“This is the young Shirley Bassey at the beginning of her career. She had been working in a sausage factory and singing in working men’s clubs when in 1952, at 15, she was spotted by a London talent scout.
Bassey took to success, and the glamorous life it brought, like a duck to water. This sweet looking young girl could suddenly let rip with a massive voice. Add the torch songs with which she became associated, huge emotional ballads of lost love and survival against the odds, and the way she brought them to life with her passionate delivery, and you have a thrilling combination. Then, of course, there is her love of glamour, her outfits, a parade of diamonds, furs, and sequinned evening gowns.
Harry Hammond’s photograph captures the beginnings of that trademark style – just the one pearl so far, and the nails perfectly manicured, but not yet blood red as they would be – in a charming backstage portrait.
Thanks to Gordon for this e-card