Dustbury kindly reminded me about a month ago that Petula Clark, who most Americans know from her 1964 song Downtown [listen], and her subsequent hits, was actually about a decade older than the Beatles and the others from the British invasion.
She had hits on the British charts going back to 1954. Her 1961 song Sailor not only went to #1 in the UK, it went to #2 in South Africa, and #12 in Belgium. Another hit from that same year was Romeo [listen], which was a hit in Australia and Norway, to name a couple places.
Love this Wikipedia post about her song, This Is My Song [listen], written by Charles Chaplin. (Yes, THAT Chaplin.) “Clark recorded the song not only in English but in French [listen]…, German…, and Italian… In fact Clark did not wish to record the song in English as she disliked the deliberately old fashioned lyrics which Chaplin refused to modify; however after the translated versions of the song had been recorded there happened to be some time remaining on the session…
“Clark had assumed her recording… would only be used as an album track; on learning of Pye Records plan to release the track as a single she attempted to block its release. Instead, she found herself atop the UK charts for the first time in six years…” She didn’t dislike the song, merely thought it wasn’t commercially viable.
Petula Clark turns 80 today.