Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Not Only... But Also

In 1966 Black guested on Not Only... But Also. Starring Beyond The Fringe regulars Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, the show became of the most popular comedy shows of all time. John Lennon joined Cook and Moore for the very first episode, famously playing a lavatory attendant. Peter Sellers, Dusty Springfield, Spike Milligan and Barry Humphries were just a few of the talents who took part in the earlier series. Here, Black joins the Dudley Moore Trio to sing Let There Be Love, and also to join Pete and Dud for the signature tune which ended each episode, Goodbye. The Dudley Moore Trio line-up here are Chris Karan (drums), Pete McGurk (bass) and of course Dudley himself at the piano.

(Note: Black recorded a version of Let There Be Love for her 2006 album Beginnings. It is a fair version nestling alongside some excruciatingly painful tracks including This Kiss, My Man, and a dreadful re-recording - a third one at that - of Anyone Who Had A Heart. She does well on the Ringo Starr tune Photograph, however, originally written with Black in mind in the early Seventies)

You've Lost That Loving Feeling

Performed on the BBC Eammon Andrews Show in 1965. This recording of the Phil Spector song You've Lost That Loving Feeling reached Number Two in the UK singles charts, while the Righteous Brothers reached Number One. In a well-documented battle of the two recordings, Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham took out a full page advert in NME asking pop pickers to buy the Righteous Brothers version instead of the Cilla Black cover. Black has often stated that the superior version won in the end. George Martin: "Of course it was rather cheeky of us to re-record it... but it was such a good song".

(Note: Cilla re-recorded You've Lost That Loving Feeling exactly twenty years later on a piss-poorly produced studio album on the Towerbell label in her LWT days; over here at the Girl From Abbey Road site, we prefer not to think of it.)

Where Is Tomorrow

Monday, April 23, 2007

With the George Martin Orchestra


Cilla speaks on Irish television - late Sixties - of drugs, wine, sex and Guinness... view this short clip here.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"She played nobody's mistress at all..."

With Cathy McGowan on the set of Ready Steady Go, by Philip Townsend, circa 1966

It’s true – the British don’t like their girl singers to be too good, they think it smacks of emancipation, and Cilla at least seemed safe. Obviously, she was quite a nice girl. Also, she was respectable and reliable, very clean and quite unsexy, and she played daughter or maybe kid sister, steady date or fiancĂ©e, but she played nobody’s mistress at all. She wasn’t like that. Everyone patronized her like hell, waiting for her to fall, but then she didn’t fall after all, she floated instead and she’s still up there now. She won’t ever come down either – she still can’t sing much, she still comes on like a schoolgirl but she’s liked like that and she can’t go wrong. Genuinely, she’s warm and she makes people glow. In her time, she will grow into a pop Gracie Fields, much loved entertainer, and she’ll become institutionalized.

(Nik Cohn writing in 1969 for his study on the history of pop, Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom)

The Beatles and Elvis

“After a bit, Elvis said, ‘Somebody bring in the guitars’. One of his men jumped up, and within moments three electric guitars has been plugged into the amplifiers in the room. Elvis took a bass guitar, and I took a rhythm guitar. Elvis obviously wasn’t that familiar with his instrument, so Paul gave him some instructions. George was busy looking over his instrument, and it was a few minutes before he joined in. Cilla Black’s hit record You’re My World was the track that we first got off together. After that I said ‘This beats talking doesn’t it?’ - We had at last found a way of communicating. Only Ringo looked a bit down. He could only watch us and drum on the side of his chair. ‘Too bad we left the drums in Memphis’ Elvis said."

