December 12, 1942
She's cute, isn't she, and full of pep. . .that girl on the left getting all set up in front of the mike. She's ten-year-old Petula Clark, and if you haven't heard her on the air already, you're due for a treat.
Petula is BBC's latest find, and the credit for her discovery goes--no, not to Carroll Lewis--but to herself. She was one of the children invited to the Empire Entertainment Unit's tea party in order that they might broadcast messages to their fathers or relatives serving overseas. Stephen Williams, the producer, asked, as he usually does, if anyone would like to sing, and Petula, who was there to say hello to her uncle in Iraq, stepped up to the mike like a veteran and sang "Mighty Like a Rose" Some days later a letter was received from Sergeant Fred Mork, stationed in Malta, saying "I would be glad if you would let me have the full name and addresss of the little girl of ten who sang so beatifully tonight in the "It's All Yours" programme. Her voice was crystal clear and sounded as sweet as chapel bells on a Sunday morning in England. It made me homesick, and I have been overseas eight years now. Hoping to hear from you either by mail or wireless, and also hoping to hear Petula again."
So Petula was brought to the mike again, accompanied by her father, Corporal Leslie Clark, who suggested she should sing "Ave Maria." She did so at a rehearsal. . .and was it a success? Well, judge for yourself when I tell you that when she had finished the entire band and studio officials broke into spontaneous applause. Petula has never been trained and has never sung in public before. She learns her songs "by ear" from listening to the wireless. Petula, whose home is in Surrey, looks like going places--and quickly too!
Petula and her father, RAC Corporal Leslie Clark
With the stars in the BBC canteen after the broadcast