When Craig Douglas recorded Don’t Mind If I Cry for Pye in 1969 it had been six years since he last had a record in the pop charts.
An extremely popular singer in the late 50s and early 60s, his breakthrough came in 1959 with an appearance on British television’s only rock n roll show, the Six-Five Special, alongside Cliff Richard and Joe Brown. He made an immediate impact, receiving sackloads of mail just days later.
Don’t Mind If I Cry is the ‘B’ side to ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head’ and is one of the trickier Pye singles to find.
Did the misspelling of Craig as Graig on both sides of the Pye copies we’ve seen lead to some embarrassment at Pye HQ with quantities of the record being quietly disposed of? Craig Douglas was still a household name in the early seventies but his chronological vinyl discography at the excellent 45Cat website suggests that his two Pye singles were an attempt to rejuvenate his career after a long spell away from the charts.
Whilst ‘Raindrops’ on the A side was an obvious attempt to capitalise on the massive success of ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid’ with cinema-goers of the late 60s, ‘Don’t Mind If I Cry’ stands as a complete anachronism. It’s soulfulness harks back in both arrangement and vocal delivery to the ‘beat ballad’ songs of Lenny Welch, Lou Johnson and Sam Fletcher from an earlier generation.
Craig’s main commercial success came from covering US Billboard Chart hits but the expressive vocal on this criminally overlooked flipside demonstrates he could deliver a beat ballad with both passion and panache.