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Friday, 10 August 2012

Helen Shapiro - You Don't Know

On this day in 1961, 14 year old Helen Shapiro became the youngest person to reach # 1 in the U.K. with "You Don't Know".

Helen Shapiro enjoyed phenomenal popularity early in her career. In 1961, at the age of fourteen, she had two number one hits in the UK: "You Don't Know" and "Walkin' Back to Happiness"; and, indeed, her first four single releases all went into the top three of the UK Singles Chart. Her mature voice made her an overnight sensation, as well as the youngest female chart topper in the UK. Before she was sixteen years old, Shapiro had been voted Britain's 'Top Female Singer', and when The Beatles had their first national tour in 1963, it was as her supporting act. During the course of the tour, the Beatles had their first hit single and John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song "Misery" intended for her, but Shapiro did not record the composition.

By the time she was in her late teens, her career as a pop singer was on the wane.She branched out as a performer in stage musicals, a jazz singer, (jazz being her first love musically), and more recently a gospel singer. She played the role of Nancy in Lionel Bart's musical, Oliver! in London's West End and has appeared in British television soap operas; in particular Albion Market where she played one of the main characters up to the time it was taken off-air in August 1986.

Shapiro retired from show business at the end of 2002 to concentrate on her gospel outreach evenings. She is married to John Judd, an actor with numerous roles in British television and cinema, she resides in the town of Highworth, Wiltshire.

"You Don't Know " was written by John Schroeder and Michael Hawker and released on the Columbia (EMI) label in the United Kingdom on 29 June 1961. "You Don't Know" topped the UK charts for three weeks beginning 10 August.

In Japan, where Shapiro's version also became popular in 1962, the song was covered in Japanese by Mieko Hirota, who had also covered Shapiro's earlier hit "Don't Treat Me Like a Child." (Info edited from various sources)

1 comment:

Donald Sevier said...

Yet another classic early 60s pop hit that got all us teenyboppers drooling over it. Thanks Bruv, Helen is an all time favourite.