Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Petula Clark

TV Blog / Petula Clark TV SpecialPetula Clark was and is one of the most exciting performers of all time with a song repertoire that ranges from peppy pop to sweet romantic ballads. She had fifteen consecutive Top 40 hits in the US alone.

Here's one of those hits, 'A Sign of the Times' from 1966, don'cha just love those old sixties dance moves?

To wind down a bit, a number 1 pop hit in the UK in 1967 - 'This Is My Song'. I'm crazy about the bombastic musical arrangement.

After a string of international smash hits beginning with 'Downtown' in 1964 the lady was given a one-hour NBC special in 1968 filmed aboard the Queen Mary. After an intro here's the first segment, the video has been augmented for You Tube with trivia about the big boat.

There was a history making controversy that swirled around around that 1968 special. When Petula was singing a duet with guest Harry Belafonte she took his hand, a natural response. The sponsor (Chrysler) flipped, imaging all kinds of protest from their Southern dealers and customers. (Bad enough they were singing an anti-war song.)

Chrysler insisted another camera angle with the two standing apart be inserted but Petula's husband, the show's producer, destroyed all of the alternate takes making an easy swap impossible. The show aired as is and earned huge ratings while the switchboards at NBC lit up like a bonfire. Such was life then.

Petula Clark was an acclaimed motion picture actress as well as a winning guest on Dean Martin and Carol Burnett's variety shows. Because of her versatility, she was offered a weekly series in the seventies by ABC but she declined, reportedly because her kids hated LA.