…in the Summer of 1990, Alison Clarkson aka Betty Boo asked that very question. Now in 2018, we ask, where are YOU Betty Boo?
by Christopher Smith
Betty Boo made her debut when she was 19 years old on the music scene in the summer of 1989 featuring on The Beatmasters smash hit “Hey DJ I Can’t Dance (To The Music You’re Playing)”.
The following year, Betty made her solo debut with the self-appreciating number “Doin’ The Do”.
Both “Hey DJ” and “Doin’ The Do” peaked at number seven in the UK, however, her next release “Where Are You Baby?” went much higher, to number three, and Betty seemed unstoppable.
That Christmas she released the slowey “24 Hours”, all taken from her top five debut long player “Boomania”.
She spend most of 1991 writing and recording her second album “Grrr, It’s Betty Boo” and made a return to the chart in the Summer of 1992 with “Let Me Take You There” (altogether now “doobie de doo, de doo”).
That seemed to be it. So what’s happened in the last 26 years and where HAS Betty Boo gone?
“Let Me Take You There” was her last appearance in the UK top 40. The remaining singles from her second release charted much lower. At the time she was signed to WEA Records and, apparently, turned DOWN the opportunity to sign to Madonna’s record label Maverick!
She turned to songwriting in the late 90’s and helped Chris Herbert (The Spice Girls) to found a new girl group called Girl Thing in 1998. One song she did co-author for their debut album was a track called “Pure And Simple”. But this was not to happen.
Instead, it was given to the winners of the 2001 reality TV show ‘Popstars’, Hear’Say – remember them?
It went straight to the top of the singles chart and sold over a million copies in the UK and was given the Ivor Novello Award for biggest selling single. ‘Betty’/Alison subsequently went on to write songs for Girls Aloud, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Dannii Minogue.
In 2006 she made an attempt to relaunch her own career, this time with Alex James (formally of Blur) in a partnership known as WigWam. Their debut single “Wigwam” reached number 60 on the single chart.
And that was that!
Her next partnership came the following year with electro-dance group Jack Rokka. Together, they released the single “Take Off” which…well…didn’t! It made number 92.
Since then, Clarkson has dabbled in songwriting and even a historical musical with historian Kate Williams on the life of Dame Emma Hamilton (1765-1815).
Little has been seen or heard of her in the 2010’s, apart from an appearance in late 2017 to attend the West End premier of the musical ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’.
So, Betty isn’t it about time that you started ‘doin’ the do’ again?! Where are you baby?
Maybe someday in the not too distant future, she will take to the stage and answer all these questions and more.
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