Dennis W. Green

I write things. And talk about stuff.

Sometimes I swim.

In Which I Am Surprised So Many People Knew Who Shirley Bassey Is.

So, I see that Shirley Bassey's birthday is today. She's 76, and really only known in the U.S. for singing the theme from "Goldfinger," arguably the tune that set the standard for big Bondian opening themes that continues today with Adele and "Skyfall." Goldfinger-c-Columbia

(Sergio Mendes' "The Look of Love" actually preceded Goldfinger, as it was featured prominently in "Dr. No," but not to the extent as with Goldfinger and most of the other Bond themes).

But the point of this story is not to discuss Bond movie themes.

As I said, in the States, we mostly know Bassey for one nearly fifty-year-old movie theme. In her native Britain, she apparently is still a big deal.

We were in London a few months ago, and went to see the Comedy Store Players, the improv troupe who invented "Whose Line?" They're awesome, by the way. If you ever are in London on a Sunday night, run, don't walk to get get tickets.

Anyway, not one, but TWO of their routines that night referenced Shirley Bassey, and everyone in the crowd immediately picked up on who they were talking about.

It must be the same when you're in Germany and someone mentions David Hasselhoff.