Interesting story this – and one that is surprisingly ¬†little known or mentioned in this country. In 1968, Petula Clark was a big star in America with a recent string of 15 number one hits and her own show of which her husband was the producer. She invited Harry Belafonte to duet with her on the show and, at the end of an emotional performance of On the Path of Glory (above), took his arm. It’s hard to fathom today but the incident caused an outcry, with the sponsor Chrysler demanding the segment be removed. Clark insisted the show went out with what was actually the first interracial touch on an American television programme. She got her way. With her frizzy perm and Saturday-night-tv image, Petula Clark occupies a rather bland place in our cultural memory but this story shows she actually played a role in dismantling the colour barrier in American television. Oh – and the anti war anthem she and Belafonte sing in the clip – she wrote that too.

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