1979, Petula Clark was invited by ATV to appear in her first TV musical,
a one-hour romance with music entitled TRACES OF LOVE produced by ATV at a
cost of £100,000.
production was a chance for Petula to demonstrate her musical versatility
and to prove her talent for straight acting in the part of Polly Curtis.
TRACES OF LOVE which took its title from the musical number, was a
departure from her usual television appearances. At the time Petula
commented: "I'm getting a little tired of standing before an
audience, singing beautiful songs and dressed in beautiful gowns. This
is something different. I don't know whether my fans are prepared for
it. This is no light-hearted show with the hero and heroine living
happily ever after. I've never done anything like this before. I'll be
very curious to see what people think!"
OF LOVE was tailored to Petula's talents. The one-hour special was
written by Alma Cullen and was devised in a way not only to allow Petula
to act but also to sing a string of popular standards including Ev'ry
Time We Say Goodbye, I'm Feeling Too Good Today, Start All Over Again
and I've Just Begun. Each lyric was an integral part of the
OF LOVE was billed as a television special with a difference. The songs
underlined the action story with a sting in the tail - and tale - where
a successful woman is unable to combine a career with marriage. As the
editor of 'Know How', a glossy woman's magazine, Petula's character
Polly Curtis offers advice to women on how to attract and hold onto
their men - it was quite a different matter when Polly's own husband
goes off the rails!
Petula Clark as Polly Curtis
Paul Jones as The P.R Man
David Kernan as The Husband
Sandor Eles as The Other Man
Sandor's romantic appeal was heightened considerably when he played a
leading role in the TV "The Foundation" series.
Karen Cooper as The Girlfriend
The husband's new girlfriend is never actually seen. In every shot, she
is lying on a sofa, out of sight except for her hand stretching out over
the top or caressing the husband's hand. Karen's lovely hands have been
seen in numerous TV commercials. At the time, the director Jon Schofield
commented: "We had to search for a girl who could act as well as
having pretty hands because she does in fact, have to use her hand very
expressively - in fact, acting with it, and she is actually acting the
part although one can't see her face!"
Debbie Ryan as The Exploited Stripper
of London's Famous Raymond Revue Bar
of Love - Petula Clark
I'm Feeling Too Good Today - Petula Clark
Pick Yourself Up - Petula Clark
Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye - Petula Clark
Planes - Petula Clark
I've Just Begun - Petula Clark
I Go To Rio - Petula Clark, Paul Jones
I Go To Rio (reprise) - Paul Jones
Uptown, Uptempo Woman - Paul Jones
You Don't Send Me Flowers Any More - Petula Clark, David Kernan
Bewitched - David Kernan
producer and director Jon Schofield who was ATV's head of light
entertainment explained at the time: "The time has come for
us to move ahead in light entertainment. The conventional
'special' has had a long run - the show in which one star has a
supporting bill of other stars. We have got to look ahead, and
TRACES OF LOVE breaks away from the usual format. It is
a fact: In 1971, Jon Schofield directed Petula when she was
a guest on THIS IS TOM JONES produced by ATV (pictured above).
TRACES OF LOVE, British actor and singer David Kernan portrayed
the husband and Paul Jones (Manfred Mann) played the PR man.
a fact: David Kernan first worked with Petula in the 1964
BBC TV special LANGUAGE OF LOVE. Paul Jones went on to appear
with Petula as one of her special guests in the 1983 Yorkshire
TV special PETULA ... CONCENTRATES ON YOU (pictured above) as
well as performing on three 1985 demo recordings for the Clark /
Shipman musical SOMEONE LIKE YOU.
work and filming for the special began on 04 February 1979 and
concluded on 01 March 1979 at ATV Studios, Elstree.
recording sessions for the musical numbers took place on the 22
and 26 February 1979 across 3 sessions at Elstree Studios with
31 musicians (pictured right) conducted by Kenny Clayton who was also musical
arranger and musical director.
took place at ATV's Elstree Studios (Studio D) on 27, 28
February and 01 March 1979.
