmingham; they were first-rate musicians and had a powerful sound playing live, and were deserving of a break and a hit.

The Montanas' best known tracks these days are probably Ciao Baby and You've Got To Be Loved, both produced by Tony Hatch. You've Got To Be Loved (1967), a minor hit in the US, was written by Hatch with his wife and frequent collaborator Jackie Trent.

The Toys - Ciao Baby (1967)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Original version

Single on Philips, February 1967 YouTube, by vocal trio formed by high school friends from Jamaica, New York, Barbara Harris (usually the lead singer), Barbara Parritt and June Montiero. Their peak output was produced and written by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, including their big hit A Lover's Concerto (1965, #2 USA, #5 UK), adapted from J.S. Bach.

Larry Weiss & Scott English also wrote Bend Me, Shape Me (American Breed, Amen Corner), Help Me Girl (Animals), Hi Ho Silver Lining (The Attack, Jeff Beck).Larry Weiss wrote Rhinestone Cowboy (Glenn Campbell) and recorded his own version. Scott English co-wrote Brandy which was a hit for Scott English in the UK and Bunny Walters in New Zealand, and became Mandy when Barry Manilow recorded it.

Thanks to Phil Chapman.

The Eternal Flame - Ciao Baby (1967)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Later version

Single on Viva, October 1967 YouTube.

The Eternal Flame was in fact an established vocal group, The Eligibles, who were formed by 1957 and probably went back further. They were Stan Farber (first tenor), Ron Hicklin (second tenor), Bob Zwirn (baritone), and Ron Rolla (bass, later went into opera).

The Eligibles were from Renton in Washington State. They were close friends from junior high school, and were already performing together as students at the University of Washington. After leaving university in the summer of 1957 they moved to Hollywood, released their first single in November 1957, and went fully professional early in 1958.

They released a handful of singles on various labels as The Eligibles up until 1963, although on one early recording they were The Good Four Tunes, on small Beverly Hills label Bel-Air. Before they released Ciao Baby as The Eternal Flame, they had two singles as The In Crowd, also on Viva (late 1966 and early 1967).

The bulk of their work, though, was as The Eligibles. They provided backing vocals for a number of prominent artists, in the studio and in concert, as well as releasing their own records. They are also known to Gilligan’s Island fans for their recording of the theme song The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle which replaced an earlier version in 1965.

The arranger of Ciao Baby is Al Capps, who seems to have been a member of The Eligibles at some stage (though not at the start), and the producer is Snuff Garrett, who had previously produced the group as backing singers and as The In Crowd.

Disambiguation: This is clearly not the rock band Eternal Flame, formed early 90s (King of the King, 2002).

Sources, further reading: 1. Comments on the The Eternal Flame by user jangleradio at 45cat.com were my starting point. 2. Contemporary news stories including “Success Around Corner For New Singing Group”, Valley Times (North Hollywood) 30 Mar 1959, p.8 [LINK; subscription required]; and “Eligibles Seek Understanding”, Independent Star-News (Pasadena) 12 Mar 1961, p.56 [LINK]. 3. Gilligan’s Island fan page about The Eligibles.

Ray Rivera And Orchestra - Ciao Baby (1968)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Later version

Instrumental version, on 1968 Mercury LP Latin Workout, arranged and produced by Claus Ogerman. See sleeve shot and details at The Works Of Claus Ogerman.

Another Weiss-English title, Bend Me, Shape Me, also appears on the LP.

For more details on jazz musician and composer Ray Rivera, see Dinah Lee – Do The Blue Beat (The Jamaican Ska): Ray recorded an earlier version.

Thanks to Ray Rivera.

Group Check - Ciao Baby (1968)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Netherlands Netherlands
Later version

Single on Pink Elephant. Also on Metronome in Germany (1969). YouTube

Group Check: mid- to late-60s band from The Hague, also known as Check or Surfgroup Check.

Personnel, as listed by the defunct music encyclopedia site DPH:
• 1965-67: Dick van de Torenvrijthof (bass), Frans van den Berg (guitar), Lucky Reinhardt (guitar);
• 1968: Roy van de Merwe (vocals, keyboards), Martin Nije (vocals, guitar), Frans IJzendoorn, (drums) Fokke Openty (vocals, bass).

Thanks to Randy for version alert.

Nola York - Ciao Baby (1968)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Later version

Single on Philips.

