63 Facts About Petula Clark


Petula Clark has had one of the longest careers of an English singer, spanning more than seven decades.


In late 1964 Petula Clark's success extended to the United States with a four-year run of career-defining, often upbeat singles, many written or co-written by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent.


Petula Clark has enjoyed success in the musical film Finian's Rainbow and in the stage musicals The Sound of Music, Blood Brothers, Sunset Boulevard and Mary Poppins.


Petula Clark was born to Doris and Leslie Noah Petula Clark in Ewell, Surrey, England on 15 November 1932.


Petula Clark's mother had Welsh ancestry and her father was English.


Sally's stage name "Petula Clark" was invented by her father, who joked that it was a combination of the names of his two former girlfriends, Pet and Ulla.


Petula Clark recalls living just outside London during the Blitz and watching the dogfights in the air and running to air-raid shelters with her sister.


Petula Clark volunteered, and they liked her voice so much, in the control room they recorded her.


From a chance beginning at the age of seven Petula Clark appeared on radio, in film, in print, on television and on recordings.


In October 1942 the nine-year-old Petula Clark made her radio debut while attending a BBC broadcast with her father.


Petula Clark was trying to send a message to an uncle who was stationed overseas, but the broadcast was delayed by an air raid.


Petula Clark then repeated her performance for the broadcast audience, launching a series of some 500 appearances in programmes designed to entertain the troops.


Petula Clark became known as "Britain's Shirley Temple", and was considered a mascot by the British Army, some of whose troops plastered her photos on their tanks for good luck as they advanced into battle.


Petula Clark had a small role in I Know Where I'm Going.


In 1945 Petula Clark was featured in the comic Radio Fun, in which she was billed as "Radio's Merry Mimic".


In 1947 Petula Clark met Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson at the Peter Maurice Publishing Company.


Petula Clark had recorded her first release that year, "Put Your Shoes On, Lucy", for EMI, and further recordings with vocalist Benny Lee on Decca.


In 1957 Petula Clark was invited to appear at the Paris Olympia, where, despite her misgivings and a bad cold, she was received with acclaim.


Petula Clark was attracted immediately, and when she was told that she would be working with him if she signed with the Vogue label she agreed.


In 1960 Petula Clark embarked on a concert tour of France and Belgium with Sacha Distel, who remained a close friend until his death in 2004.


Petula Clark is one of only a handful of performers to be given a song by Brel.


In 1963 Petula Clark wrote the soundtrack for the French crime film A Couteaux Tires - released in 1964 - and made a cameo appearance as herself in the film.


Petula Clark was the subject of This Is Your Life in February 1964, and twice more, in April 1975 and March 1996, becoming the only person to receive the television tribute three times.


Clark was later the host of two more specials; The Petula Clark Show shown on both the NBC and CBC networks in early 1970, and one for ABC which served as a pilot for a projected weekly series.


Petula Clark starred in the BBC television series This Is Petula Clark, which aired from mid-1966 to early 1968.


Petula Clark revived her film career in the late 1960s, starring in two big musical films.


Petula Clark didn't have us, exactly, but he had a darned good try.


Petula Clark was one of the backing vocalists on John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band Give Peace a Chance.


Petula Clark was performing in Montreal in June 1969, and was being heckled by the audience due to her bilingual performance.


Petula Clark went to see Lennon for advice on dealing with this, as his wife Yoko Ono and he were staying at the city's Queen Elizabeth Hotel during their Bed-ins for Peace protest.


Petula Clark subsequently ended up on the recording of Give Peace a Chance.


Petula Clark continued touring during the 1970s, performing in clubs in the US and Europe.


Petula Clark hosted the television series The Sound of Petula, and through the 1970s, made numerous guest appearances on variety, comedy, and game-show television programmes.


Petula Clark appeared as a special guest star in an episode of The Muppet Show in 1977.


Petula Clark recorded new material regularly throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and in 1992 released "Oxygen", a single produced by Andy Richards and written by Nik Kershaw.


In 1998 Petula Clark was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.


In 2012 Petula Clark was installed as a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France by the French Minister of Culture.


In both 1998 and 2002 Petula Clark toured extensively throughout the UK.


Petula Clark was the host of the March 2007 PBS fundraising special My Music: The British Beat, an overview of the musical British invasion of the United States during the 1960s, followed by a number of concert dates throughout the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


Petula Clark can be heard on the soundtrack of the 2007 independent film Downtown: A Street Tale.


Une Baladine, an authorised pictorial biography by Francoise Piazza, was published in France and Switzerland in October 2007, and the following month Petula Clark promoted it in bookshops and at book fairs.


In 2005 Petula Clark took part in the BBC Wales programme Coming Home, about her Welsh family history.


Petula Clark was presented with the 2007 Film and TV Music Award for Best Use of a Song in a Television Programme for "Downtown" in the ABC series Lost.


Petula Clark completed a concert tour of England and Wales in summer 2008, followed by concerts in Switzerland and the Philippines.


Additionally, her 1969 NBC special Portrait of Petula Clark, already released on DVD for Region 2 viewers, is being produced for Region 1.


At the Montreux Jazz Festival on 14 July 2008 Petula Clark joined with Paolo Nutini to perform "Goin' to Chicago Blues" in celebration of Quincy Jones' 75th birthday.


In 2010 Petula Clark became president of the Hastings Musical Festival; she toured Australia, New Zealand and Quebec to sell-out crowds, and appeared on the Vivement Dimanche show on French television, where she promised a return to Paris in the new year.


Petula Clark was patron of 2011 Dinard British Film Festival.


In November 2011, at age 78, Petula Clark performed at the Casino de Paris, a Parisian music hall.


Petula Clark entertained for more than 90 minutes and introduced five new songs, one of which she had recently written with friend Charles Aznavour.


Petula Clark appeared in the video for the song, which they recorded in Galway, and she in Paris.


In February 2012 Petula Clark completed her first New York City show since 1975.


Petula Clark's show featured a parody of "Downtown", an idea that came from her musical director Grant Sturiale.


Petula Clark appeared as guest on Radio 4's The Reunion in August 2012.


Petula Clark remade her famous "Downtown", and performed a cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy".


Petula Clark performed a new song called "Cut Copy Me", which had a 14-week run in the Belgium chart.


Petula Clark released a new English-language album, From Now On, in October 2016, and completed a tour of the UK to promote it.


Petula Clark made a cameo appearance in the 2017 London Heathrow Airport Christmas television commercial, accompanied by her song, "I Couldn't Live without Your Love".


Petula Clark embarked on a tour of the United States in November 2017.


Petula Clark appeared in Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends concert which aired on the BBC in January 2023.


In 1955 Petula Clark became linked romantically with Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson.


In October 1957, Petula Clark was invited to appear at the Paris Olympia for Europe premier live radio show, Musicorama.


Since 2012 Petula Clark has lived for most of the year in Geneva, Switzerland; she has a holiday chalet in the French Alps, where she likes to ski, and a pied-a-terre in London's Chelsea.