Although The Beatles are now far more famous than her, Helen Shapiro was the one who helped them reach a larger audience. In fact, in 1963, Helen was widely known as a great singer and actress and The Beatles were only her supporting act.

In 1961, at the age of fourteen, she had a UK no. 3 hit with her first singlThe Beatles and Helen Shapiroe, “Don’t Treat Me Like A Child” and then two number one hits in the UK. “Walkin’ Back to Happiness” did not top the UK chart until October 19th 1961, by the time Shapiro had reached fifteen. Her mature voice made her an overnight sensation. Shapiro’s final UK Top Ten hit single was with the ballad “Little Miss Lonely“, which peaked no. 8 for two weeks in 1962.

At a mere 14 years when “You Don’t Know” hit the top, she was nevertheless a year older than Frankie Lymon had been when “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” hit the UK number one in 1956. Before she was sixteen years old, Shapiro had been voted Britain’s ‘Top Female Singer‘.

The Beatles’ first national tour of Britain in the late winter/early spring of 1963 was as her supporting act. During the course of the tour, The Beatles had their first hit single and John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song “Misery” intended for her, but Shapiro did not record the composition. In 1995, Shapiro revealed, “It was actually turned down on my behalf before I ever heard it, actually. I never got to hear it or give an opinion. It’s a shame, really.”

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