A TEEN pop starlet who once topped the bill ahead of The Beatles is bringing her gospel outreach to Ellesmere Port.
In 1961, aged just 14, London schoolgirl Helen Shapiro embarked on a pop career that saw her catapulted to stardom by her massive hit Walking Back to Happiness and sharing the stage with some of the biggest stars of the decade, including the Fab Four and Cliff Richard.
More than 50 years later, she is coming to share her Messianic message – and sing a few songs – at Christchurch Oasis, Worcester Street, Ellesmere Port on Saturday, May 5.
Helen remembers her first brush with a band on the brink of worldwide fame.
She said: “In 1963 I was told there was this group that was going to join us.
“I had heard of them because I had heard Love Me Do. We all travelled together. They were great fun. We sang and played together.
“They released Please Please Me during that tour and were promoted so that they closed the first half.”
Helen also appeared with the Fab Four on Ready, Steady, Go! performing her hit Look Who It Is, while pretending to rebuff their advances one-by-one.
“Who would have known when we did that what they would become?” she added.
Helen juggled her studies with stints at the London Palladium, impressing her school friends with tales of the rich and famous.
She added: “I had the first three records while I was still at school. It was amazing. It was a thrill to have records in the charts.”
In 2002, she took the decision to step out of the limelight and concentrate full-time on gospel outreaches.
She explains the reasons behind her change of career: “I’ve been doing things like this or similar to this for 20 years or more.
“I was doing it the same time I was doing my normal concerts.
“I’m Jewish and I came to be a believer in Jesus as being the promised Messiah through the prophecies in the Old Testament.
“There is a conversion of the spirit which means you go from being a non-believer to a believer. I use different terms, like Messianic Jew. I went from reading the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament then reading the New Testament and discovering that far from being a foreign book, it’s a Jewish book written by Jews about the greatest Jew that ever lived.
“I made a commitment to Him in 1987 and my life was changed dramatically on the inside.”
As well as promising to perform signature hit Walking Back To Happiness, Helen says she will sing songs about her faith and scripture.
The gospel outreach begins at 7.30pm at Christchurch Oasis, Worcester Street (near J9 of the M53), Ellesmere Port on Saturday, May 5.
For tickets, contact Jill Pleasant on 07766231959 or email email@example.com.