William Price Meets some legends – Dame Shirley Bassey – The 1970s

Welcome to part three of the Dame Shirley Bassey story, and we enter the 1970s which would see a comeback for this charasmatic performer and two more James Bond theme songs becoming smash hits.  William Price King picks up the story.

After tax exile in Italy, Shirley Bassey returned to the UK for a comeback that would herald one of the most successful decades of her career.  Following a BBC Television Special “The Young Generation Meet Shirley Bassey” aired in March of that year, she returned to a record-breaking run of performances at the Talk of the Town nightclub.

Originally built in 1900 as the Hippodrome for circus acts and and variety performances, and was to become London’s premier entertainment venue. In 1909 it underwent reconstruction and fitted out with over 1300 seats spread across mezzanines and layers of galleries for the new era of Music Hall. In 1958 Bernard Delfont demolished the original interior and created The Talk of the Town where the top artists in the music industry would perform. These included Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, The Seekers, The Shadows, Stevie Wonder and of course Shirley Bassey in 1970.

1970 also saw a shift in Shirley Bassey’s singing and performance style to more contemporary songs including the title track of her new album ‘Something’.

Dame Shirley Bassey offers an amazing cover of George Harrison’s “Something.” Her rendition of this piece, which was one of her biggest hits, reached #4 in the UK and spent 22 weeks on the charts. The album, which was also entitled “Something,” reached #5 and stayed in the Top 50 for 28 weeks. This was her first collaboration with the record producer/arranger Johnny Harris.

“Something” was also a Top 10 hit stateside in the Adult Contemporary chart and the album and the single led to a number of equally successful albums for Shirley Bassey with the United Artist label over the remainder of the 1970s. These included “Something Else” in 1971, “And I love you So” in 1972 and “Yesterdays” in 1978. Also two earlier albums saw a revival during this upsurge in popularity. “And We Were Lovers” from 1967 was re-issued as “Big Spender” and “Let’s Face the Music from 1962 was re-issued as “What Now my Love”.  Additionally, “The Shirley Bassey Singles Album” released in 1975 became her highest charting album at #2 earning a gold disc.

In total between 1970 and 1979, Shirley Bassey had 18 hit albums in the UK charts and her sold-out performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall was recorded and released as a two-LP set now available on CD by EMI and BGO Records.

In 1971 her next blockbuster Bond theme song was released in conjunction with the film “Diamonds are Forever”.

“Diamonds Are Forever,” and so is Shirley Bassey, particularly with her emotional, timeless, and nuanced interpretation of this great song. Her vocals are fabulous and unrivaled. This was her second James Bond theme song which she also recorded in Italian, “Una Cascata di Diamanti (Vivo Di Diamanti). This is one of John Barry’s best scores.

Television also played its role in Shirley Bassey’s impressive comeback and popularity with fans, old and new. She appeared with the perenial jokers on the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show in 1971 showing the world that she could not only deliver a song, but could do so without missing a step. I am sure you will enjoy another side to this faultless performer.

ShirleyBassey went on to star in her own shows  “The Shirley Bassey Show” (1976), the first of her television programs for the BBC, followed by a second series of six episodes in 1979. The final show of the first series was nominated for the “Golden Rose of Montreux” in 1977. The series featured guests including Neil Diamond, Michel Legrand, The Three Degrees, and Dusty Springfield and featured Bassey in various international locations as well as in the television studio.

Dame Shirely Bassey closed out the decade with her third title theme for a Bond film, “Moonraker”(1979).

“Moonraker” was the third James Bond film theme song recorded by Dame Bassey. Initially this song was presented to Johnny Mathis, who turned it down. Then, after Kate Bush declined the opportunity to record it, John Barry offered the song to Shirley Bassey, just a few weeks before the film was set to be released. As a result, Bassey recorded the song on short notice, but never regarded the song as “her own.” Nonetheless, she reminded the world that she was one of the few singers who could make any James Bond theme song glorious. She later admitted that she didn’t like the song from the beginning and only recorded it as a favor to her friend, John Barry.

 

Buy Dame Shirley Bassey’s music: https://www.amazon.com/Shirley-Bassey/e/B000AQ2D9K

Additional material
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_Bay
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Bassey

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

Previous Legends can be found here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-meets-some-legends/

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

And for the Jazz in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-jazz-and-music-series/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the show.. Please feel free to share.

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16 thoughts on “William Price Meets some legends – Dame Shirley Bassey – The 1970s

  1. Oh, what a lovely trip down memory lane. My biggest memories of Dame Shirley was from her mega hit era in the 70s. I have to think that era were the best of her heydays. 🙂 Thanks for the great video clips too. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Round Up – Divas, dastardly devils, and dedicated wordsmiths | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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