as long as he needs me - centre

1960 V NMEBassey8thJuly

1960 F

1960 AP NMEBassey21stOct

1960 D

1960 E

1960 BA NMEBassey28thOctChart

trkle60a (1)

As Long As He Needs Me

Written by Lionel Bart

recorded: June 22, 1960
released: UK: July 1960 on Columbia single DB 4490 US: September 14, 1962 on United Artists single UA 511 charted: single UK: #2, August 4, 1960
Released in 1960 on a single and later on an EP. The single climbed to number two in the charts. The single stayed in the singles Top 50 charts for 30 consecutive weeks, one of the longest unbroken runs in UK singles chart history. It was her first hit single with Columbia Records, where she had signed 1959. Released in 1963 on the collection album Shirley Bassey Sings The Hit Song From OLIVER!. Also recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra on the album I Am What I Am. The song is available on CD on many collections, and from the 1960’s to this day Shirley performs this song at many concerts, therefore there are many live recordings available too.

This song is from the musical “Oliver!” written by Lionel Bart. The musical is based on the novel “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens. The premiere was on Thursday, June 30th, 1960 in the New Theatre in London. The film adaptation of Oliver! won six Oscars. Lionel Bart (his real name is Lionel Begleiter) was one of the best known composers of contemporary music. Bart disposed of the film and musical rights to Oliver! He sold them in 1973 – a decision that he thought had perhaps cost him £100 million. In 1994 Sir Cameron Mackintosh made a successful West End production of Oliver!. In the the video An Audience With Shirley Bassey you can see Lionel Bart in the audience. Another song he had written was for example the title song of the second James Bond movie “From Russia With Love” (1963), performed by Matt Monroe. Other songs of Lionel Bart that Shirley Bassey has recorded are “Where is love” (also from “Oliver!”) and “Far away” (from “Blitz”). Lionel Bart died on April 3rd 1999 of cancer. He bequeathed a quarter of all the income from his work to establish a charitable foundation, to which he has also given a quarter of his net estate.

On the internet the following review of the 1962 Original Broadway Cast album of “Oliver!” was found: Lionel Bart’s musical version of Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens’s novel of Industrial Revolution London in the late 19th century, was far more entertaining than the subject matter would suggest. The show has Dickens’s sad story of poverty and crime, but also one of the strongest scores heard on Broadway in the 60s – “I’d Do Anything,” “Be Back Soon,” “Oom-Pah-Pah,” “As Long As He Needs Me” – in fact, it’s one hit after another (no wonder this album reached #4 in the charts and went gold). And it has the incomparable Georgia Brown too.

There was a studio drama behind this hit: Producer Norman Newell had booked the vast number one recording studio at EMI’s Abbey Road for a Bassey recording session, and he and a large orchestra awaiting Shirley’s arrival. When she failed to appear at the expected time Norman made a frantic phone call to Shirley’s home to discover that she had completely forgotten about the recording session and had gone off to the cinema! Newell quickly arranged for every cinema in London’s West End to ‘page’ the missing singer and soon afterwards a breathless Shirley arrived at Abbey Road. The Orchestra was booked till 5:30pm and she came rushing in at ten past five … and gave one of the best recording performances of her career!


As long as he needs me 1

As long as he needs me 2

As long as he needs me  3


As longs as he needs me
I know where I must be
I’ll cling on steadfastly
As longs as he needs me

As long as life is long
I’ll love him, right or wrong
And somehow I’ll be strong
As long as he needs me

If you are lonely then you will know
When someone needs you you love them so
I won’t betray his trust
Though people say I must
I’ve got to stay true just
As longs as he needs me

If you are lonely then you will know
When someone needs you you love them so
I won’t betray his trust
Though people say I must
I’ve got to stay true just
As longs as he needs me

(lyric provided by John Bol

Dame Shirley Bassey and Lionel Bart
Dame Shirley Bassey and Lionel Bart



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