Kathy at one of my old stomping grounds: South Bank, Middlesborough

British Divas of the 1960s

British Divas of the 1960s: Dusty Springfield ~ Cilla Black ~ Helen Shapiro ~ Kathy Kirby

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: The creator of the unique style known as 'blue-eyed soul', she was instrumental in introducing Motown to Britain, and for several years reigned supreme on both sides of the Atlantic. Her voice, flute-like, sensual and smoky frequently in the space of the same song, was similarly unique. She remains a show business legend years after her death, yet also an enigma, a completely self-fabricated, difficult yet vulnerable woman who allowed few access to her complex, in turns exhuberant and neurotic world where at times there was little difference between reality and make-believe. CILLA BLACK: The only important British female singer to emerge from the 'Mersey Sound' explosion. The archetypal girl-next-door, her speciality was powerhouse Continental ballads, with which she was unrivalled. Her sudden death in August 2015 sent an entire country into profound mourning. HELEN SHAPIRO: The teenage sensation whose commercial career ended as the other Brit Girls were coming into their own, though she went on to fashion a successful career in jazz. KATHY KIRBY: Britain's glamorous answer to Marilyn Monroe, a phenomenally talented, technically and vocally perfect but tetchy individual for whom there was no such thing as a bed take. Contains full UK and European 60s vinyl discographies