(Airdate: February 18, 1970)
Anyone who could fail to like Petula Clark is a crab. As hostess and star of the Kraft Music Hall, she had the presence to overcome some ineptly chosen material, and to shine when the material was right.
The hour was well-structured, wisely limiting itself to just three performers (Anthony Newley and Lou Rawls were her guess), each of whom had a solo stand, plus a bit with the others. What was disappointing was the fact that the program was better conceived than executed.
Petula's opening and closing songs - "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love" and "It's a Sign of the Times" - formed stunning parentheses around material that did not make the best use of her talents. Although she projects well, she is not a blues shouter or soul singer, and her version of "Natural Woman," however professional, was pointless.
Same time, different station, another distaff dynamo was also delivering superior entertainment. That was Petula Clark, doing a one-woman, six-man show on NBC's Kraft Music Hall, with an "old friend," Anthony Newley, a "new friend," Lou Rawls; and - for a wacky opening - a cavorting quartet of long-handled brush-wielding janitors.
The hour consisted mostly of songs, solo, duo and trio, including a collection of Newley-minted tunes and a batch of the blues. All three vocalists were in good voice, British, Cockney and American accented.
Pert Petula and "enormous ego"-confessing Tony reminisced about joint rock -n- roll rendering days and teamed amusingly in an on- and off-stage "love birds" Music Hall sketch more than a little reminiscent of Noel Coward's "Red Peppers."
Miss Clark climaxed the pleasant proceedings with some solo concertizing that impressively demonstrated why Pet's a pop music pet.