From the archive # 59 -1957- + Eartha Kitt Biography

Biography of Dame Shirley BasseyToday a new biography of Eartha Kitt is being released. The book is written by John Williams who also wrote the biography “Miss Shirley Bassey.” 
We received a copy of the book and Dame Shirley is mentioned on 7 pages. From what I read Shirley and Eartha must have been very good friends. If you want to order a copy of the book CLICK HERE. Additionally, below are 2 newspaper clips from 1957 about Dame Shirley and Eartha. Mr Williams must have done a lot of research because there was not much filed in the days when Eartha was born and grew up.

cover front

flyer

page 264
1957 Y NMEBassey18thJan Eartha Kitt

1957 C (blog)

10 thoughts on “From the archive # 59 -1957- + Eartha Kitt Biography”

  1. Another Grand Lady of such enduring quality. They just don’t make them like this that much anymore. Although Eartha Kitt was abit more well known here in the U.S. than Dame Shirley it’s Interesting how both Kitt and Bassey were major hits all over the earth, but didn’t exactly get the justly praise of America except among a semingly exclusive fan base here. I always loved and found her interesting (Kitt) and remember she had a big dance hit called, “Where Is My Man” back in the 1980s, full of all the Eartha kitty cat seductiveness. Missed out on catching her on Broadway in “Timbuktu” but did get a chance to see her a couple times here in Columbia, S.C. when she came to narrate a play at the Township Auditorium in the mid 1990s, and in the process also finally get ahold of her birth certificate information, because it was unclear to her at that time just how old she really was. While she stayed at the Adams Mark Hotel where I worked, she was supposed to perform a song in the lounge area, but for some reason it didn’t happen. She just dined with, I believe her daughter Kitt. She really looked elegant as she nibbled away. Later we heard she’d be signing autographs the next day and I managed to bring an Lp she’d recently done called, ” I’m Still Here”. But unfortunately I was shifted to doing van shuttle runs to the airport for a few days and my friend Wendy got to meet her and have it signed for me. Wendy told me people were practically going nuts over her. She just simply wrote “Eartha” on it. But a day later after I’d heard she’d checked out and I made a run to the airport, I just happened to go into the inner waiting area where some other friends of mine worked conscessions, and asked rather loudly by accident (my voice echoing); “Did any body see Eartha Kitt come through here this morning”? ” Shhhhhh! Be quiet you idiot- she’s right over there” was the response from one of them. I glance around, and sure enough there was Eartha Kitt and I think her daughter, sitting for their time to board a plane. And just then she stopped what appeared to be nitting, she glanced up at me and actually smiled at me directly, and then went back to her knitting. Now how odd was all this considering that this was in South Carolina of all places, where “Country Music” rules, and not my native New York. Unfortunate loss of her on Christmas day a few years ago. That she and Dame Shirley were friends seems well fitting too. Now that would have been a great and interesting musical pairing.

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  2. Hi Pieter

    John Williams here. Thanks for the mention for my book. Shirley’s friendship with Eartha was a long and important one and shows them both in a very good light. Shirley was an Eartha fan as a teenager, and used to listen to her records over and over.

    When Eartha came to London in 1956 she was a big star and Shirley just starting out but Eartha never saw her as a rival and was kind and supportive to the young Shirley, giving her advice as to what expect when she went to Las Vegas.

    In the early sixties Shirley returned the favour. By then she was the bigger star and used her influence to get Eartha a record deal with her label, EMI. As mentioned above Shirley also let Eartha and her daughter Kitt stay in her house in London. The two women remained friends till Eartha’s death in 2008.

    Hope you enjoy the book!

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    1. I have the book Mr. Williams. very well written. Are you planning to write a continuation? Marriage to Sergio Novak, etc? What does Dame Bassey think of it? She always thought her father abandoned the family when instead he was imprisoned, and sent back to Nigeria. I’m still reading it.

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