American diamonds

New on YouTube is this not-very-High Definition clip…

Shirley miming to DAF on American TV.

It even cuts out before the end. But there’s a certain charm!

Thanks to ketiep

Brassy Bassey’s Beat


A swinging review from a cool American jazz blog called Bish’s Beat…


“Shirley Bassey, the Welsh diva with the big, brassy voice behind the best of the James Bond themes (Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker, and the iconic Goldfinger) is still hitting it out of the park at 70 years young.
Her latest CD release, Get The Party Started, proves Bassey still swings, while giving her a crack at another James Bond theme, You Only Live Twice, and a new song (a certified hit in England), The Living Tree, which is a James Bond theme in search of a Bond movie to represent.
Bassey’s take on You Only Live Twice on this CD is not the traditional take from the first time she covered the theme. Here, she gives it a Brazilian lounge lilt, which I really liked, but hasn’t made the grade for Bond purists.  Still, between the remixed cover of Pink’s Get The Party Started, a strong remix of one of Bassey’s traditional hits, Big Spender, and the original and powerful The Living Tree, this is a CD with a lot to love.
Bassey may be 70, but she still sounds as effortless, bold, and brassy as when she was at the peak of her career. I fell in love with Bassey from my first exposure to Goldfinger, and all theses years later the love affair continues.”
Before clicking on this link, please note that it instantly plays jazz music:

Goldfinger Premiere Gown

From Ian, our venerable Gowns Guru, comes another fabulous creation. After his one-week break over Easter.

A vacation, Guru? Here?

Every day is a holiday when it brings a Bassey bonus like this! 🙂

Thanks, Ian!





The Original Goldfinger Gown

(Christie’s Lot 38)


Designed by Douglas Darnell in 1964.


Dame Shirley first wore this dress on stage to sing ‘Goldfinger’ in 1964 at the Empire Leicester Square in London, at the film’s premiere!


DSB wore this dress on many TV show in the 60’s and early 70’s.


The beads on the bottom of the gown are 9 carat gold, which means they will never go black!


Dame Shirley last wore this on the ITV special ‘ A Special Lady’ in 1983, still with the original ‘rope’ belt from 1964!


I wonder what lucky person got this one at the auction?



Here are the notes from Christie’s Auction Catalogue:  

Goldfinger – a twinkling stage gown by Douglas Darnell, the natural-coloured silk chiffon ground densely embroidered overall with gold beads in vermicular pattern, loosely gathered at the waist [lacking belt], the hem richly embellished with a deep band of bronze beads, Swarovski topaz crystals, imitation pearls and gold balls


Weight: approx. 2.5kg.


The photograph illustrated shows Dame Shirley dancing with her second husband, Sergio Novak, during a party for the 1971 Royal Film Performance at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, 8th March.


When discussing this gown Dame Shirley and Darnell’s recollections differed as to whether, in it’s current form, it was a remake of an earlier gown:


DSB:…That’s the ‘Big Spender’ dress

DD: No. It [the Big Spender dress] had diamonds under the boobs ending in a buckle

DSB: It was changed into this

DD: No no no…this was a private gown and you walked on stage at the Empire Leicester Square with this on to sing the theme song to ‘Goldfinger’ at the première in 1964…there’s a topaz belt that goes with that [gown] ….these are solid 9 carat gold beads, that’s why they never go black…


Photograph courtesy of Harry Myers/Rex Features.


Final Price




Auric Goldfinger says:


Ah, Miss Bassey! I don’t vont your gown.

I just vont the gold beads from it!

My lies can’t disguise vot you fear…