Dolly Mixture special with Debsey Wykes talking about life in music with David Eastaugh
The group was formed in Cambridge, England, by Bor, Smith, and Wykes, three school friends who shared a fondness for The Shangri-Las and The Undertones. Dolly Mixture supported The Undertones on one of their first UK tours. The band also played venues with The Fall and The Transmitters in 1979. They were once supported by U2. In Autumn 1981, they toured as the featured support band for Bad Manners on their Gosh It's tour and were well received by the second wave mod/ska audience that filled various theatres and venues up and down the land.
Relocating to London to gig extensively, national BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel gave them exposure on his radio show and in his weekly column in the UK pop paper, Sounds. Signed to Chrysalis Records, the group released a cover of the Shirelles hit, "Baby It's You" (1980), produced by Eric Faulkner of the Bay City Rollers. However, the cover version was disowned by the group, which protested the label's attempt to sell them as a teen girl group. Their next single, "Been Teen" (1981), was the first single released on Paul Weller's Respond label. It was followed by "Everything And More" (1982), also released on Respond. Both singles were produced by Captain Sensible and Paul Gray of The Damned. They became friends with Sensible and recorded backing vocals on his singles and albums. After Sensible had a hit with "Happy Talk" in 1982 (featuring Dolly Mixture, credited as "Dolly Mixtures" on the single, and also in the song's video) and following various appearances on the television show Top of the Pops, Dolly Mixture – as a separate entity from Captain Sensible – performed extensively.