Friday, January 05, 2007

Petula Clark is a goddess

And not just because she sang "Downtown" and starred in Trouble at Townsend.

On An Overgrown Path has further evidence:
In 1968 Harry Belafonte, whose album Calypso was the first LP to sell more than 1 million, appeared on a primetime CBS television special hosted by British singer Petula Clark. In the show, the two singers performed a duet, and Petula Clark held on to Belafonte's arm, as my still from the programme shows here. After the first take the director asked them to repeat the song, standing apart. It transpired that an executive from the show's sponsor, an automobile manufacturer, saw the first take and ordered it to be re-shot. His reason was that showing a white woman touching an African-American might adversely affect car sales in southern states.

An outraged Petula Clark and her husband Claude Wolff, the show's executive producer, destroyed all the takes except the first one. The transmission went ahead with the original duet, and the programme achieved very high viewing figures following press exposure of the sponsor's attempted inteference.

1 comment:

Peter Pigeon said...

As reported on Pigeon Post in August, Jomathan. And she appeared in a Powell and Pressburger film!