21 November 2021

Winy - My Son John/ Step By Step


Popsike (or bubblegum, depending on your point of view) from Swiss pop star

Label: Major Minor
Year of Release: 1970

Sometimes the fact an artist isn't from an English speaking nation is a dead giveaway. Take this record, for example - nobody in the Anglosphere would have given themselves the stage name "Winy". It's far too close to "Wino" or "Whiney", neither of which are compliments or the kind of upfront artistic statement anyone would usually wish to make.

I'm assuming Winy is a much more flattering nickname in Switzerland, because it's that nation Erwin "Winy" Klarer comes from. He began his recording career in the Swiss beat group The Angels in 1966, sticking with them for two singles on CBS ("The Creeper" and "Esther's Dance") before embarking on a solo career in 1968.

His first solo effort was a cover of The Beatles' "Birthday" under the name "Winy's Team and The Selection" before this one emerged in 1969 in his native Switzerland, then eventually the following year in the UK. In Europe, the sides were flipped and "Step By Step" was the A-side - Major Minor opted to prioritise the continental B-side "My Son John" over here, which does make some sense. It feels more modern for 1970, less beaty and ever so slightly closer to psychedelic pop, although purists would probably dismiss it as bubblegum.

Me? I think it's a good slice of period pop penned by quality songwriters Flett and Fletcher, who also wrote The Hollies "I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top", Clout's "Save Me", and numerous tracks for Cliff Richard. It was also released by The Onyx in 1968 who failed to take it anywhere, so perhaps its failure shouldn't have been a total surprise. 

And as for Winy himself? I'm afraid the trail stops here for me, but if any of you have any up to date information, please let me know.

If the previews below aren't working properly, please go right to the source. 


Doctor Gaz said...

surely, the Onyx version came out in 1968

23 Daves said...

You're absolutely right, and entry duly corrected. Was it re-released in 1971 as well? I suspect that's unlikely but I can't think of any other way I would have got that date.

Doctor Gaz said...

Only saying this because I have been caught out this way - sometimes compilations that are auto-generated on youtube, especially when bonus tracks (usually non album 45's) are included, can give the impression that the songs were all copyrighted at the same time. The antipodean group the Rebels (aka Larry's Rebels) made a very nice version too with their trademark rhythmic & percussive chorus in 1969.

Doctor Gaz said...

Don't know if you're familiar with the OldiesProject Dave? it's a very good resource for dating single releases etc curated by the wonderful DJ Kees Brinkerink among others.

Michael Alden said...

B-side is much better, IMO.

Jackson Martin said...

The Sushies
Subscribe my channel