- Samantha Juste
name = Samantha Juste
caption = Samantha Juste (left) with Pete Murray on "
Top of the Pops" (BBC TV "c."1965)
imagesize = 250px
birthname = Sandra Slater
birthdate = birth date and age|1944|5|31|
othername = Samantha Dolenz
Samantha Juste (born Sandra Slater on
31 May 1944), became known on British television in the mid-1960s as the “disc girl” on the BBC’s " Top of the Pops". In 1968 she married Micky Dolenzof the Monkees. Their daughter is the actress Ami Dolenz.
Background and choice of name
Sandra Slater was born in
Manchester, Lancashire. Her mother Phyllis was a dressmaker and Sandra studied textile and dress design at RochdaleCollege of Art .
As a “leggy” blonde, Slater became a teenage model, taking the name “Samantha Juste” [Samantha was an uncommon name in Britain but growing through the character played by
Grace Kellyin the 1956 film " High Society". During the 1960s it became more popular, particularly through the television series " Bewitched", in which Elizabeth Montgomeryplayed f Samantha Stephens, but also through Samantha Juste herself.] .
"Top of the Pops"
"Top of The Pops" was a weekly half-hour programme of current popular music, conceived and produced by
Johnnie Stewart(1917-2005). It was first broadcast from a converted church in Manchester on 1 January 1964 and lasted until 2006. Samantha Juste was assistant to Cecil Korer, the programme's assistant producer. [ [http://www.offthetelly.co.uk/interviews/cecilkorer.htm OFF THE TELLY: Interviews/Cecil Korer ] ]
After taking over from Denise Sampey, who performed the role for the first few programmes, Juste’s function for 3½ years was to sit alongside the host (initially
disc jockeys Jimmy Savile, David Jacobs, Alan Freemanand Pete Murray), to place records on a turntable and apply the needle as the artist was about to performtudio. [ [http://www.bakerlite.co.uk/pics/England/London/TOTP-8.jpg] . Juste is on the far left in this photograph, next to Pete Murray.] Simon Dee, who first introduced the show in 1966, recalled that “I got my introduction right [and] didn’t get too distracted by the luscious Samantha Juste, my lovely co-host”. [Richard Wiseman (2006) "Whatever Happened to Simon Dee?"]
Some viewers found Juste’s ritual, though obviously for effect, incongruous since the artists were there to perform; however, since they were miming, something about which the BBC made no secret, [See "The Independent", 4 May 2005, quoting the "Radio Times"] there was honesty about the procedure. Indeed, on one occasion, a record by the Swinging Blue Jeans was played at the wrong speed. ["The Independent", 4 May 2005]
Juste made a few records. She was one of two British women signed to Strike records (whose first single and only "hit",
Neil Christian's "That's Nice", was issued in February 1966) and its subsidiary Go. The other was Jacki Bond, a secretary with Strike, who, like Juste, had little musical experience. [Sleeve notes for CD, "Backcomb 'n' Beat: Dream Babes, Volume Three" (2001)]
Juste performed "No One Needs My Love Today", written by
Phil Phillips, on "Top of the Pops" on 24 November 1966. This record was produced by Miki Dallon, the backing music provided by an orchestra conducted by Ken Woodman, who had worked with Chris Andrews and Sandie Shawand is best known for "Town Talk", which became the theme tune of "The Jimmy Young Show" when BBC Radio 1 opened in 1967. "No One Needs My Love Today" was not a hit, but it was featured as a climber by the offshore "pirate" station Radio London in the week beginning 20 November. [ [http://www.radiolondon.co.uk/rl/scrap60/fabforty/nov66/nov663/fab201166.html Radio London - Field's Fab Forty - 20th November 66 ] ] One critic commented that "any vocal shortcomings on this single are outweighed by her charming delivery". [Keiron Tyler, October 2001 (sleeve notes for CD, "Backcomb 'n' Beat: Dream Babes, Volume Three")] Both "No One Needs My Love Today" and its "B" side, Pierre Tubbs' "If Trees Could Talk", were available on compilation discs and to downloadforty years later.
