Saturday, 28 September 2013

Helen Shapiro born 28 September 1946

Helen Shapiro (born 28 September 1946) is remembered today by younger pop culture buffs as England's teenage pop music queen, at one point selling 40,000 copies daily of her biggest single, "Walking Back to Happiness," during a 19-week chart run. 
A deceptively young 14 when she was discovered, Shapiro had a rich, expressive voice properly sounding like the property of someone twice as old, and she matured into a seasoned professional very quickly.

She grew up in London's East End and was performing with a ukulele at age nine as part of a school group — supposedly called Susie & the Hula Hoops, whose members included a young Mark Feld (aka Marc Bolan) — that used to sing their own versions of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly songs. She subsequently sang with her brother Ron Shapiro's trad jazz turned skiffle outfit at local clubs before enrolling in classes at Maurice Burman's music school in London. Burman was so taken with Helen Shapiro's voice that he waived the tuition to keep her as a student. He later brought her to the attention of Norrie Paramor, then one of EMI's top pop producers (responsible for signing Cliff Richard & the Shadows).
Shapiro's voice was so mature that Paramor refused to believe from the evidence on a tape that it belonged to a 14-year-old until she came to his office and belted out "St. Louis Blues." 

She cut her first single, "Please Don't Treat Me Like a Child," a few weeks later and broke onto the British charts in 1961.

That record was an extraordinary effort for a 14-year-old. Shapiro's voice showed the maturity and sensibilities of someone far beyond their teen years; her depth of emotion, coupled with the richness of her singing, made her an extraordinary new phenomenon on the British pop scene. She surprised everyone once again with her second single, a slow ballad called "You Don't Know," which managed to appeal to listeners across several age groups and hit number one in England. This was followed by the greatest recording of her career, "Walking Back to Happiness," which scaled the top of the charts with far greater total sales.


Her next record, "Tell Me What He Said" (written by Jeff Barry) was held out of the top spot by the Shadows' "Wonderful Land." In April of 1962, Shapiro made her movie debut in Lester's It's Trad, Dad, but her single of "Let's Talk About Love" (featured in the

movie) never broke the Top 20. Shapiro next turned back to the songwriting team of John Schroeder and Mike Hawker, who had written "Walking Back to Happiness" and "You Don't Know," for what proved to be her last Top Ten record, "Little Miss Lonely." She made the charts once more with "Keep Away From Other Girls," the first song by Burt Bacharach to make the British Top 40. During this period, Shapiro also got the opportunity to record Neil Sedaka's "Little Devil," and the two later became friends when Sedaka toured England.

Shapiro wasn't remotely as soul-influenced as Dusty Springfield (though Shapiro's Helen in Nashville album from 1963 does sort of anticipate Dusty in Memphis), or a raspy shouter like Lulu, and there wasn't much of the cool teenager in her in the style of Sandie Shaw or the wounded teen softness of Lesley Gore. Rather, Shapiro was much more of a female pop/rock crooner, almost a distaff Bobby Darin with a style all her own, and should have been able to cut a path for herself well into the '60s in the music marketplace.

It wasn't to be, however. After appearing in her second movie, Play It Cool, which starred Billy Fury, Shapiro faded from the charts, although she didn't disappear from the British musical consciousness. She still headlined tours in the United Kingdom and in early 1963, she made the acquaintance of a support act that had been newly signed to EMI: the Beatles. She headlined the Beatles' first national tour of England and Shapiro and the group enjoyed each other's company. At 16, she was much more the seasoned professional than the older Liverpool quartet, who loved her voice and her unassuming manner. She sang with
them on the bus, advised them to make "From Me to You" their next record after "Please Please Me," and they, in turn, wrote "Misery" for her. Astonishingly, EMI — not yet sensing the golden touch that the Beatles (who had yet to cut their first LP) would soon reveal — declined to give Shapiro the chance to record a Lennon-McCartney tune, costing her the chance to become the first artist to cover a Lennon-McCartney song just at the point when the Beatles were about to sweep all before them in the pop charts.

There's no telling what Shapiro, with her rich intonation, could have done with that downbeat little diamond in the rough in the early Lennon-McCartney song bag. Shapiro had another chance at an even more promising song later in 1963 when she went to cut an album in Nashville. In a session backed by the likes of Grady Martin and Boots Randolph, she cut the very first recording of "It's My Party." And again, EMI failed to get behind the single, sitting on its release until a virtual unknown named Lesley Gore got her rendition out first on Mercury and topped the U.S. charts. Shapiro's career at EMI ended in 1963 and her periodic attempts to resume recording at Pye, DJM, and Arista over the next decade failed to generate any chart action

Shapiro has busied herself over the years very successfully as an actress, appearing as Nancy in Lionel Bart's musical Oliver and appearing on British soap operas as well. She has remained an attraction on the cabaret circuit over the decades and was well-known enough as a pop culture figure to justify the release of a best-of CD in Japan in the early '90s. She also cut albums devoted to the music of Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer. (edited from AMG)


boppinbob said...

