Miss Shirley Bassey

Miss Shirley Bassey

I imagine that most of you are aware that a new biography has been published on Dame Shirley.  Entitled ‘Miss Shirley Bassey’ and written by John Williams it covers Shirley’s early life and rise to international stardom by the year 1967.  

This book has already courted controversy in the press.  Yes it does reveal the terrible truth of her natural father and the fact he was deported in 1943 back to Nigeria after he had served his sentence for the crime which he was convicted of.  There are also facts given regarding her mother which Dame Shirley has never spoken of.  The author states these facts but does not use them for sensationalism or dwell on them.  The book also reveals the extreme poverty in which Dame Shirley was brought up in and the struggles her family endured.  It charts how against all odds she worked hard and her determination to get to the very top paid off.  It wasn’t an easy road at all and in all honesty although Dame Shirley says it was hard she never really stresses just how difficult it was.  It is obviously well researched and I’m pleased I have read it.  I will read it again in a few days as with all things new I didn’t take it all in on the first read.

When I had finished the book my admiration for Dame Shirley had increased if that is possible.  To achieve what she had by the time the book ends in 1967 at the early age of 30 years is incredible considering the kind of background she was brought up in.  Some fans have already condemned it without even reading it.  None of the book reflects badly on Dame Shirley and it is obvious that the author’s admiration of her increases as the book progresses.  John Williams has written of things Dame Shirley probably would rather not be in the public eye but it’s all there on public record anyway.  So often we fans have said that the other two books published about Shirley were a waste of time and her upbringing was white washed over and now someone has researched the facts and written about them fans are complaining.  Has reading this book made me think any less of Dame Shirley?  The answer is a resounding NO!  Dame Shirley reached the very top and has stayed there and for that she is one remarkable woman.  This book underlines the struggles she had to endure to get there.

Next BGO release.

I Capricorn
And I Love You So

Although I’ve not heard anything officially from BGO I believe that the label will release ‘I Capricorn / And I Love You So’ on October 4th.  Although these two albums have previously been remastered and released by EMI on CD I’m sure that BGO will once again remaster them and hopefully also include bonus tracks.  It is advertised to pre-order on HMV Japan which is usually the first site to have pre-orders and is very reliable.

I had heard that ‘The Magic Is You’ was to be their next release but that has obviously changed.  I hope we will eventually get it.  Anyway let’s hope this release will be as outstanding as their previous ones.

I’ve now seen it for pre-order on Amazon Germany so it does appear to be the next release.

It is now also available to pre-order on Amazon uk.

BGO CD Cover.

Astrid’s Simply Bassey #113

This week is the second of three requests from John, who reminds us
that certain songs really have to be experienced live. He suggests
“Till” as an example of this, and it is with pleasure that I play for
you today a live version of this song from Shirley’s Talk Of The Town
concert in 1972. I hope you enjoy it John.

Till (1972 Live)

Astrid’s Simply Bassey #112

Today the first of three requests for John. The first one is an often overlooked studio recording from Shirley’s 1974 album “Nobody Does It Like Me” – Davy. This beautiful duet was recorded with singer and songwriter Bernard Ighner, who also recorded this duet with singer Marlena Shaw, for whom he wrote a number of songs.

LP Cover Image

Davy: (Benard Ighner also played Guitar on “Davy”)


Davy, don’t be foolish
Won’t you stay and hear me through?
Ain’t no need in running
Don’t you know we do love you?
Yeah we do you know we do
We worry about you

Davy, Mama’s worried
About the things you get into
Davy, there’s no future
In the things you want to do
Hear me through, you know it’s true
We worry about you

And there’s gonna be some times
You wish you’d stayed at home
And there’s gonna be some times
You’re out there all alone
Oh Davy, my Davy

If you ever need a friend
And you have no place to go
And you’re tired of all your running
And you’re tired of all your roaming
And you miss the ones who love you
Come on home
Come on home
Come on home

Davy don’t be foolish
Davy don’t be foolish