special was broadcast on the independent television network on
04 April 1979 at 8pm.
04 April 1979
ABOVE: Rehearsal schedule
ABOVE: Orchestral requirements
OF LOVE reproduced from the Traces of Love Brochure
Clark is living proof that dual nationality does exist - even if,
occasionally, you find yourself being pulled in conflicting directions.
she first met her husband, Claude Wolff, almost two decades ago, she was
a shy, retiring English sensation, speaking no French at all beyond the
hesitant schoolgirl variety. There is still a youthful vulnerability
about the mature Petula (on the first day of recording TRACES OF LOVE
she confessed to hardly sleeping the night before worrying about the
show), but these days Petula is fluent in French as she is in English.
still feels an enormous attraction to England, loves coming home for
professional and private reasons, but she lives in Geneva and has raised
a bi-lingual family of whom, she says, the two girls (now teenagers) are
very French and feel no real ties to England while her son, Patrick, is
having an English education and could, she feels, be as at home in
England, as Petula is herself.
interesting, and I think it probably comes down to education,"
Petula said. "The girls, although they're completely bi-lingual,
are more at home in France. They feel a pull towards Paris, which is
where their friends live, than they do towards London. They had a French
education and naturally enough that's their home. Patrick is having an
English education and I think will feel more English in inclination.
is equally at ease in both places. In fact one of her loveliest records,
"Two Rives", extolled the virtues of the two cities she loves
- London and Paris - and the lure she felt towards them. "When I
first met my husband and was working in France, I hardly spoke a word,
but I had to learn fast to survive. My musicians were all French so I
couldn't communicate with them except in sign language until I'd learned
to get by in French. Anyway," she shrugged in Gallic fashion,
smiling, "I was in love and it was all very exciting. I picked up
the language fairly fast".
the international language of love filling gaps? "That's right.
It's a good way to learn a language. I'd love be fluent in Italian but I
haven't the time". One suspects Claude might not approve of a
handsome Italian repeating history!
TOGETHERreproduced from the Traces of Love Brochure
Clark admitted that when her co-stars for TRACES OF LOVE were announced
as David Kernan and Paul Jones, she was ecstatic.
was really thrilled," she enthused. "Partly because I knew
David and had worked with him before, many years ago, and was glad of
the chance to do so again. Paul Jones I hadn't worked with before, but
I've admired him for years. I loved his voice way back when he was with
Manfred Mann, and I've watched with pleasure as he developed into an
sentiments were repaid in kind by the gentlemen in question.
Kernan who, in TRACES OF LOVE, play's Petula's erring husband, and duets
with her the Barbra Streisand - Neil Diamond hit, "You Don't Bring
Me Flowers", said: Petula and I worked together in the 60s on a BBC
TV special - as I remember Petula was supposed to be teaching me French
and I remember we giggled most of the time! Has she changed? Well, it
may sound like a cliche, but it's true - then she was a child and now
she is a woman - she's marvellous, nobody can put a song across like
Petula. I am so pleased to be working with her again".
Jones who plays a PR man in TRACES OF LOVE and gives counsel to Petula
when her husband strays, went through a metamorphosis himself from pop
singer to serious actor and fully appreciates the changes Petula has
gone through. "The public does typecast you and Petula did very
well to get away from the homespun peaches-and-cream image into
something altogether more slinky, but still universally appealing. She's
a superb performer, her timing is terrific and the show is a pleasure to
is a show called TRACES OF LOVE!
ABOVE: Daily Express
ANONYMOUS. (1979) Petula Clark in Traces of Love Brochure. London: ITC Entertainment
2. PHILLIPS, P. (1979) Pet's set to give her fans a love test!. London:
3. ANONYMOUS. (1979) Rehearsal Schedule. London: ATV
4. ANONYMOUS (1979) Orchestral Requirements. London: ATV
5. HURNER, R. (1979) Love's Labour Lost. London: Daily Express
submissions are gratefully accepted.
compiled and created by Steven Warner & Tim Hutton
Selected graphics by Ray Leaning @ Muse
Fine Art & Design
/ videos / ephemera from the Petula Clark Archive - Warner / Hutton
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