So I was doing our show, THE DARE AFFAIR, with my radio partner, Michael McKenzie, who was Danny Dare to my Donnie. I put on a new record by a British Songbird named PETULA CLARK, called, DOWNTOWN, and said something like "Hitbound! This is the latest artist from the U.K. Downton by PETCHULA Clark, or some such.
No one ever called to correct me and then one night after I got off the air, I was watching Johnny Carson, and he brought out the new English singer PETULA Clark. Oops, The next night I fell into the correct pronunciation as if nothing had ever happened and it's a good thing I did, because it was shortly #1 on the Hot 100 and sold a million records.
Fun Fact: Downtown was far from the Brit Rock stuff we were playing, it was a Pop tune like Bobby Darin's "Somewhere Beyond the Sea;" But Joe Smith, a great record man, at Warner Brothers was in England looking for artists for that label. When he heard the song on English radio, he immediately called Pye Records and said he'd like to release it in the U.S. Tony Hatch who who/wrote and produced 'Downtown,' was surprised and said that he thought Joe, an A&R Man, was looking for Rock Acts. Joe replied that he was but there was always a space on the Top 40 charts for a legitimate Pop song like this.
So here she is "Pet Clark,' as I started calling her, with that huge hit from 1965. Notice how demure she is in a conservative dress with her hands clasped together, that's very English Music Hall style. @therealdonrocks
A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.