[Zooey] Deschanel wrote most of these songs, and they fit into a mostly-forgotten segment of the pop spectrum: wedged between Shelby Flint and Norma Tanega. (“Black Hole,” to me, sounds like a long-lost sequel to “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog.”)
A decade later, this comes down the tweetstream:
— John Salmon (@JohnSalmon859) February 21, 2018
I didn’t miss too many songs from 1966 that made it all the way up to #22 in Billboard.
Tanega was from Vallejo, California. She began as a painter, got her MFA degree, and would eventually cut four singles and an LP for Bob Crewe’s New Voice label, also the home of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. Only the second single, “A Street That Rhymes at Six A.M.” (if you like off-center titles), made any chart noise:
Shortly afterwards, she traveled to England, where she met Dusty Springfield; after lots of back-and-forth communications, she and Dusty wound up as a couple, and Dusty recorded some of Norma’s songs. An example:
They broke up in 1971, Tanega recorded an LP for RCA’s British outpost, and while this was the last release under her name, she appears on several more albums in a group context. Meanwhile, she still paints.