John L Williams: Miss Shirley Bassey (Quercus)
as reviewed by Brian Beacom in The Herald
Bassey’s drive to become famous was clearly matched by her libido. She had an affair with her first showbiz manager, the married Mike Sullivan, but what she also had was the guts and talent to survive theatre circuses such as The Glasgow Empire.
“It was like a bear pit,” she remembered fifty years later. “I stood in the wings and heard the audience boo the acrobats when they all but lost their balance and boo the comedians when their jokes weren’t funny enough. When I walked on, they began hooting and hollering and telling me to get my clothes off.”
Any more biographical descriptions?
Bassey simply waited and then appealed to the crowd for the chance to sing. The ploy worked. From now on, any screaming and hollering would be down to her.