British singer, songwriter and actor Nola York also wrote and appeared in her own musicals. She joined established vocal group The Chantelles with her future manager Riss Chantelle. Her discography includes singles on major labels HMV, Decca  and Philips.

Further reading: The Chantelle Music website of Riss Chantelle, who died in 2015, includes a page about Nola York’s career.

Lena Junoff - Ciao Baby (1968)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Sweden Sweden
Later version

Single on Olga.

Lena Junoff (b.1942) came from Borås, Sweden, about 60 km east of Gothenberg where she moved to follow a singing career.

Early in her career she performed as Adah Helene in Sweden, then in the UK as Margaret Lee, before singing with Duke Ellington for a while in the early 70s. Swedish sources paint her as a colourful character, with a life story that takes in Jimi Hendrix, P.J. Proby, Rod Stewart and West German Chancellor Willy Brandt.

References, further reading (all in Swedish): 1. Feature on the life and career of Lena Junoff at Zenzafacta.com. 2. Vem är lLena Junoff? at Swedish daily paper GT. 3. As recently as January 2021 she was writing a review blog at Göteborg Nonstop.

Gunter Gabriel - Ciao Baby (1968)

(Larry Weiss-Scott English-Fred Weyrich)
Germany Germany
Later version

B-side on Philips. YouTube

Gunter Gabriel (born Günter Caspelherr, 1942-2017) was a popular singer-songwriter in country music and in the catchy European pop sub-genre Schlager.

German lyrics by prominent singer-songwriter-producer Fred Weyrich (1921-1999).

Mel Torme - Ciao Baby

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Later version

Late 60s?

Appeared as a previously unreleased bonus track on CD of Right Now (original LP released 1966). Also on In The Lounge With… Mel Torme (2001). YouTube

Long John Baldry - Ciao Baby

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Later version

Circa 1969?

Bonus track on The Pye Anthology (Let The Heartaches Begin), a 1998 CD reissue of two late-60s albums. Probably unreleased previously.

Catherine McKinnon - Ciao Baby (1970)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Canada Canada
Later version

Single on Capitol YouTube by Canadian singer (b. 1944), often on Canadian radio, TV and records from the mid- 60s. See entry on Catherine McKinnon at The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.

Craig Scott - Ciao Baby (1971)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
New Zealand New Zealand
Later version
#4 NZ

Single on HMV YouTube
by singer from Dunedin, often on the NZ charts in the 70s, groomed as a solo pop star after fronting bands that included Battle of the Bands winners Revival (Viva Bobby Joe, 1969,#14 NZ).

See career biography at Bruce Sergent's New Zealand Music site.

See also under Smiley (1971), Rock 'n' Roll (1973) and Wind And Rain (1973).

Lello Tartarino - Ciao Baby Ciao (1971)

(Larry Weiss-Scott English)
Belgium Belgium
Later version

Single on Belgian label Supreme

Italian singer Lello Tartorino (Nello Tanzi 1937-1992) was born in Montevarchi in Tuscany. He performed and released records in several countries.

There are other songs entitled Ciao Baby Ciao. For example, it is the title of an Italian-language version of Charlie Gracie’s Angel Of Love (1959), recorded in Italy by Emilio Pericoli (1959) and by Giorgio Gaber (1960).

Further reading: La Bella favola di Lello, October 2012 profile in Incomune (Montevarchi).

Emma Birdsall - Ciao Baby (2014)

(Larry Weiss - Scott English)
Australia Australia
Later version

From the soundtrack and album of Australian TV series Love Child (Season 1), set in 60s-70s Sydney, recorded by singer-songwriter from New South Wales (b.1992) who was a finalist in the Australian version of The Voice. YouTube

Maurice Fanon - Ciao Baby (1963)

(Maurice Fanon)
France France
Red herring


On debut album Avec Fanon by singer-songwriter from Auneau in northern France (1929-1991).

Reference: Song details at Bibliothèque nationale de France.

More red herrings: See Songview (ASCAP and BMI combined works) for about a dozen other songs entitled Ciao Baby recorded by artists including theStart, Bobby O, Ninis, and Nicol Raidman.

The Cult - Edie (Ciao Baby) (1989)

(Ian Astbury - Billy Duffy)
Red herring


Single on Beggars Banquet by British band operating in hard rock, heavy metal, post-punk, and gothic rock genres [Wikipedia].