In 1968 Petula Clark generated a storm of controversy when she held the arm of Harry Belafonte while singing an anti-war song on her primetime CBS TV show, as seen in the still above. Petula Clark had become a major international celebrity following the success of the song Downtown which sold more than three million copies in America alone.
Among Pet Clark's many fans was Glenn Gould who made a famous 1967 radio documentary titled The Search for Petula Clark. In February I wrote of my attempt to clear royalty hurdles and broadcast/webcast this and other Glenn Gould documentaries, an attempt which failed because copyright holder CBC told me "We could be looking at thousands of dollars" in royalties.
Now a reader has emailed pointing out that The Search of Petula Clark and other Glenn Gould documentaries (but not, it appears, the commercially released Solitude Trilogy) are available as a free stream and download from website UbuWeb. Wikipedia gives the following information about this site:
UbuWeb is a large web-based educational resource for avant-garde material available on the internet, founded in 1996 by poet Kenneth Goldsmith. It offers visual, concrete and sound poetry, expanding to include film and sound art mp3archives. UbuWeb was founded in response to the marginal distribution of crucial avant-garde material. It remains non-commercial and operates on a gift economy.Copyright holder CBC want "thousands of dollars" for a broadcast/webcast of The Search for Petula Clark. It is not available to my knowledge as a commercial release. Elsewhere I have staunchly defended the intellectual property rights of creative artists. UbuWeb say:
UbuWeb ensures educational open access to out-of-print works that find a second life through digital art reprint while also representing the work of contemporaries. It addresses problems in the distribution of and access to intellectual materials. UbuWeb does not distribute commercially viable works but rather resurrects avant-garde sound art, video and textual works through their translation into a digital art web environment - re-contextualising them with current academic commentary and contemporary practice.
All rights for materials presented on UbuWeb belong to the artists. All materials are for non-commercial and / or educational use only.Confused? So am I. But this post is intended to provide facts rather than judge right or wrong; although I would observe that the problem here is most probably the divergence between legal and ethical right and wrong. For those who side with UbuWeb there are many other riches available, including lots of uptown music; just type Cornelius Cardew, Morton Feldman, John Cage into their search engine or follow those links.
My 2007 account of the Petula Clark and Harry Belafonte controversy is here. The video below helps explain Glenn Gould's obsession with Pet Clark.
With thanks to reader Eve for the UbuWeb heads up. Trivia time: Petula Clark, who was born in 1932, grew up a mile or so from my childhood home in West Ewell, Surrey. I'm still confused, but any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk