Monday, 15 August 2011
Mono Mondays: Petula Clark
A star of radio, film and stage, Petula is probably best remembered for her hit records which spanned the 1950s and 60s, particularly in the latter decade when she scored hits in several countries.
Coached in her early career by accompanist Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson (with whom shared the limelight for a while with a radio series in the 1950s), Pet became one of the most prominent female recording artists of her era. She also appeared in several films too which no doubt helped her gain wider fame in the UK and abroad.
Without a doubt, Pet recorded some memorable songs including Romeo. Downtown and Don't Sleep In The Subway, but few would have suspected that the catchy melody of her 1966 recording of Tony Hatch's I Couldnt Live Without Your Love would gain recognition again in 2011 by been used in an advertisement campaign for Cesar dog food!
Following her association with promotion manager Claud Wolff (whom she married in 1961) Petula's career took on greater direction as she began to make many recordings in different languages, making her one of the few British female recording artists to have a successful career outside of the UK.
She topped the British Charts twice with Sailor (1961) and This is My Song (1967) while scoring number ones in other countries: The Little Shoemaker (Australia, 1957), Romeo (France, 1961), Chariot (Italy, 1961), Monsieur (Germany, Italy, 1961), Ya Ya Twist (France, 1962), Coeur Blesse (France, 1963), Downtown (Australia, Canada, Germany Italy America, 1964), I Know A Place (Canada, 1964), My Love (Canada, America, 1965), I Couldn't Live Without Your Love (America, 1966), This is My Song (Australia, France, Italy, 1967), Don't Sleep in the Subway (Canada, America, 1967). All in all, an impressive list of chart toppers worldwide...
Nevertheless Pet always did have appeal to fans of all ages. Pet's version of Downtown re-entered the charts on several occasions, and has also been covered by Dolly Parton and Emma Bunton.
Pet was also such a recording artist of note that she was chosen to open the BBC's Colour TV service in 1969 with a special concert - now, does anyone have a recording of that?