Happy Birthday Petula Clark

(Gibson) Although best-known in America for British Invasion pop hits such as "I Know a Place" and "Downtown," Petula Clark can claim a multi-faceted career that includes child stardom, international fame and acclaimed work on stage, television and the silver screen. Of course, her legacy will always be tied to her contributions to music. After all, she's sold more than 68 million records around the world.

Petula Clark was born on this day in 1932 in Epsom, Surrey, England part of the greater London metropolitan area. Her father, Leslie, was responsible for her unique first name, which he joked was a combination of his former girlfriends, Pet and Ulla. She showed her singing talents at an early age impersonating Carmen Miranda and Vera Lynn for family and friends but became determined to be an actress after her dad took her to see a production of Mary Todd at age 6.

Petula would get her chance to be an actress, but she gained fame for her singing talents first. While she was attending a 1942 BBC radio show with her father, a producer asked for a performer to settle the audience, because air raid sirens had just gone off. Petula volunteered to sing "Mighty Lak' a Rose" and got a huge reaction from the crowd. more on this story

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