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Petula Clark: Still "Living for Today"

Most of these years later “Downtown” is A SUMMER SONG that also conjures up a undeniable technology, and the celebrity who put it at the charts continues to be greater than able to sing it. Michelle Miller brings us up-to-date (This tale was once at first broadcast on December 24, 2017):

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

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

“You are nonetheless a terrific performer,” mentioned Miller. “And you are (whispers) 85 years previous.”

“Shhhh!,” Clark responded.”


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 freeing new albums. 

However what will get her actually excited? When she will get to have her personal excursion bus.”It is in reality very relaxed,” she mentioned. “You already know, I have by no means performed anything else like this prior to, so it is roughly a laugh for me. I am just 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 approach.”

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

Petula Clark – Dwelling For Lately (Professional Audio) by way of
Petula Clark on

Clark has been within the public eye since she was once 9 years previous, rising up outdoor London. It was once 1942, throughout the Nazi Blitz, when she went to a are living BBC Radio broadcast on the Criterion Theater.

“And in the midst of the practice session there was once an enormous air raid and where is really shaking.  And the manufacturer mentioned, ‘Smartly, 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 will sing a tune.’ And there it’s.”

What did she sing? “Mighty Like a Rose.” “Are not looking for 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 endured 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 out of the country. 


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

“More or less, sure.”

Clark was once so in style, she was once featured in newsreels.

“That is roughly candy is not it? It is a very long time in the past, you already know?  It is very bizarre looking at your self at that age. Yeah. I wasn’t a nasty little singer, in reality. The ones prime 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 youngster.

“I made some just right motion pictures and somewhat a large number of unhealthy ones. The movie corporate did not need me to develop up. They sought after me to stick the little lady, our little puppy, they usually would, you already know, 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 was once hit by way of the phenomenon that was once “Downtown.”

” The usa was once calling, ‘You have to get right here!'” Clark mentioned.

“Is that your American accessory?”

“Sure, I do know. And my husband was once pronouncing, ‘Who is that this Ed Sullivan, and what does he need?'”

“They began enjoying my tune. And naturally once they heard it, the target audience simply went loopy.”

Petula Clark – Downtown by way of
Enio Giacomini de Gross sales on

“Downtown” was a world hit.

As a kid celebrity who was a world 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 was once a type of large displays for charity”); was once besties with Julie Andrews (“Julie had the similar type of profession as me when she was once a kid and we used to go back and forth at the troop trains in combination”); danced with Fred Astaire (“And he is taking me in his fingers, and it was once the perfect factor on the planet. We simply took off and it was once glorious, he was once that just right”); and acted with Alec Guinness (“I gave Alec Guinness his first film kiss; the Earth did not transfer for both folks!”).

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 together with her pal, singer Karen Wood worker. “In truth he was once flirting with either one of us: ‘Oh wow, the 2 largest pop lady stars on the planet in my dressing room!'”

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

“Smartly, he did not have us precisely, however he had a darn just right take a look at! So, I am not going to discuss that to any extent further.”

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 incorrect with that?” Miller requested.

“The sponsor did not adore it. And he went loopy. He mentioned, ‘No approach is my celebrity (that is me) going to the touch a black guy’s arm.’ He insisted that we do some other model of it, which none folks preferred. We would have liked it to move out how it was once intended to be with the emotion in it.”

In the end, Clark and Belafonte’s most well-liked model was once broadcast. “Finally, it went out that approach as a result of we had the opposite takes erased,” she mentioned. “There was once no approach that we had been going to be bullied by way of the sponsor. I am sorry. You already know, that is the approach it was once intended to be, and that’s the reason how it was once!”

Harry Belafonte with Petula Clark – On The Trail Of Glory by way of

And that’s the reason how it is been for Petula Clark: now in her 8th decade in display trade, she’s doing precisely what she needs 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

“From time to time,” Clark responded. “From time to time you are assume, ‘Wait a minute — mustn’t I be rising radishes someplace?’ However frankly, that is a lot more a laugh!” 

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

“Cheers. Satisfied Christmas! Satisfied New 12 months!”

For more information:

Tale produced by way of Alan Golds.

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