I notice I unwisely promised a 'farewell Blog-City' party a few posts back, which unfortunately was over-ambitious - I'm neither ready to move the blog, or up to any sort of posting frenzy.
Thankfully, Bernadette Carroll makes a much better Party Girl than me. What a marvel of mood this song is. Even in the mere four lines of the first verse, the melody is by turns coolly nonchalant and confidently gleeful. Bernadette, in her cute-but-strong voice, happily asserts she's set her mind on chucking her no-good guy. The steady cadence of the handclaps suitably match her resolute tone and in effect, make it sound like she has a squad of supporters both affirming her smart decision and keenly waiting to hear what will happen next. Once Bernadette launches the details of her plan to live it up, the rhythm speeds up, the irresistible handclaps now sounding as though they're cheering on her new, liberated quest to have a good time and to find a better man.
Prior to recording solo and scoring a minor hit with 'Party Girl', Bernadette was a member of The Starlets, who later became The Angels, most famous for 'My Boyfriend's Back'. She later joined Denise Ferri (of The Delicates), and Peggy Santiglia (of The Delicates and also The Angels) to do commercial and backup session work, accompanying many big-name stars including Lou Christie. The trio co-created their vocal parts for his chart-topping 1965 single, 'Lightning Strikes'.
They also released a few singles under the name Jessica James and the Outlaws, including 'We'll Be Makin' Out' which features back-up vocals from Lou. The title is presumably a cheeky reference to the line "We were makin' out in the rain", which saw Lou's song 'Rhapsody In The Rain' get banned.
'Party Girl', written by Ernie Maresca and Lou Zerato, has shown up on several comps, many of which are out of print. But most of these ACE Records comps should be available, and you might still be able to get Marginal Records' Back To The Girl Zone.