Micky Dolenz and the Summer of Love
During "Top of the Pops" Juste met artists who contributed to the British rock boom of the mid 1960s. In January 1967 an American group called the Monkees, formed for an eponymous television series, reached the top of the British charts with "
I'm a Believer", by Neil Diamond. The drummer Micky Dolenz ["Micky" is spelt thus (as on Dolenz's official website and in his 1993 autobiography), although the form "Mickey" often appeared at the time of the Monkees' fame in the 1960s and has done so since ("e.g." in the "Oxford Companion to Popular Music" (1991) and the "Guinness Book of British Hit Singles").] (b. 1945) recalled that, he spotted Juste as he passed a studio cafeteria:
She is tall, blond " [sic] ", beautiful, and wearing an emerald green outfit that ends up in a short skirt (very short) which tops off her unbelievably gorgeous legs ... She hold his glance briefly then looks quickly away with that haughty sophistication that only the British can do so well. [Micky Dolenz & Mark Bego (1993) "I'm a Believer"]
During the show, Dolenz was "in another world ... He just keeps watching the girl in the green dress as she plays a record, smiles, flirts with the audience, and dances". [Micky Dolenz & Mark Bego (1993) "I'm a Believer"]
London and California
Juste and Dolenz began a relationship, prompting such headlines as "Samantha traps Monkee" and "Pops girl goes ape". [Micky Dolenz & Mark Bego (1993) "I'm a Believer"] Dolenz appears not to have realised that Juste was a celebrity and the publicity took him by surprise. "Monkeemania" was such that some of the Monkees' female fans resented Juste - "she even showed up one day with ink stains on the emerald green dress" - and Dolenz claimed the couple spent a week in her "trendy" London flat. [Micky Dolenz & Mark Bego (1993) "I'm a Believer"]
For much of 1967, Juste and Dolenz spent time together in England and California. Rick Klein, a friend of Dolenz and
best manat his wedding, described a vacation with him in England during which Juste acted as "permanent guide", travelling with them to Stratford-upon-Avonin a rented Triumph car. Then, a few days later, savouring "Swinging" London:
Micky and I went to the Carlton Towers to see Samantha Juste in a fashion show and she looked outasite " [sic] ". After the show, we took off for
Carnaby Streetagain and we went crazy buying clothes ... Micky really dug all the clothes at Biba's and Susan Lockes and practically bought out the stores. He also bought a dress for Samantha. It was the same dress that Sam wore in the fashion show and it looked fantastic on her. [ [http://www.hooloovoo.com/dolenz/articles/article3.html "Never Enough..." The Official Micky Dolenz Website ] ]
Juste wrote articles for the teenage magazine "16" about time with the Monkees. [For example, "16", November 1967, reporting on the Monkees' European tour] She gave up "Top of the Pops" and moved with Dolenz to California, where they lived at Laurel Canyon in the
HollywoodHills. In June 1967 they attended the Monterey pop festival, which ushered in the " Summer of Love", Dolenz being photographed in an Indian headdress: [Lisa Law (1987) "Flashing on the Sixties"] Peter Tork[of the Monkees] and Micky turned up at the pop fest in Monterey, Peter acting as one of the emcees [masters of ceremony] , Micky wandering around the grounds dressed as an Indian with a lovely British bird, Samantha Juste, at his side. [Mitchell Cohen, March 1986 (notes for Arista CD, "The Best of The Monkees")]
"Randy Scouse Git"
In the same month as Monterey, the Monkees’ recording of Dolenz’s song, "
Randy Scouse Git" (title from a recurring phrase in the BBC TV series, " Till Death Us Do Part" ["Randy scouse git" was an insult directed by Alf Garnett(played by Warren Mitchell) to his Liverpudlian son-in-law. The script was by Johnny Speight.] ), was released. [Released in Britain under the title "Alternate Title".] Reaching number two in the British charts, [Charlie Gillett & Simon Frith (1976) "Rock File 4"] though not issued as a single in America, it was based on Dolenz's time in England: " The Beatles, Samantha, the parties, the chemicals ["i.e." drugs] ... It even has a reference to Mama Cass(Elliot of The Mamas & the Papas) who was in London at the same time". [Micky Dolenz & Mark Bego (1993) "I'm a Believer"] The opening lines almost certainly referred to Samantha Juste:
:She's a wonderful lady :And she's mine all mine:And there doesn't seem a way :That she won't come and lose my mind.
