Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'd Like to Sell the World a Bra

Another Flower Child dream has its petals plucked.

Remember "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing"? That anthem of utopian youth? Turns out it was like that "Star Trek" episode where the space hippies commandeer the shuttle and go to the planet that is supposed to be paradise and it's full of toxic plants.

Or something.

When The New Seekers were at the height of their fame, they had five records in the American charts at the same time and played to packed stadiums across the world. Their best-known song, "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", adopted by Coca-Cola for its famous "Hilltop" advert, sold 96,000 copies in one day and recorded a total of 12 million sales.

But due to a contract dispute about her entitlement to the proceeds of further sales, Ms Graham has not had a penny in royalties since 1973. She left the band in 1978 and after trying to forge a solo career eventually decided in 2000 to find another career.

And so that earnest alto ended up ... fitting bras on customers at a department store in Colchester.

"I started as an assistant in womenswear and moved to the lingerie department. Then I became a qualified bra-fitter; a representative of a bra company offered me training. It was great work, making women feel good about themselves and how they looked. Everybody moves on from the different phases in their life."

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