Okay, you may not recognise the female above rocking the red jumper, whose Christmas song I will eventually get round to. She’s Margo Guryan, brought up in Far Rockaway, one of a number of neighbourhoods dotted around Rock, Rock, Rockaway Beach. Not that Margo was remotely rock, I should add.

She only released one album during her late 1960s heyday, Take A Picture, which was produced by John Simon, whose next client I believe would be Janis Joplin, a hollerer about as far away from Guryan’s wispy wooze as it’s possible to imagine. Bet he needed earplugs.

Here is Margo and the melancholic Why Do I Cry, just over two minutes of baroque pop gorgeosity and there’s even some baa, baa, baas. It’s one of those tracks I can just put on repeat and never get tired of listening to. Pour yourself a glass of eggnog and enjoy!

I’m guessing hopes for Take A Picture were initially high or at least highish. Sunday Morning, the opening track, penned by Margo had already achieved top 30 hit status in February 1968, via a cover by Chicago sunshine vocal harmony pop band Spanky and Our Gang. Margo had been a talented musician from a young age, had a number of connections in the industry and was certainly a good looking gal. So, why did the album fail to take off?

Mainly because Margo refused to play the pop game. She declined the idea of touring or promoting herself on TV or radio. Her label weren’t impressed and just about gave up on the album. Sunday Morning did come out as a single and, strangely enough, its B-side was a tribute to the band who had already made it a success. Here is Spanky and Our Gang:

BMX Bandit Duglas T. Stewart is a fan, as is Anton Newcombe and listening to the above track, I think we can safely assume that Stuart Murdoch adores Guryan’s music too. Belle and Sebastian’s Late Night Tales, Vol. 2 various artists collection, incidentally includes a version of Guryan’s Sunday Morning by French ye-ye chanteuse Marie Laforêt, which you can see the singer perform here.

Okay, as Noddy Holder once screeched: ‘It’ssssssss Christmaaaasssssssssssss!,’ so here’s that promised Christmas track. Saint Etienne covered the song for a 1998 fan club record and have been known to play the song live in the leadup to the festive season.

Written specifically for Claudine Longet, an artist that we can safely say is ‘problematic’, here is Margo with I Don’t Intend to Spend Christmas Without You:

Sadly, Margo died in November 2021.