From 1961 to 1970 ( from columbia to Pye )

M for mono S for stereo
A big thankyou to Dusty for the links

CD 1

01_Don't treat me like a child_M
02_When i'm with you_M
03_You don't know_M
04_Marvellous lie_M
05_Walkin' back to happiness_M
06_Kiss 'n' run_M
07_Goody Goody_S
08_The birth of the blues_S
09_Tip toe through the tulips_M
10_After you've gone_S
11_Tell me what he said_M
12_I apologise_M
13_Little devil_S
14_Will you love me tomorrow_S
15_Because they're young_S
16_The day the rains came_S
17_Are you lonesome tonight_S
18_A teenager in love_S
19_Lipstick on your collar_S
20_Beyond the sea_S
21_Sweet nothin's_S
22_You mean everthing to me_S
23_I love you_S
24_You got what it takes_S
25_Let's talk about love_M
26_Sometime yesterday_M
27_Little miss lonely_S
28_I don't care_M
29_St. Louis blues_S

CD 2

01_A teenager sings the blues
02_Blues in the night
03_Keep away from other girls_M
04_Cry my heart out_M
05_Queen for tonight_M
06_Daddy couldn't get me one of those'
07_Woe is me_M
08_I walked right in (with my eyes wide open)_M
09_Tearaway Johnny
10_Without your love
11_Walking in my dreams_M
12_Who is she_M
13_I want to be happy
14_Time and time again
15_Aren't you the lucky one
16_Every one but the right one
17_It's all right with me
18_Lookin' for my heart
19_Basin street blues
20_You must be readin' my mind
21_Till I hear the truth from you
23_Easy come easy go
24_I believe in love
25_Look who it is_M
26_Not responsible_M
27_I cried myself to sleep last night_M
28_Young stranger_M
29_Here today and gone tomorrow_M
30_You'd think he didn't know me_M
31_It's my party_M
32_No tresspassing_M

CD 3

01_When you hurt me I cry_M
02_I'm tickled pink_M
03_Sweeter than sweet_M
05_Ole father time_M
06_Look over your shoulder_M
07_You won't come home_M
08_Shop around_M
09_He knows how to love me_M
10_I Wish I'd never loved you_M
11_I Was only kidding_M
12_My guy
13_All alone am I
14_He's a rebel
15_Move over darling
16_Keep your hands off my baby
17_Remember me
18_Walk on by
19_The end of the world
20_It might as well rain until September
21_Baby it's you
22_Please mr.postman
23_It's in his kiss
25_Tomorrow is another day_M
26_It's so funny I could cry_M
27_Here in your arms_M
28_Only once_M
29_Something wonderful_M
30_Just a line_M
31_Wait a little_M
32_In my calendar_M

CD 4

01 - J'ai tant de remords (I apologise)_62
02 - Tout ce qu'il voudra (Tell me what he said)_62
03 - Parlons D'amour (Let's talk about love)_62
04 - Sans penser a rien (Sometime yesterday)_62
05 - Komm' sei wieder gut (I apologise)_62
06 - Frag' mich nicht warum (Tell me what he said)_62
07 - Den Ton kenn' ich schon (Let's talk about love)_62
08 - Gestern Nachmittag (Sometime yesterday)_62
09 - Ich war der Star heute Nacht (Queen for tonight)_63
10 - Schlafen kann ich nie (I cried myself to sleep las tnight)_64
11 - Glaube mir, Johnny (Tearaway Johnny)_64
12 - Immer die Boys_64
13 - Warum gerade ich_64
14 - Rote Rosen und Vergissmeinnicht_65
15 - Sag', dass es schön ist_65
16 - Ich such mir meinen Bräutigam alleine aus_66
17 - Ein Weg zu deinem Herzen_66
18 - Das ist nicht die feine englische Art_70
19 - You'll Get Me Loving You_68
20 - Silly Boy I Love You_68
21 - Today has been cancelled_69
22 - Face the Music_69
23 - You've - You've Guessed_69
24 Take down a note miss Smith_70
25 - Couldn't you see_70
26 - Waiting On The Shores Of Nowhere_70
27 - A glass of wine_70

Dusty said...

Hi Bob
Nice to see the links still Works
.. If not please say so and i will reupload them to you Again

Will try to find her lp with H. lyttelton and place it here

45 ( Dusty )