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PETULA CLARK Downtown in FLorida with Pavlina
I recently interviewed 2 legends in music Petula Clark. I talked to Petula Clark while she was getting ready to perform in Lakeland Florida.
She was backstage and it was naturally busy and being such a professional, she was able to handle it all while talking to a kid on her cell phone. I asked how she was and she responded that she was happy to be in warm parts after being in New York.
Q. When you were a kid- you sang on BBC during an air raid - that had to be a little scary. Were you scared?
A. I tell you what we weren’t. I had been living in London and i were used to the bombs and all that stuff going on and some of the kids - there were other kids who were scared about what was going on. Frankly, I was sort of used to it I suppose. But no, to answer your question, no I wasn’t scared ( she laughs).
Q. “You’ve performed for over 70 years…when you first started out, you were about 6 years old. Kids have all kind so f obstacles growing up - did you have an obstacle as a kid and how did you overcome it?”
A. “Well, quite honestly, I didn’t go to school that much. I was working, making movies and I was doing concerts and then started to do radio and started doing television. I was in and out of school and that became a bit of a problem because I was always a bit behind. It took ma a long time to catch up and I don’t think I ever really caught up. You know, I can’t do math or anything like that and my schooling did suffer.”
Q. I think the biggest thing people think of with child performers is how they sort of freak out from everything. Brenda Lee told me her mom and religion kept her grounded and Tony Butala (The Lettermen) said he just always loved what he did. How did you deal with performing as a kid through young adult and still stay grounded?”
A. “Oh my father was kind of my manager and he was very strict and he didn’t want to have a showbiz brat as his daughter so you know I took my work very seriously and I was never spoiled so I guess I always had my feet on the ground and I still do actually”
Q. “I love your song “Downtown” and “Don’t Sleep in the Subway” (because I love NYC) Do you have a favorite song ?”
A. “I agree with you about “Subway” and of course I love downtown. I love all of the songs Johnny Hatch wrote for me. He wrote “Subway” “Downtown” and many other big hits for me and I would agree with you about NY- I love it. You know I’ve sang so many longs in my career but they weren’t all hits and I’ve loved everyone one of them - it would be very hard to pick a favorite but I do love “Subway”
Q. “John Lennon said you were his favorite female singer..did you ever tour with the Beatles or with John Lennon?”
A. “Well, I never actually sang with them but met I met them all individually and I saw Paul recently in London and I saw him at a railway station actually- right in the middle of a railway station and John - I met several times and he never told me to my face I was his favorite singer but that was a nice thing to say.”
Q. Pop superstar, Broadway, TV, Songwriting, composing..is there one are you feel really great about - like you didn’t think you could do it but you succeeded in it?”
A. “I’m trying to think, I can’t really say that I mean really there are things I do better than others. There are some people who think I’m an actor who sings; some people think I’m a singer who acts. What I really love to do I love performing with other people on stage and you know I’m doing concerts and I just have my musicians and I’m alone on the stage . I also like songwriting a lot and that’s something I’m doing more and more of. I don’t know if I’m getting better but I’m doing more of it.”
I ask her about the muppet show because I was watching it on dvd and she was one of the
“Oh I tell you it was such fun! It was done in Englandactually. It took us about a week to do the show and after about 2 days- you were totally in another world! and the people who were actually producing it and the amazing voices and the actual muppets themselves - they are so real! I had conversations with them. It felt stupid but it was real fun! And it took about a week to do the show and after about two days to in other words and the people producing it- and they all do these amazing things!
Q. You’ve got a CD out that all the money goes toward an organization called Art Therapie. What made this organization special to you and the song “Butterflies in the Snow” was that inspired by something?”
A. Well, the title of the song is “Butterflies in the Snow” and you know, you never see a butterfly in the snow. These kids and people are very rare and unusual and many have been traumatized and they are in the hospital and being treated medically but they also are treated by art therapy which is music and art to help them get over their conditions and it really helps. The one that I’ve been working with in Geneva Switzerland I’m very proud to be a part of it!
Petula Clark says to me she’s in her dressing room and have people waiting for her. She apologizes for not having more time to talk to me but she has to finish getting ready for the show. The lady who has receives so many Grammy’s & other awards including medal from the Queen of England (Commander of the Order of the British Empire Award for providing so much joy over the years) is very gracious to me, just a kid.