Miss Shirley Bassey

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-05-01
  • Publisher: Hodder
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In 1954, Shirley Bassey was seventeen years old. She had just returned from a cheesy revue tour called 'Hot from Harlem'. Depressed, disillusioned and four months' pregnant, she decided that her dream of being a professional singer was over. A mere ten years later, she was one of the biggest stars in the world. She had sold more records than any other British singer of the day, and was poised to conquer America. Her latest hit, 'Goldfinger', was the theme tune to the year's blockbuster film. No longer the two-bit jazz singer from Cardiff, she was by now an international sex siren, as glamorous and unreal as Bond himself. Miss Shirley Bassey explores this remarkable transformation, both of an individual and of the British society and British psyche that made it possible. From the vibrant, multicultural oasis of Tiger Bay in the Cardiff docklands through the club-lands of Soho and Las Vegas to New York's Carnegie Hall, it is a journey from mere mortal to international icon. Along the way she would encounter homosexual husbands, predatory managers, newspaper scandals, and a range of friends and acquaintances from Sammy Davis Jr to Reggie Kray. John L. Williams draws on original research and interviews to provide a portrait of a young woman on the cusp of stardom, whose rise to fame was in many ways symbolic of a changing world. Brilliantly written non-fiction in the style of David Peace's The Damned Utd or Nick Tosches' Dino, this is the story of a woman who set out to be extraordinary and - against all the odds - succeeded.

Author Biography

John L. Williams is a mystery author. He currently writes for the Mail on Sunday, having worked for the Independent, NME, Sunday Times, and as contributing editor of GQ magazine.

Table of Contents

Introduction For One Night onlyp. xiii
Prologue The Gamblerp. 1
Mother And Fatherp. 6
In Tiger Bay before the Warp. 18
The Canadian Cafep. 28
Life During Wartimep. 34
On The Street Where You Livep. 46
The Rainbow Clubp. 52
Down The Docksp. 66
Hot From Splottp. 82
Stormy Weatherp. 106
Talk Of the Townp. 122
Burn My Candlep. 146
My Body's more important Than My Mindp. 160
Viva Las Vegasp. 182
Sophisticated Ladyp. 197
Cruel To Be Kindp. 219
Shirley The Weirdiep. 235
Screen Dreamsp. 259
Love And Marriagep. 275
I (Who Have Nothing)p. 295
A Knight in Shining Armourp. 310
The Man with The Midas Touchp. 326
The Second Time Aroundp. 334
Napoleon and Josephinep. 345
Epilogue After the Rainp. 363
Discographyp. 369
Appendicesp. 373
A Short History of Tiger Bay
Bute Street and Its Cafes
A Short History of Mahmood Mattan and the Murder of Lily Volpert
A Short History of Minstrel Shows
A Short History of British Striptease
Notesp. 407
Acknowledgmentsp. 419
Picture Acknowledgmentsp. 421
Text Acknowledgmentsp. 423
Indexp. 424
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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