Sixty years of survival in the world of pop music is a record not many singers achieve. Modern pop stars are here today and gone tomorrow. They have a throw-away life that can be created and then lost in the flash of a one-hit wonder. But English pop-diva Petula Clark is different. She has recorded more than 1,000 songs and has had at least 30 chart hits in Britain alone. Worldwide, she has sold more than 68 million records. Clark is the most successful British solo pop singer ever, and her recent concert tour of Britain was a sell-out. There is no doubt that Clark has been, and still is, a unique force in the history of pop music. Clark was born in southern England in 1932. She began her singing career as a child performing in concerts around London. By the time she was 10 she was performing regularly on British radio programmes and a couple of years later she was given her own radio show called Pet's Parlour. The driving force behind Clark's childhood career was her father. He had introduced her to the world of show business at the tender age of four and managed her career until she was in her early 20s. Her first hit single stormed the British charts when she was 14 in May 1947. Her last chart single reached number 10 in November 1988. In between, she had a list of worldwide hits that any pop performer would envy. Very few child singers make the grade as adult stars. By the end of the 1950s, Clark's pop career was in danger of drying up. She had ditched her father as her manager and a decline set in. Pop music in general was changing, and Clark was on her way to becoming another casualty in the fickle world of forgotten stars. But then her career received a sudden boost from a very unexpected source. Her manager persuaded her to go to France and make a record in French. It was worth a try. No one was prepared for what happened next. The British public had grown tired of the typically English pop singer, but the French reinvented her as a sexy and sophisticated pop performer. England had nurtured Clark's singing talent, but it was the French who released its full force on the rest of the world. The English version of her French hit Sailor brought her back to the attention of pop music fans in Britain, and a string of hits followed in the British charts. But even bigger success was waiting just around the corner. Her 1964 hit Downtown brought her to new heights of popularity and propelled her into the big league of pop performers. She was America's number one female vocalist in the 60s and 70s, and she churned out a list of hits that became instant classics. Today, Clark's hit records may have dried up, but she keeps on working in sell-out concerts and Broadway shows. She is an unstoppable pop phenomenon. Questions 1. Where and when was Petula Clark born? 2. How old was she when she began her singing career? 3. What was the name of her first BBC radio programme? 4. When did she have her first chart hit record? 5. Who was her manager during her early career? 6. Which country reinvented Clark? 7. What song got her back into the British charts in the early 1960s? 8. What is the name of her 1964 classic hit? Answers 1. Petula Clark was born in southern England in 1932. 2. She began singing professionally when she was four. 3. Pet's Parlour. 4. She had her first hit in 1947, when she was 14. 5. Her father. 6. France reinvented her singing career. 7. Sailor. 8. Downtown.