Shirley Bassey

  • Real Name: Shirley Bassey
  • Birth Date: 8th January 1937
  • Birth Place: Cardiff, Wales

    Shirley Bassey was the daughter of a West Indian seaman and she grew up in Tiger Bay in South Wales. She began singing while still sixteen years old at the clubs in and around Cardiff. However, she found work in a touring show called "Memories Of Jolson" and from this moved on to further revues. She soon came to the attention of the impresario Jack Hylton who started her as a support act on Al Read's "Such Is Life" comedy show. Within a few months, she was topping the bill on ITV's "Sunday Night At The London Palladium" programme.. Her recording career began in the mid-1950s and she soon became a highly regarded British singer with her powerful renditions of popular songs.

    It seems improbable now, but her first chart success came with a cover version of 'The Banana Boat Song' which reached #8 despite the fact that Belafonte got to #2 with it. Her next big chart success 'Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me' was also untypical of the work for which she would later become internationally recognised, although it was probably that record that drew public attention to the strength and beauty of her voice. In fact the song caused a resurgence of interest in her earlier single, 'As I Love You' which then went to #1.

    The EP illustrated on the right is one of very many bearing her name that were issued by Columbia during the early 1960s. The songs on it were recorded in the company of the Geoff Love Orchestra which was one of several bands that Shirley worked with. As the sleeve notes on this particular example say: "Many are called 'fabulous' but few can really live up to the reputation". Certainly, it is an adjective that could be applied to Shirley Bassey without giving rise to too many disputes.
    Her success with singles began to fade towards the end of the sixties, but her popularity on LPs was undiminished and her breadth of fame increased through her work in the James Bond movies. She became a resident of Switzerland during the 1970s and later, supposedly, retired there. However, she still performs regularly if infrequently and remains one of the most glamorous and significant performers to have emerged from the UK entertainment industry.

    1950s & 1960s 45rpm UK Discography

    • Listings include UK 45 singles releases only
    • Collector's Items are shown In Red

    Philips PB558 1956 Stormy Weather/ Burn My Candle  
    Philips PB598 1956 The Wayward Wind/ Born To Sing The Blues  
    Philips PB668 1957 The Banana Boat Song/ Tra La La #8
    Philips PB723 1957 Fire Down Below/ You You Romeo #30 
    Philips PB757 1957 Puh Leeze Mister Brown/ Take My Love Take My Love  
    Philips PB845 1958 As I Love You/ Hands Across The Sea #1
    Philips PB860 1958 Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me/ There's Never Been A Night #3
    Philips PB917 1959 Love For Sale/ Crazy Rhythm  
    Philips PB919 1959 My Funny Valentine/ How About You  
    Philips PB975 1959 Night And Day/ The Gypsy In My Soul  
    Columbia DB4344 1959 If You Love Me/ Count On Me  
    Columbia DB4421 1960 With These Hands/ The Party's Over #31
    Columbia DB4490 1960 As Long As He Needs Me/ So In Love #2
    Columbia DB4643 1961 You'll Never Know/ Hold Me Tight #6
    Columbia DB4685 1961 Climb Ev'ry Mountain/ Reach For The Stars #1
    Philips BF1091 1961 The Birth Of The Blues/ Careless Love Blues  
    Columbia DB4737 1961 I'll Get By/ Who Are We #10
    Columbia DB4777 1962 Tonight/ Let's Start All Over Again #21
    Columbia DB4816 1962 You'll Never Walk Alone/ Ave Maria #34
    Columbia DB4836 1962 Far Away/ My Faith #24
    Columbia DB4882 1962 What Now My Love/ Above All Others #5
    Columbia DB4974 1963 Till/ What Kind Of Fool Am I #47
    Philips 326565 1963 The Wayward Wind/ Puh Leeze Mister Brown  
    Columbia DB7113 1963 I (Who Have Nothing)/ How Can You Tell #6
    Columbia DB7185 1964 My Special Dream/ You #32
    Columbia DB7248 1964 Gone/ Your Love #36
    Columbia DB7337 1964 Who Can I Turn To/ To Be Loved By A Man  
    Columbia DB7360 1964 Goldfinger/ Strange How Love Can Be #21
    Columbia DB7535 1965 No Regrets/ Seesaw Of Dreams #39
    Columbia DB7759 1965 Secrets/ It's Yourself  
    Columbia DB7811 1966 The Liquidator/ Sunshine  
    United Artists UP1134 1966 Don't Take Lovers From The World/ Take Away  
    United Artists UP1148 1966 Who Could Love Me/ Shirley  
    United Artists UP1173 1967 Impossible Dream/ Do I Look Like A Fool  
    United Artists UP1176 1967 If You Go Away/ Give Him Your Love  
    United Artists UP1192 1967 Big Spender/ Dangerous Game #21
    United Artists UP1207 1968 This Is My Life/ Without A Word  
    United Artists UP2254 1968 To Give/ My Love Has Two Faces  
    United Artists UP35015 1969 Doesn't Anybody Miss Me/ Now You Want To Be Loved  

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