Nursery School’s “Sweepstakes”


As I mentioned last week, I’ve been converting all my old cassette tapes into mp3s. Most of the songs contained on those tapes are top 40 hits from the 80s we’ve all heard a million times. Occasionally, I run across a lessor known song. This is one of those.

“Sweepstakes” was a song released by Nursery School in 1983 by Epic Records.

I’d write more but that’s all I can find about this song or this band. All Google links about this song lead to eBay sales of the single. I can’t even find if Nursery School released a full album, or who was in the band.

On the record label, the song is credited to S. Bray, R. Janquitto, and V. Ghent, and was produced by two of those people (Stephen Bray and Ramona Jan, aka R. Janquitto). Stephen Bray (Wikipedia) is a musician and producer who has written and produced several of Madonna’s songs. Ramona Jan (Discogs) is a recording engineer and was a vocalist for the Comateens, Dizzy And The Romilars, and Buster Poindexter’s all girl backing group, the Venis Fly Trap. V. Ghent appears to be musician/vocalist Valerie Ghent (

I’ll save you the trouble; none of those links mention Nursery School or “Sweepstakes”. If you can find out any more information about this song or this band, please share it with me. For years I thought this song was performed by The Waitresses and couldn’t even track it down.

Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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2 thoughts on “Nursery School’s “Sweepstakes”

  1. Badwolf says:

    Both the labels I see here are “demonstration not for sale” labels, which means that it was possibly not actually sold – these demo sides usually went to radio stations (and sometimes better known clubs in big cities) to generate buzz and interest. If you were taping songs off the radio, it may be that you never had the record (since it may never have been commercially available). I’d hazard a guess that “Nursery School” was a one-off amalgamation of studio musicians that didn’t get picked up. You may also be able to judge the rarity based on the prices being charged on eBay. I checked and almost 100% of the copies for sale were “demo/promo” copies.

    FWIW: This is the first time I’ve seen the “Automatic” impression on the EPIC label. Could be a “bull pen” type of place when things are sent out in limited or regional release to judge response. No response, no release. Done.

  2. I’ve seen blue-label Epic copies too, so I do think it was released — however, like you said, I think you may be right in that this may have been a “one off” release by a bunch of studio musicians.

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