ATHENS CALLING : Hi Helen I must tell you that at this moment I am full of memories because I hear your c.d with the title ‘’ The Very Best Of ‘’ . Also I’m happy because I’m talking to a legendary singer like you .
HELEN SHAPIRO : Thank you, Theodore, for your very kind words.
ATHENS CALLING : When and why did you start singing ?
HELEN SHAPIRO : I come from a very musical family. At family gatherings, we were always singing together. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing! I’ve always loved singing and music.
ATHENS CALLING : What was your the first song that you sang and at what age ?
HELEN SHAPIRO : The first song I performed in public, was in a talent competition. The song was called ‘Birth of the Blues’. I was about 9 years old.
ATHENS CALLING: With which song you believe, has become known to the people?
HELEN SHAPIRO : People mostly remember my recording called ‘Walking Back To Happiness’. However, I had two big hits before that: ‘Don’t Treat Me Like a Child’ and ‘You Don’t Know’. Then, there were other hits after ‘Walking Back’.
ATHENS CALLING: Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
HELEN SHAPIRO : We didn’t have a record player, when I was very young. Cassette tapes weren’t invented yet. We listened to the radio. I always loved – and still do – Jazz. I used to listen to people like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee and Mel Torme. I also loved the Big Band sound of people like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, etc.
ATHENS CALLING: Who are your favorite musicians, groups,c.d’s?
HELEN SHAPIRO : Apart from the ones I’ve already mentioned, I like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, James Taylor, Carole King and Neil Sedaka. I also like Classical music.
ATHENS CALLING: I want now to tell us about your memories from the television British programme READY STEADY GO ,with three of the BEATLES (John, Ringo and George
HELEN SHAPIRO : I already knew The Beatles from a tour they did with me, earlier that same year (1963). So, it was good to meet them again, on Ready, Steady, Go! We had a lot of fun doing that song.
ATHENS CALLING: You have a very big career from your years active (1961–present) What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
HELEN SHAPIRO : It’s hard to pick out specific highlights, over so many years. I’ll never forget holding my first actual record in my hands! In those days, that was very special. I was only 14. Because our family didn’t have a record player, I had to go to a neighbour’s house in order to play it! My first No. 1 record was a very important moment, also. One particular highlight, of my career, was playing ‘Nancy’ in the musical show, ‘Oliver’, in the West End of London.
ATHENS CALLING: Today do you perform in public? Describe please those occasions? Concerts , radio, TV?
HELEN SHAPIRO : I came out of show business at the end of 2002, to concentrate on my Gospel Outreach evenings. I became a believer in Jesus in 1987 and desire to tell others about Him. I still do these evenings. I’m also part of a vocal trio, called HEBRON. We travel and do Gospel concerts.
ATHENS CALLING: What are your plans for the new year 2018?
HELEN SHAPIRO : More of the same.
ATHENS CALLING: And the last questions is… what exactly do you know about Greece?
HELEN SHAPIRO : One of my very best friends is Greek! She comes from Thessaloniki. I’ve only been to Greece once. I was on holiday with my husband in Rhodes. I had a fantastic time! I would love to go back again!
ATHENS CALLING: Many thanks Helen for your interview.