To my knowledge, nothing has been said on this – but Petula Clark has had the LONGEST successful professional career in SHOWBUSINESS HISTORY.
Her first paid gig was singing with an orchestra in the entrance hall of Bentall’s Department Store in Kingston upon Thames, for a tin of toffee and a gold wristwatch, in 1939. A bizarre payment perhaps – but it was GAINFUL and in the THIRTIES.
During the Forties, she became a child star of radio, TV, stage, movies and began a recording career that continues to this day.
And as she evolved into a beautiful woman through the Fifties, her career went from strength to strength.
However in the Sixties, her career in Britain began to wane and so she concentrated more on France, which had taken her to their heart. (She could sing equally well in French, having married a Frenchman – a relationship that ALSO continues to this day).
Then suddenly along came Tony Hatch’s “Downtown” – followed by a new string of UK and American Top Ten hits and television work. In America, she did a TV special where she kissed Harry Belafonte – infuriating Deep South bigots.
The Seventies saw her stardom continue, but desiring to cut BACK as the Eighties dawned, she returned to the stage – which gave her little rest as her Maria Von Trapp in “The Sound Of Music” was a huge West End hit and was followed by a raft of similar work which kept her busy for that decade and the Nineties.
During the “Noughties” her appointment book was filled with yet more stage appearances, concerts and studio work. She toured the World and it still loved her.
Which brings us to THIS decade – the “Teens” – where, now aged 79, she CONTINUES to release CDs of new material and perform live concerts at major venues. There is no STOPPING the woman!
All of which means that Pet’s career has spanned the Thirties, Forties, Fifties, Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, Nineties, “Noughties” and “Teens” – NINE FRICKIN’ DECADES!!!
Which HAS to be a record…
UPDATE: incredibly, Our Pet is merely SEMI-unique! 85-year-old Bruce Forsyth (I had forgotten about Brucie) started HIS career – as “Boy Bruce: The Mighty Atom” – ALSO in 1939.
And he TOO has worked continuously ever since.
Two PHENOMENAL people.