[back to the future] Norma Tanega - "A Street That Rhymes At 6 AM" & "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog" (Walkin' My Cat Named Dog) New Voice 1966

If you've heard of Norma Tanega at all, it's probably for her one hit, "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog"; an excellent folk pop tune that charted at #22 on both the national and UK top 100 in 1966. Unfortunately, the tune granted her what many consider to be a "one hit wonder" status, and the rest of her brilliant debut was largely ignored. This is really a shame, because Tanega's record is one of the best I've heard recently, and has been on constant rotation since I recently picked it up on LP. Her tunes are an expertly crafted combination of folk lyricism and pop atheistic, with some odd times and changes thrown in that set it apart from some of her contemporaries. There really isn't a weak song here, all of them showcasing Tanega's mastery of the simple yet intricate pop melody that will get stuck in your head for days and days.

Though her own success was short lived, Tanega helped singer Dusty Springfield write a number of songs throughout the 60s. Many believe that the singers had an intimate relationship, one that would last many years till Springfield's death in 1999. These days Tanega has largely left music behind to teach art in Claremont California. While her record is somewhat obscure to many listeners, its success in the 60s actually makes it not too hard to find, so I highly recommend you contact your local record store and pick up a copy. I've posted videos for two songs below, the hit "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog," as well as my personal favorite, side B's opener "A Street The Rhymes At 6AM." If you'd like some mp3s of any of the tracks, feel free to email me. Enjoy!

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