Lita Roza - the first Liverpudlian, and first female singer, to have a number one single - has died.
Roza's number one was a novelty single - How Much Is That Doggy In The Window? - and, like many who find fame with a novelty hit, it dogged her (no pun intended) for the rest of her days:
Rosa was much more than that single. She won Top British Female Singer in the NME readers' polls every year between 1951 and 1955, and sang with many of the great dance bands, including Harry Roy's and Ted Heath's.
She was a GI Bride, quitting Liverpool at the end of World War Two for Miami; the marriage didn't last and it was on returning to Liverpool that she took up professional singing seriously - out of need as much as artistic desire.
Lita worked round the planet - TV work in New Zealand; Singapore to entertain the troops; South Africa supporting Matt Monro. She even briefly had her own series, Lita Roza sings, on ITV in the mid 1950s. In 1981, a comeback tour with the Ted Heath band was to continue for nineteen years. A 2002 performance for Radio Merseyside's birthday was enough, Lita decided. At the age of 78, she had no desire to continue treading the boards, and withdrew from showbiz.
Roza died on the 14th August.