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Petula Clark: Still "Living for Today"

These types of years later “Downtown” is A SUMMER SONG that also conjures up a undeniable technology, and the megastar who put it at the charts continues to be greater than in a position to sing it. Michelle Miller brings us up-to-date (This tale used to be at the start broadcast on December 24, 2017):

If any pop tune straight away brings again the ’60s, it is “Downtown.”  It took Petula Clark to the highest of the charts.

And part a century later, she used to be “downtown” once more, making a song to a sold-out crowd in Annapolis, Maryland.

“You might be nonetheless an important performer,” mentioned Miller. “And you might be (whispers) 85 years previous.”

“Shhhh!,” Clark answered.”


Singer Petula Clark plays on the Rams Head On Level in Annapolis, Md.

CBS Information

Sure, on the age of 85 Clark continues to be appearing all her hits, nonetheless going out on excursion, and nonetheless liberating new albums. 

However what will get her truly excited? When she will get to have her personal excursion bus.”It is in reality very comfy,” she mentioned. “You already know, I have by no means finished the rest like this earlier than, so it is roughly amusing for me. I am a little of a gypsy anyway, so I love this.”

She confirmed Miller her bunk. “I let you know what, I sleep rather well there.” 

“And everybody else sleeps up right here with you?”

“Sure, you might want to put it that means.”

To listen to Petula Clark carry out the name observe of her new album, “Dwelling for Lately,” click on at the video participant beneath.

Petula Clark – Dwelling For Lately (Respectable Audio) via
Petula Clark on

Clark has been within the public eye since she used to be 9 years previous, rising up out of doors London. It used to be 1942, all the way through the Nazi Blitz, when she went to a reside BBC Radio broadcast on the Criterion Theater.

“And in the midst of the practice session there used to be an enormous air raid and where is actually shaking.  And the manufacturer mentioned, ‘Neatly, would someone like to come back up say a work of poetry or sing a tune simply to calm issues down?’ No person else volunteered. So I mentioned, ‘Oh, I’m going to sing a tune.’ And there it’s.”

What did she sing? “Mighty Like a Rose.” “Do not want me to sing it now, do you?” she mentioned.

“Sweetest little fellow everyone is aware of.
I have no idea what to name him
however he is mighty like a rose.”

Excerpt from the Oct. 17, 1942 BBC Radio broadcast “It is All Yours,” that includes Nine-year-old Petula Clark

She persisted making a song at the radio, changing into an inspiration to the British troops.


Petula Clark at age Nine, making a song for British troops in another country. 


“They referred to as you ‘our puppy,'” Miller mentioned. “You have been Britain’s Shirley Temple.”

“Roughly, sure.”

Clark used to be so standard, she used to be featured in newsreels.

“That is roughly candy is not it? It is a very long time in the past, you understand?  It is very bizarre gazing your self at that age. Yeah. I wasn’t a foul little singer, in reality. The ones top notes I will be able to’t get now, in fact!”

However she sought after to be an actress, showing in additional than a dozen motion pictures whilst nonetheless a young person.

“I made some excellent motion pictures and reasonably numerous dangerous ones. The movie corporate did not need me to develop up. They sought after me to stick the little lady, our little puppy, and they would, you understand, bind in my bosom and put me in ankle socks.”

However develop up she did, pursuing a making a song profession far and wide Europe, after which marrying a French PR consultant for a document corporate. That they had two daughters. 

After which their younger circle of relatives used to be hit via the phenomenon that used to be “Downtown.”

“All of sudden The usa used to be calling, ‘You have to get right here!'” Clark mentioned.

“Is that your American accessory?”

“Sure, I do know. And my husband used to be announcing, ‘Who is that this Ed Sullivan, and what does he need?'”

“They began taking part in my track. And naturally once they heard it, the target audience simply went loopy.”

Petula Clark – Downtown via
Enio Giacomini de Gross sales on

“Downtown” become a global hit.

As a kid megastar who become a global pop sensation, it is a little jaw-dropping when Petula Clark begins name-dropping.

She sang for Winston Churchill (“I do not believe he got here to look me. It used to be a type of giant presentations for charity”); used to be besties with Julie Andrews (“Julie had the similar type of profession as me when she used to be a kid and we used to commute at the troop trains in combination”); danced with Fred Astaire (“And he’s taking me in his palms, and it used to be the perfect factor on this planet. We simply took off and it used to be superb, he used to be that excellent”); and acted with Alec Guinness (“I gave Alec Guinness his first film kiss; the Earth did not transfer for both people!”).

PETULA CLARK  Promotional photo of UK singer and film actress about 1963

Petula Clark in a promotional picture from 1963 (left); and starring with Peter O’Toole within the 1968 musical adaptation of “Good-bye, Mr. Chips.”

Corbis/Alamy; MGM

However there have been sparks when she met Elvis. “He flirted,” she demurely mentioned.

It took place when Clark went to look Presley carry out in Las Vegas along with her buddy, singer Karen Wood worker. “In reality he used to be flirting with either one of us: ‘Oh wow, the 2 largest pop lady stars on this planet in my dressing room!'”

Miller mentioned, “The all-American, stunning voice, Karen Wood worker. All-British pop megastar. He had the most productive of each worlds!”

“Neatly, he did not have us precisely, however he had a darn excellent check out! So, I am not going to discuss that any longer.”

What she IS proud to discuss is her duet with Harry Belafonte on her TV particular in 1968: “Whilst I used to be making a song this tune I simply put my hand on his arm.”

“What is mistaken with that?” Miller requested.

“The sponsor did not find it irresistible. And he went loopy. He mentioned, ‘No means is my megastar (that is me) going to the touch a black guy’s arm.’ He insisted that we do some other model of it, which none people favored. We needed it to move out how it used to be meant to be with the emotion in it.”

In the long run, Clark and Belafonte’s most popular model used to be broadcast. “In spite of everything, it went out that means as a result of we had the opposite takes erased,” she mentioned. “There used to be no means that we have been going to be bullied via the sponsor. I am sorry. You already know, that is the means it used to be meant to be, and that’s the reason how it used to be!”

Harry Belafonte with Petula Clark – On The Trail Of Glory via

And that’s the reason how it is been for Petula Clark: now in her 8th decade in display industry, she’s doing precisely what she desires to do.

Miller mentioned, “The general public your age are chilling out at house. They are now not out on a bus excursion. I’m amazed. Do you amaze your self, at this age?”


Petula Clark with correspondent Michelle Miller.

CBS Information

“Every so often,” Clark answered. “Every so often you might be assume, ‘Wait a minute — mustn’t I be rising radishes someplace?’ However frankly, that is a lot more amusing!” 

It is price preventing for a few sizzling rum toddies, and celebrating with a year-end toast. 

“Cheers. Glad Christmas! Glad New Yr!”

For more information:

Tale produced via Alan Golds.

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