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David Whitfield

Welcome to the David Whitfield Internet Site, a tribute to the British Singing Superstar of the 1950's. This site was created to keep his name and music alive and has been online since 3rd October 1997 when it was the World's first David Whitfield website.

Biography

David Whitfield - Hit Recording Star of the 1950's

David was a Tenor Vocalist and Hit Recording Star of the 1950's. In a time before Rock 'n' Roll, Beatlemania, Glamrock and Pop there was just a pure voice, orchestral accompaniment and beautiful tunes that combined to make music that is preserved in the golden era known as the 'Fabulous Fifties'.


With a string of Chart Hit singles recorded on the DECCA Record label, David became Britains biggest recording star of the mid 1950's. 'Rags to Riches', 'Answer me', 'The Book' and 'My September Love' were some of the songs which contributed to his success and were played on Gramaphones and Dansettes by teenagers of the period.

David flew to New York for the first time to take part in America's greatest of all T.V. shows, Ed Sullivan's 'Toast of the Town' in New Yorks Radio City. After this show he was flooded with offers of engagements at astronomical fees.

David gained some singing experience as a choir boy before joining the Royal Navy when he was 17. He gave seven years service including service in the Far East and being part of the D. Day Invasions. During his Navy days, Gunner Whitfield would entertain his shipmates aboard HMS 'Ramillies' and also in base hospitals whenever he could. 

When he returned back to civvy life he worked in the concrete business though he still sang whenever he got the chance at as many local concerts as possible.

A major turning point came when he was a big hit on the talent contest 'Opportunity Knocks' a programme on Radio Luxembourg. 


David flew to New York for the first time to take part in America's greatest of all T.V. shows, Ed Sullivan's 'Toast of the Town' in New Yorks Radio City. After the show he was flooded with offers of engagements at astronomical fees.

It was Hughie Green the host of this show who got David his big break when he managed to get him a booking at The Washington Hotel in London's West End. It was at this venue that an Executive of The Decca Record Company heard him singing and booked an immediate record test. As a result of this David gained his first recording contract and the success was soon to follow. 

Signed to the Decca Record Company David's biggest hit was a song called 'Cara Mia' written by MANTOVANI who also provided accompaniment with his String Orchestra. 

David was the first ever British male singer to be awarded a Golden disc for sales of 'Cara Mia' and was also apparently the first British Male singer to achieve a million seller in the US. 

Even today, David is one of the few artists to achieve double figures for consequetive weeks on the UK Charts with 10 weeks at Number One in 1954 with 'Cara Mia'.

David had his own T.V. shows, made eight appearances on the 'Ed Sullivan' show at the 'Toast of the Town' in New York in America and made three Royal Command Performances at the London Palladium.


David was billed and aknowledged as 'Britains No.1 singing star' at the height of his career.

Further success came in the form of Stage Musicals where David was a favourite as 'The Red Shadow' in the production of 'The Desert Song'. 

His voice also made it to the big screen where David recorded the song 'I'll Find You' as the title track for the movie 'Sea Wife' starring Joan Collins and Richard Burton. 

By the 1980's, even though the music styles had changed David was still performing not just in Britain but around the World.

Unfortunately David passed away whilst touring Australia in 1980 at just 54 years of age. He left behind a legacy of music and memories of a now by-gone era. Times will change, music will change but memories last forever.


Other stars performing at the 1954 Royal Command Performance were Bob Hope, Frankie Howerd, Guy Mitchell, Norman Wisdom, Dickie Valentine, Max Bygraves, Frankie Laine, Howard Keel, The Crazy Gang, Joan Turner, Jack Buchanan, Al Read, Jimmy Wheeler, Richard Hearne, Gladys Cooper and Leslie Hanson.


David's singing master was Professor Georges Cuneli.

