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Dayton, Ohio (January 26, 2009) – On Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 8 pm in the Schuster Center, DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra welcome legendary pop vocalist Petula Clark.

Born with “a voice as sweet as chapel bells,” Petula Clark got her name from her father, who combined the names of two of his two girlfriends – Pet and Ulla. She first broke into the limelight during World War II, when – as a child – she entertained the troops both on radio and in concert. She is said to have performed in over 200 shows for the forces all over England before the age of nine and by war’s end, Petula Clark – the British “Shirley Temple” who had come to represent childhood itself – was so popular in England she was asked to sing at a national victory celebration at Trafalgar Square. In 1944, Petula made her first movie and has since appeared in over 30 British and American films. Tony Hatch visited Petula in the early sixties in Paris. The result was a new song, Downtown. Petula recorded it, and the rest is music history. She has never stopped recording – 50 plus years, over a 1,000 songs, and still counting!

Her first hits were children’s songs like Where Did My Snowman Go (1952) and The Little Shoemaker (1954). To date, she has sold well in excess of 68 million records making her the biggest-selling British female vocalist of all time. She also appears regularly on PBS, but rarely in concert. An actress of some note, Petula has appeared in multiple films, including two Hollywood musicals (Finian’s Rainbow and Goodbye Mr. Chips) and even composed a score for the production of her own musical Someone Like You. An artist of immense international popularity, Petula has also had a huge presence on US charts from 1964 and through the 70s, with the following songs:
* 1954: The Little Shoemaker UK #7
* 1955: Majorca UK #12
* 1955: Suddenly There’s A Valley UK #7
* 1957: With All My Heart UK #4
* 1957: Alone (Why Must I Be Alone) UK #8
* 1958: Baby Lover UK #12
* 1961: Sailor UK #1
* 1961: Something Missing UK #44
* 1961: Romeo UK #3
* 1961: My Friend The Sea UK #7
* 1962: I’m Counting On You UK #41
* 1962: Ya Ya Twist UK #14 (French version of Ya Ya by Lee Dorsey)
* 1963: Casanova/Chariot UK #39
* 1964: Downtown UK #2 / Canada #1 / U.S. #1 (Gold)
* 1965: I Know A Place UK #17 / Canada #1 / U.S. #3
* 1965: You’d Better Come Home UK #44 / Canada #11 / U.S. #22
* 1965: Round Every Corner UK #43 / Canada #6 / U.S. #21
* 1965: You’re The One UK #23 (co-written by Clark; U.S. #4 in 1965 for The Vogues)
* 1965: My Love UK #4 / Canada #1 / U.S. #1
* 1966: A Sign Of The Times UK #49 / Canada #8 / U.S. #11
* 1966: I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love UK #6 / Canada #6 / U.S. #9 (also U.S. Adult Contemporary #1)
* 1966: Who Am I Canada #14 / U.S. #21
* 1967: Colour My World UK #16 / Canada #14 / U.S. #16
* 1967: This Is My Song UK #1 / Canada #4 / U.S. #3
* 1967: Don’t Sleep in the Subway UK #12 / Canada #5 / U.S. #5 (also U.S. Adult Contemporary #1)
* 1967: The Cat In The Window (The Bird In The Sky) Canada #35/ U.S. #26
* 1968: The Other Man’s Grass (Is Always Greener) UK #20 / Canada #12 / U.S. #31
* 1968: Kiss Me Goodbye UK #50 / Canada #10 / U.S. #15
* 1968: Don’t Give Up Canada #23/ U.S. #37
* 1968: American Boys (Take Good Care of Your Heart) Canada #37 / U.S. #59
* 1969: Happy Heart U.S. #62 (bigger hit version by Andy Williams)
* 1969: Look At Mine U.S. #89
* 1969: No One Better Than You U.S. #93
* 1971: The Song Of My Life UK #32
* 1972: I Don’t Know How to Love Him UK #47
* 1972: My Guy U.S. #70
* 1972: The Wedding Song (There Is Love) U.S. #61
* 1982: Natural Love U.S. #66 (also U.S. #20 Country Charts)
* 1988: Downtown ’88 UK #10

Petula’s conductor and pianist, Kenny Clayton, is a legend in his own right. He will conduct and play on the second half of the program. A British producer, arranger, and pianist, Kenny studied piano at Trinity College of Music in London. In the late 1950s, Clayton firmly established himself as a working pianist. Having achieved success on the popular UK variety circuit, Clayton was quickly signed to EMI/Parlophone and released his first single, Tenerife, which he introduced on the British TV music series Thank Your Lucky Stars. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, he was musical director and arranger for a number of popular singers, including Dick Haymes, Shirley Bassey, Matt Monro, Robin Gibb, Cilla Black, Charles Aznavour, Sacha Distel, and Roger Whittaker. He has been Petula Clark’s musical director and arranger since 1962, and performs with his jazz group, The Kenny Clayton Trio.

The first half of each concert features a “British Invasion” of light classics, with DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman conducting the DPO in the performance of Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March No.1, selected movements from Handel-Harty’s Water Music Suite, Vaughan Williams’s English Folk Song Suite (orchestral version), and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Yesterday, and Yellow Submarine composed by Lennon and McCartney and arranged by Hankinson.

Tickets $27.00 – $75.00.

National City is the SuperPops Series sponsor. LITE 99.9 is the Media Sponsor.

For photographs of Neal Gittleman or any of the various series’ guest artists, go to: