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Helen Shapiro

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Helen Shapiro is remembered today by younger pop culture buffs as the slightly awkward actress/singer in Richard Lester’s 1962 debut feature film, It’s Trad, Dad. From 1961 until 1963, however, Shapiro was 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.

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  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    голос у нее просто очаровательный, и oh yeah она раньше битлов спела

    26 Feb 3:19am Reply
  • KarlaBeatles

    One of THE best voices of 1960s - than you hear her later recording and realize Shapiro actually became even BETTER with time. Instantly recognizable. I also love her Jazz and Gospel recordings. Just a wonderful singer who can do it all. [2]

    25 Oct 2013 Reply
  • marksplace2008

    Helen Shapiro will be interviewed on BBC Radio 2 this Sunday morning. "Radio 2 Good Morning Sunday programme Helen will be interviewed and her Gospel music will be played. Also, one of her tracks will air on the previous week's programme."

    27 Feb 2013 Reply
  • britishboy1976

    For anyone who is interested, EMI release on 23 April 2012 'Completely Cilla: 1963-1973' - a 5CD boxset of material by the British pop singer Cilla Black who began her career alongside The Beatles in Liverpool during the 1960s. Cilla went on to chart 18 Top 40 singles during that decade and toured across the world with many of the other sixties greats. The new set contains 139 recordings all produced by George Martin (the man behind The Beatles' hits) and comes with a bonus Region 0 / NTSC DVD of many previously unreleased BBC TV music performances.

    19 Apr 2012 Reply
  • riverflows

    amy winehouse is a jewish britgirl but so what, if you only like people who share your religion/race/culture then you will miss out on amazing things. the differences in the world makes it what it is ;)

    15 Apr 2012 Reply
  • 1969SL

    One of THE best voices of 1960s - than you hear her later recording and realize Shapiro actually became even BETTER with time. Instantly recognizable. I also love her Jazz and Gospel recordings. Just a wonderful singer who can do it all.

    10 Mar 2012 Reply
  • johnny7gun

    why were you glad?what difference does it make what interpretation of the bible she believes?its all crap anyway!

    9 Jun 2011 Reply
  • capo08

    I think she has both sex. Great voice. Great Great Great!!!

    6 Feb 2011 Reply
  • KarlaBeatles

    Wspaniały głos!

    2 Nov 2010 Reply
  • PuredeCalabaza

    Genial genial ♥

    16 Oct 2010 Reply
  • chrisandell

    Walkin' Back To Happiness is ma shit

    20 Jul 2010 Reply
  • ghschilder

    so many memorie's

    19 Jun 2010 Reply
  • ephemerau

    funny but its true.

    13 Nov 2009 Reply
  • Lowbacca

    1 Aug 2009 Reply
  • condra

    "Tell Me What He Said" is immense.

    8 Jun 2009 Reply
  • maryweiss

    so sexy

    23 May 2009 Reply
  • sonnyminimal

    'I Don't Care' is my fave track, from the 'Play It Cool' film. Helen's the 'Tops'

    26 Apr 2009 Reply
  • wastedish

    (the great ) amy winhouse took a lot from this lady

    3 Mar 2009 Reply
  • edpret

    Golden memories, I love it

    31 Jan 2009 Reply
  • edgesofvision

    Just beautiful . . .

    1 Dec 2008 Reply
  • All 26 shouts

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