April 1, 1967
"Petula Fans Respond to Bouncy Beat" by Robert E. Golden
A vibrant, vivacious Petula Clark bounced her way into the hearts of nearly 3,000 fans last night at Grady Grammage Auditorium. "An Evening with Petula Clark" sparkled with zest and vitality -- a nearby spectator observed, "She has so much oomph!"
After skip-running on-stage wearing a sheikish white gown, petite Petula started it all with "Getting to Know You" and continued on with her hit recording of "I Know a Place," followed by her original arrangement of My Fair Lady songs.
The singer was duly impressed with the auditorium. Having just bussed down from a concert at Northern Arizona University's gymnasium, she commented in her so-typically British accent, "As gymnasiums go, this is really quite an elaborate one."
Although she balanced her selections well, she did seem much more comfortable with fast tempo, big-beat numbers, the type of tunes nearly all her hits have been. These songs, which included "Downtown," "Who Am I?," "Colour My World," "Round Ev'ry Corner," were so zingy that much of the audience picked up the mood by tapping their feet, mouthing the words and applauding the loudest.
Despite her 33 years, the pint-size blonde packs as much bounce, swing and hipness as any of her younger mod contemporaries. And she's proud of it, too.
Of the Beatles, she said, "They're really a great bunch of fellows. They're very nice and always seem to be one jump ahead of everyone else." As a salute, she sang a slowed-up version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" that paid more tribute to the group than her introduction.
She said she had gotten the impression that Americans thought her to be a "wayout rock-n-roll singer." To satisfy the image, she sang "Call Me" and "You're the One." To demonstrate that she really wasn't at all that stereotyped, she did a range of selections that included "Put on a Happy Face," "If I Ruled the World," "Come Rain or Come Shine," a My Fair Lady medley, plus a song each in French, Italian and German.
The audience reaction to the show was delightful to watch. Predominantly ASU students, they picked up momentum as Miss Clark's spunk and energy caught on. Nobody seemed lackadaisical or disappointed with the performance, and rightly so.