Sunday, July 06, 2008

Petula Clark: Downtown

I've chosen Downtown today for two reasons. The first is that it is a great song and one of the first pop songs I can recall knowing. It reached no. 2 in 1964, so it is just possible that I can remember it being in the charts.

This version must come from the late sixties, when annoying dance troupes were obligatory when pop was played on TV. Does anyone remember the Young Generation? (Later. That video disappeared, so I have replaced it with a different on.)

The second reason for choosing it is that it gives me the chance to retail my anecdote about The Day That Petula Clark Phoned Me.

It must have been about 10 years ago, when I was acting as press officer for the Malcolm Saville Society. The Society was planning a visit to West End Farm at Wheathampstead, because that was where the film Trouble at Townsend, based on a book by Saville and starring a very young Petula Clark, was made in 1946. Thanks to the Society, incidentally, you can now buy a DVD of the film.

Anyway, before the visit I drafted a release about it for the local papers and decided it would look better with a quote from Petula Clark. So I found an e-mail address for her agent and dropped him a line.

A couple of weeks later my mobile went at work and a voice said "Hello, this is Petula Clark."

I can therefore boast that I have told Petula Clark what a great record I think "Downtown" is - surely one of the things everyone should do before they die? It may not have been the most tactful thing to say - her reply was "I have made other records, you know - but I am glad I did it.

Next week on "Among my Fragrant Souvenirs" I shall be remembering Herbert Wilcox and Dame Anna Neagle.

No comments: