Petula Clark

Petula Clark

Synopsis of Pop Music

“When you're alone,
And life is making you lonely,
You can always go,

In the wake of The Beatles, many a British pop act lit up the U.S. charts. Most experienced short-lived fame on these shores, but Petula Clark was a different story. In the mid-to-late 60’s, Clark emerged from the shadows of the ‘British Invasion’ to offer a more adult style of pop that was catchy enough for teens but smooth enough for adults. As a result, she scored a string of Top-10 hits both in the U.S. and around the world. Over time, she became England’s most successful female vocalist.

A child prodigy, Petula Clark began her singing career at age 7 and was hosting her own radio show, Pet’s Parlour, by age 11 (it later became a TV show). By the 1950’s, she was recording children’s music. At the end of that decade, she began performing rock-styled tunes like “Romeo” to keep up with the rise of rock and roll. However, she reached her breakthrough as an international pop star when she teamed up with producer/songwriter Tony Hatch in 1964 to record “Downtown.” This upbeat tribute to city life won a Grammy award and topped both the European and U.S charts.

“Downtown” began a string of international hits for Petula Clark that continued well into the late 1960’s. The next hit was “I Know A Place,” another Grammy-winning hit that reached #3 on the pop charts. Clark’s gentle-yet-catchy style was further developed on hits like “I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love” and the #1 smash “My Love.” In 1967, she landed one of her most enduring hits with the sweetly-harmonized “Don’t Sleep In The Subway.” That year, she also went Top-10 with the stirring, Italian-styled “This Is My Song.” Charles Chaplin wrote this song and it was used in his final film, A Countess From Hong Kong.

In 1968, Petula Clark added television and film to her already-busy schedule. She hosted a special, Petula, for NBC and a regular variety show for the BBC. She also revived her film career with a role in the musical Finian’s Rainbow. She won good notices for her work and solidified her cinematic success the next year with a role in Goodbye, Mr. Chips. By this point, Petula Clark had been in show business for an impressive 30 years.

Petula Clark continued to record throughout the 1970’s. She also concentrated on cabaret work, performing all over the world and meeting appreciative audiences at every stop. At the same time, Clark continued to make many appearances on television, including a memorable visit to The Muppet Show. By the 1980’s, Clark was doing a lot of musical theater work and finding great success. She played Maria in a hit London revival of The Sound Of Music during the early 80’s. In the 1990’s, she appeared in Someone Like You (which she also co-wrote) and made her Broadway debut in Blood Brothers.

Today, Petula Clark is an international institution of show business. With success in every medium, her status as a legend is already assured. However, she remains as active as ever today. Most recently, she played Norma Desmond in a lengthy run of the hit musical Sunset Boulevard. In 1998, she released a new album entitled Where The Heart Is that included songs from that musical. In short, she continues to be a class act and a credit to pop music. Of course, no one would expect anything less from England’s most successful and beloved female pop vocalist.

Artist Release History

1959 - Pet Clark
1964 - Downtown
1965 - Uptown with Petula Clark
1965 - In Love
1965 - I Know a Place
1965 - The World's Greatest International Hits
1966 - I Couldn't Live Without Your Love
1966 - Petula Clark Sings for Everybody
1966 - My Love
1967 - Color My World/Who Am I
1967 - These Are My Songs
1967 - Just Petula
1968 - Petula
1968 - Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener
1968 - Petula Clark's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
1969 - Just Pet
1969 - A Portrait of Petula (compilation)
1970 - In Memphis
1971 - Warm and Tender
1971 - Today
1972 - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
1972 - Now
1974 - Come on Home
1974 - Live in London
1975 - I'm the Woman You Need
1986 - Give It a Try
1986 - The Greatest Hits of Petula Clark
1988 - C'est Ma Chanson (compilation)
1990 - The EP Collection, Vol. 1
1992 - Special Collection (compilation)
1992 - Treasures, Vol. 1 (compilation)
1994 - Petula Clark (compilation)
1994 - Petula Clark (compilation)
1994 - Live at the Copacabana
1995 - Don't Sleep in the Subway (compilation)
1995 - I Love to Sing: Pye 35th Anniversary (compilation)
1995 - Blue Lady: Nashville Sessions (compilation)
1995 - Anniversary Box Set, Vols.1-3 (compilation)
1995 - Polygon Years, Vol. 1 (compilation)
1995 - The Polygon Years, Vol. 2 (compilation)
1995 - The Pye Years (compilation)
1996 - Golden Hits
1997 - 2 Merry Christmas/Joyeux Noel
1997 - The Very Best of Petula Clark
1997 - The Pye Years, Vol. 2 (compilation)
1998 - Her Greatest Hits
1998 - The Wedding Song (compilation)
1998 - Original Hits
1998 - Greatest Hits
1998 - The Pye Years, Vol. 3 (compilation)
1998 - Hear for You (compilation)
1998 - The Best of Petula Clark
1998 - Anthologie, Vol. 1: The French Recordings
1998 - Anthologie, Vol. 2: Hello Paris
1998 - Anthologie, Vol. 3
1998 - Anthologie, Vol. 4
1998 - Petula Clark Sings Tony Hatch (compilation)
1999 - International Collection (compilation)
1999 - EP Collection, Vol. 2
1999 - The Classic Collection
1999 - Very Best of Petula Clark
1999 - Showstoppers (compilation)
1999 - Petula Clark (compilation)
1999 - Downtown: The Greatest Hits of Petula Clark
2000 - Nixa Years, Vol. 1: Another Door Opens (compilation)
2000 - Nixa Years, Vol. 2: Gonna Catch Me a Bluebird (compilation)
2000 - Anthology: Downtown to Sunset Boulevard
2000 - Anthologie, Vol. 5
2000 - Sixties (compilation)
2000 - Ses Plus Belles Chansons: Best of Petula Clark
2000 - Legendary (compilation)

Pop Sub Categories


Essential Music Albums

Downtown: The Greatest Hits Of Petula Clark (Buddha)

Band Members

Petula Clark   vocals

Other Pop Music Links