Scottish Daily Mail

Pop behind Iron Curtain


QUESTION Who was the first British female singer to perform behind the Iron Curtain: Lulu or Helen Shapiro?

LuLu toured Poland with The Hollies in 1966 and it is routinely stated she was the first British female pop star to perform behind the Iron Curtain.

But this was not the case — Helen Shapiro played concerts in Eastern Europe in 1964 and 1965.

Born in Bethnal Green in the East End of London in 1946, the pop phenomenon is best known for her two Number Ones, You Don’t Know and Walkin’ Back To Happiness, recorded when she was 14.

She was invited by the Pagart, the Polish Artistic Agency, to play a concert in Warsaw. In October 1964, she performed at Congress Hall in Warsaw, where she was backed by The Trebletone­s.

There is a Pathe news clip of her singing Walking Back To Happiness and segueing into You Don’t Know in front of an ecstatic Polish audience, with many jiving in the aisles. Shapiro returned with The Trebletone­s to play Congress Hall the following February.

In the Sixties, Poland was one of the few Communist countries where western pop acts were allowed to perform. The Hollies, The Animals and Lulu played there in 1966. After a Rolling Stones concert in 1967, there were anti-Communist riots on the streets of Warsaw. They were the last western band to play in Poland for many years. That didn’t stop intrepid Helen Shapiro. She went on to play a series of concerts with crooner Tony Bolton in Bucharest, Romania, in 1968.

Richard Knowles, Arundel, W. Sussex.

QUESTION Did Joe Biden drop out of his previous run to be U.S. President because of a plagiarism scandal?

JOE BIDEN has sought the Democratic nomination for President on three occasions: 1987, 2008 and this year.

In 1987, his campaign ran into trouble when it was revealed he had passed off a speech by Labour party leader Neil Kinnock as his own. Kinnock’s speech included the lines: ‘Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generation­s to be able to get to university?

‘[Pointing to his wife] Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generation­s to be able to get to university? Was it because all our predecesso­rs were thick?’

Biden’s speech was: ‘I started thinking as I was coming over here, why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university?

‘[Pointing to his wife] Why is it that my wife, who is sitting out there in the audience, is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because I’m the first Biden in a thousand generation­s to get a college and graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest?’

Biden may have got away with it, but a few days later the Washington Post unearthed the fact he had been given an ‘F’ grade on a law school assignment for plagiarism, having ‘lifted five pages from a published law review article and used them in his 15-page paper for a legal methods course’.

He also claimed he had graduated in the top half of his class and had three degrees. But the Washington Post reported: ‘Biden graduated from Delaware 506th in a class of 688 with a “C” average and he got his undergradu­ate degree with a dual major in history and political science.’

After this revelation, he was forced to drop out of the presidenti­al race, but this has not deterred two more attempts.

Marcus White, Combe St Nicholas, Somerset.

 ??  ?? Singing sensation: Helen Shapiro
Singing sensation: Helen Shapiro

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