Charts - 1950's

2 Oct 1953 ...BRIDGE OF SIGHS
(Decca F 10129) - Highest Position # 9

16 Oct 1953...ANSWER ME
(Decca F 10192) - Highest Position # 1

11 Dec 1953...RAGS TO RICHES
(Decca F10207) - Highest Position #12
.

8 Jan 1954...RAGS TO RICHES
(Re-entry) - Highest Position # 3


29 Jan 1954...ANSWER ME
(Re-entry) - Highest Position #12


19 Mar 1954...THE BOOK
(Decca F10242) - Highest Position #5


28 Mar 1954...THE BOOK
(Re-entry) - Highest Position #10


19 Jun 1954...CARA MIA
(Decca F10327) - Highest Position # 1


12 Nov 1954...SANTO NATALE
(Decca F10399) - Highest Position # 2 

11 Feb 1955...BEYOND THE STARS
(Decca F10458) - Highest Position # 8


27 May 1955...MAMA
(Decca F10515) - Highest Position #20


24 Jun 1955...MAMA
(Re-entry) - Highest Position #19


8 Jul 1955...EV'RYWHERE
(Decca F10515) - Highest Position # 3


29 Jul 1955...MAMA
(2nd Re-entry) - Highest Position #12


25 Nov 1955...WHEN YOU LOSE THE ONE YOU LOVE
(Decca F10627) - Highest Position # 7 

2 Mar 1956... MY SEPTEMBER LOVE
(Decca F10690) - Highest Position #19


23 Mar 1956... MY SEPTEMBER LOVE
(Re-entry) - Highest Position #18


6 Apr 1956...MY SEPTEMBER LOVE
(2nd Re-entry) - Highest Position # 3 


15 Jun 1956...ALL STAR HIT PARADE - (IT'S ALMOST TOMORROW)
VARIOUS ARTISTS including Winifred Atwell, Dave King, Joan Regan, Dickie Valentine, Lita Roza.
(Decca F10752) - Highest Position # 2


24 Aug 1956...MY SON JOHN
(Decca F10769) - Highest Position #22


21 Aug 1956...MY UNFINISHED SYMPHONY
(Decca F10769) - Highest Position #29


7 Sep 1956...MY SEPTEMBER LOVE
(3rd Re-entry) - Highest Position #25 

25 Jan 1957...ADORATION WALTZ
(Decca F10833) - Highest Position # 9


5 Apr 1957...I'LL FIND YOU
(Decca F10864) - Highest Position #28


7 Jun 1957... I'LL FIND YOU
(Re-entry) - Highest Position #27 

14 Feb 1958...CRY MY HEART
(Decca F 10978) - Highest Position #22


16 May 1958...ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE
(Decca F11018) - Highest Position #16


8 Aug 1958...THE RIGHT TO LOVE
(Decca F 11039) - Highest Position #30 

Charts - 1960's

24 Nov 1960...I BELIEVE
(Decca F11289) - Highest Position #49

Charts - Facts

Chart information source :
The Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF WEEKS ON CHART - 181 WEEKS
  • MOST CONSEQUETIVE WEEKS AT NUMBER 1 - 10 WEEKS (CARA MIA)  

The song Cara Mia was credited to Tulio Trapani otherwise known as composer Mantovani and Lee Lange otherwise known as Bunny Lewis who was David's producer.

Scrapbook

Record sleeve for 'Alone' which also featured 'Your are too beautiful', 'Wonderful one' and 'Can I forget you'.

David Whitfield's 'Own Picture Album' magazine featuring the cover photo of him singing for the Queen at the Royal Command Variety show (London Palladium Nov 1st 1954)

The sleeve for 'David Whitfield Volume 2' which featured 'The Adoration Waltz', 'If I lost you', 'I'll find you' and 'I'd give you the world'. This was part of a series of 45rpm volumes.

45rpm single featuring David's biggest hit 'Cara Mia'.

Advertisement for the film 'Sea Wife' which featured David singing 'I'll find you'.

David was signed to Decca Records.

A ticket for his headlining variety shows.

Sheet music for Adoration Waltz.

Every fan would have had one of these...the Fan Club Membership Card.


Thank you for visiting, we hope you enjoyed your stay.

Drop us a line

If you have any memories you would like to share about David or the music of the 1950's we'd love to heard from you.

Photographs used by kind permission of The Decca Record Company, England

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