Whether Juste was the “girl in yellow dress” to whom it was easy to hum songs, it seems likely, given the intensity of her relationship with Dolenz, that she was “the being known as Wonder Girl”:
:It's not easy tryin' to tell her :That I shortly have to leave.
Juste and Dolenz were married in Laurel Canyon in July 1968. [ [http://www.geocities.com/mickydolenzandsamantha/index MICKY & SAMANTHA: A YOUNG LOVE TO BE REMEMBERED!Tribute Micky & Samantha Dolenz ] ] Dolenz's stepfather Dr Robert Scott officiated. The couple's daughter Ami Bluebell Dolenz, who became an actress, was born in Burbank in January 1969. [ [http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.geocities.com/chataholic2a2/Sam___Ami6.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.geocities.com/chataholic2a2/MickyDolenzPg3.html&h=325&w=337&sz=14&hl=en&start=2&tbnid=-_d2ekuM1o4TjM:&tbnh=115&tbnw=119&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsamantha%2Bdolenz%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DX Google Image Result for http://www.geocities.com/chataholic2a2/Sam___Ami6.jpg ] ]
Friends and celebrities
Dolenz recalled the order and sophistication that Juste brought to his home. They hosted parties attended by musicians and celebrities;
Ringo Starrof the Beatles dubbed Juste "Earth Mother" for her having made him a chip butty(a french-fry sandwich) and eggs when he arrived after a "rip-roaring all-nighter". [Micky Dolenz & Mark Bego (1993) "I'm a Believer"] Their friend, the songwriter Harry Nilsson, invited Dolenz and Juste to travel with him to Ireland to lend credibility (in Dolenz's words, "Samantha maybe ... but me?") when he met the parents of a woman he thought he might marry. [Micky Dolenz & Mark Bego (1993) "I'm a Believer"] Juste's father, Leslie Slater, helped Dolenz to construct a studio used for "jam" sessions by John Lennonof the Beatles, Brian Wilsonof the Beach Boysand the Dolenz neighbour Vince Furnier, who became known as Alice Cooper.
Divorce and afterwards
The Monkees had disbanded by the end of the 1960s, and it is clear from Dolenz's own reminiscences that his self-indulgence took its toll on his marriage. Juste and Dolenz were divorced in 1975, Juste retaining custody of their daughter, although they were reconciled as friends by the early 1990s. [Micky Dolenz & Mark Bego (1993) "I'm a Believer"] In 2002 Juste was photographed with Dolenz at Ami's wedding in
Beverly Hillsto actor and martial artist Jerry Trimble[ [http://pages.prodigy.net/monkeebiz/wedding.html Ami Dolenz Wedding ] ] and, a few months later, attended Dolenz's own wedding in Calabasasto his third wife Donna Quinter. [ [http://pages.prodigy.net/monkeebiz/MDW.html] . Dolenz was married from 1977 to 1991 to Trina Dow, with whom he had three daughters.]
While in California, Juste began her own fashion business, which she moved to
Acapulco, Mexico, in 1976. She worked in Ireland, where she taught design, but returned to California, where she and Ami Dolenz began an on-linejewelery business called Bluebell Boutique.
NAME= Juste, Samantha
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Slater, Sandra
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Television personality, singer
DATE OF BIRTH=
May 31, 1944
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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