Newest photos

The latest photographs of Dame Shirley Bassey …

Backstage with some of the cast of Jersey Boys, a wonderful new musical in London.

DSB went with her friend Liz Brewer.

See the three photos on this link

(I’m frightened to copy them because of the copyright notice!)

Jersey Boys, The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons is now open at the Prince Edward Theatre, London. Discover the rags-to-rock-to riches tale of four boys working their way from the streets of New Jersey to the heights of international pop-stardom.

‘This is an utterly wonderful show full of vitality, pace and power. The audience rose as one at the end of this true-life mega hit story of The Four Seasons.’ (Daily Express) The critics are united in their praise hailing ‘The phenomenal Jersey Boys’ (D.Telegraph) ‘a triumph of style, substance, heart and soul – A definite must-see!’ (London Lite)


Looks like a good night out – I’m going soon!



Till my shoes cry

DSB fans are not the only ones to think that The Living Tree should have been a bigger hit.

Here’s an independent view from a music blog by Mikeyten, titled


Shirley Bassey, The Living Tree, 2007.
Brilliant choice of single from the Dame.

Love this and the remix is good. It should have been a Number One for her.

Shirley always reminds me of growing up as a teenager and my Mum and Dad playing her records.

It wasn´t until later on I realised I liked her.

When I was in Liverpool I was pleased to be able to take them to see her at the Albert Docks Summer Pops, and she really was brilliant.”

This is an interesting idea for a blog, listing good songs that should have sold better.



Billie Anthony 5 final

Frankie Howerd visits Billie in hospital. Ooh Missus!

Not only was she an accomplished singer and dancer but she displayed considerable talent as comedienne too. In November 1956 she made her true West End debut when she completed a hugely successful season at The Prince Of Wales Theatre with Hylda Baker, The Four Jones Boys and Derek Roy.


On too many occasions Billie was given material to record, only to discover that her efforts were often overshadowed by another singer of greater long standing significance. This led to critics unfairly suggesting that she was just another vocalist whose whole repertoire consisted of cover versions.


She even found herself up against the might of “Miss” Shirley Bassey in 1957 when they both recorded Needle And Thread. Difficult to say which was the better version. Better play it safe, be honest and admit that both were fantastic, even though neither created the desired number one smash hit.


Billie’s robust vocal style was vaguely similar to that of the lovely Shirley for, just like the Dame, when she sang a song the song didn’t argue, it stayed sung.



In 1958 Billie spent a frantic eight weeks in the early part of the year entertaining the armed forces in Cyprus, Malta and North Africa .On her return to the UK she spent the remainder of 1958 touring in variety with one night stands and the occasional service camp date.


In 1959 she did a welcome long summer season in Great Yarmouth with Hughie Green’s ‘Double Your Money’ show.


With the pioneering DJ Pete Murray

As the fabulous fifties drew to a close, and with the onslaught of the boy bands, Billie discovered that she was out in the cold again. Her career went into decline and she released her final recording in 1960.


For her parting comment she was quoted as saying, “I’ll let the rock and roll boys come and go and then I’ll be back”. Regrettably that comeback never materialised.


In 1968 after the birth of her daughter she decided to retire from show biz. She had spent thirty six years in the theatre, twenty two as a professional entertainer. In 1991 and at the relatively young age of fifty eight “Britain’s Blonde Bombshell” lost consciousness after suffering a series of strokes and never recovered.


Following her funeral service her ashes were returned to Glasgow where they were scattered on the river Kelvin.


Foot note:- I imagine that Dame Shirley would be fairly well acquainted with Billie’s former dance partner and ex-husband Peter Elliott. He is the Executive Administrator at Brinsworth House (the residential nursing home for members of the entertainment profession).


He can be seen each year greeting members of the Royal Family when they arrive for the Royal Variety Performance. All funds raised at the event of course help with the survival of Brinsworth.

Thanks to Gordon, as already credited, for the photos and text for this fantastic tribute to a forgotten talent.




Billie Anthony 4





In October 1954 she released her sixth and best known single, This Ole House, which shot her to a fourth place the charts. Joan Regan and Alma Cogan also recorded the same song but it was Rosemary Clooney who vied with Billie for the highest position. Rosie, after eighteen weeks, eventually claimed the number one spot while Billie came in at a very commendable number four after fourteen weeks.


Stuart Hamblin, the writer of This Ole House was so impressed with Billie’s version of his song that he made her a gift of another composition that he hadn’t yet published. The song Shake The Hand Of A Stranger had all the necessary ingredients of a big hit but disappointingly it missed.



She recorded a whole string of chart-worthy releases in the following years but they too also failed to hit the jackpot. Nonetheless Billie became very popular. She loved every aspect of show business and was never more at home than when performing on stage.

The Royal Albert Hall


1955 to 1957 were her busiest years with regular radio and television, work and engagements throughout Britain and on the continent. She made the first of several appearances at The London Palladium when she stood in for glamourous Lita Roza who had been taken ill with laryngitis.


At a later date and again at The Palladium she presented the trophies at The Mr Universe contest. She returned yet again when she briefly took over from Alma Cogan in a show called “Rocking The Town”.


Alma had developed problems with a septic wisdom tooth. The following year Billie permanently replaced Alma and took the show on national tour with Harry Seacombe. Other singers she stood in for included Edna Savage after she injured her leg in a back stage fall down a flight of stairs in Warrington.


Jill Day was another casualty in need of Billie’s help when she collapsed during a television performance and had to cancel all her other engagements in Scarborough.