Bill Harry's Sixties

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by Bill Harry

One of the U.K.'s most successful female singers, Petula was born in Epsom, Surrey on 15th November 1932 and began her stage career at the age of seven. As a child she enjoyed a career in radio, making her radio debut in October 1942. Her numerous radio and film appearances led to her being dubbed 'Britain's Shirley Temple'.
Petula Clark

Petula made her film debut in 'Medal for the General' in 1944, since which she has appeared in 35 films and starred in two major movie musicals: 'Finian's Rainbow' with Fred Astaire and 'Goodbye, Mr Chips' with Peter O' Toole.

Petula Clark She made her recording debut with a cover version of the Teresa Brewer hit 'Music Music Music' and during the 1950s her own hits included: 'The Little Shoemaker', 'Majorca', 'Suddenly There's A Valley', 'With All My Heart', 'Alone' and 'Baby Lover'.

In 1958 Petula appeared at the Olympia, Paris and was signed to the French label Vogue where she became acquainted with the record company's press agent Claude Wolff, whom she married the following year. The couple had three children: Barbara Michelle, Katherine Natalie and Patrick.
Petula became a major recording star in France, recording in the French language. She consolidated her appeal on the Continent by also recording in German, Italian and Spanish.

Her most successful decade was the 1960s when her English language major hits included: 'Sailor', 'Something Missing', 'Romeo', 'My Friend The Sea', 'I'm Counting On You', 'Ya Ya Twist', 'Casanova', 'Downtown', 'I Know A Place', 'You Better Come Home', 'Round Every Corner', 'You're The One', 'My Love', 'A Sign of the Times', 'I Couldn't Live Without Your Love', 'This Is My Song', 'Don't Sleep in the Subway', 'The Other Man's Grass' and 'Kiss Me Goodbye'. She also had success with the powerful, haunting song 'Chariot', a French version of 'I Will Follow Him'.
She has appeared in more than 150 major television shows in addition to her own television 'specials' in America and Britain. Among her numerous television appearances are 'Shindig!' 'Hullabaloo', 'The Ed Sullivan Show', 'The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson', 'The Red Skelton Show', 'The Andy Williams Show', 'The Roger Miller Show', 'The Danny Kaye Show', 'The Dean Martin Show' 'The Pat Boone Show', 'The Smothers Brothers Show', 'The Bob Hope Special' and 'The Bobby Darin Show.'
Petula Clark

Petula Clark Her hits in the 1970s were 'The Song of My Life' and 'I Don't Know How to Love Him'. Her re-mix 'Downtown '88' hit the charts in 1988.

In addition to concerts, Petula set her sights on the West End stage and featured as Maria in 'The Sound of Music' in 1981/2. In 1990 she wrote and starred in her own West End musical, 'Someone Like You'. Apart from her West End successes,

Petula has appeared on Broadway and toured the U.S. in the shows 'Blood Brothers' and 'Sunset Boulevard'. During more than 50 years as a performer, Petula has recorded over 1,000 songs and her fan club IPCS (International Petula Clark Society) is still active after more than 30 years.

Petula's career was recognised with a CBE by the Queen in 1998 and has received numerous other awards, beginning with a Silver Microphone, presented to her by the Daily Mail newspaper in 1950 as 'The Most Outstanding Female TV Personality of the Year.' Recent awards have included a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2003.

She continues to tour and record.

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