(John Lennon on the Beatles meeting Elvis – Mojo magazine)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


At a Cannes Film Festival during the 1970s Cilla joined George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and glam-rock pop star Marc Bolan to attend a screening of the John Lennon-Yoko Ono experimental film
Erection. She also holidayed with them on this trip aboard a yacht chartered by Ringo. "Photograph" was written on this trip - originally intended for Black to record - but Starr decided to record it himself. George Harrison also wrote two songs for Cilla - "The Light That Has Lighted The World" and "I'll Still Love You (When Every Song Is Sung)". The latter she recorded in 1974, but it was not heard publicly until 2003, when it surfaced on a retrospective collection entitled "The Best of 1963-78".

(Excerpted from Wikipedia)

On John and Paul

The Music of Lennon and McCartney, Granada Television, Manchester 1965

"Sex appeal oozed from John's every pore. We obviously adored Paul, with that lovely baby face and everything. But what John didn't realise was that he had this incredible sexual power. It's a shame really, because he never really knew he had that."

(Cilla Black, Daily Mail interview, December 2002)


Black maintained a full schedule of concert, radio, and television appearances in 1964-65. Like every other Epstein client, she was also busy in America as well, appearing on the
Ed Sullivan Show and such non-rock 'n roll venues as The Tonight Show. She was also a featured performer on a late 1965 British television special, The Beatles: The Music of Lennon and McCartney. By that time, she was, along with the Beatles, one of only two acts still personally managed by Brian Epstein , who regarded her as one of his two most precious musical discoveries--and, indeed, after the Beatles she was the most successful artist to come out of Liverpool.

(Bruce Eder, All Music Guide)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


It was 1967, I was doing the
Cilla show for the BBC, and Cliff Richard was guesting. Barbara [Hulanicki] of Biba was my lifeline, mine and [TV presenter] Cathy McGowan's. Cathy was doing Ready Steady Go! every week, and I wanted to be with her at the height of fashion. We'd go to Barbara's flat at 15 Cromwell Road, and they'd be sewing as we sat there. We'd be doing TV's Ready Steady Go! the next day - so this was Thursday night - and we'd sit there, having great faith that everything would be wonderful. And it always was! Barbara did my dress for the very first Royal Command Performance - it was maroon velvet . We were just babies at the time and she thought I should be very Juliet-esque. It got pinched actually. I lent it out to some exhibition, and never got it back. I wore a lot of Ossie Clark. I was mates with Ossie because he was from Liverpool. I've still got a lot of clothes in my attic that date from the Sixties. There's a lot of Biba, and a lot of Jean Varon there too, and Missoni ... When you got a bit of money, well, you went into Missoni, didn't you? I wore heaps of Tommy Nutter suits. Bobby and I financed Tommy when he opened his first business in Savile Row. He was the first tailor to open there for a couple of hundred years. We didn't know how the other tailors would react to it, but Tommy was the most lovable person, and they took him to their hearts. I remember him making a suit for Yoko [Ono], and he didn't really want to measure her inside leg. He had a problem with that. Tommy was a great designer. I still have his suits. I could have worn them a year ago, but I'm now at the weight I want to be, which is 9st 4lb. In those days I was seven and a half to eight stone. I brought one suit down from the loft. The jacket I can do. The waist-band on the trousers - no! But I'm not giving my clothes away. Why do you think they're in the loft?

(Cilla Black interviewed by Vicki Wickham - excerpted - July 9 2006, The Observer)

A Word From Morrissey

"Audiences need to feel that this country is important. I like America - in its place - but I was never influenced by rock'n'roll singers like Presley or Little Richard. I preferred the disposable cheap types - Billy Fury, Sandie Shaw, Dusty Springfield. I worship every belch of Cilla Black."

(Morrissey, interviewed by Tony Parsons in Vox magazine, 1993)

Cilla at the BBC

On 6th February 1968 the Three Beatles worked 12 hours at EMI 2:30pm-2am on the "Inner Light" and "Lady Madonna" only taking a break from 8pm to 9pm to watch Ringo on the first episode of Cilla Black’s show Cilla. Ringo is seen on this show with Peter Brough with his puppet Archie Andrews and participated in two sketches, first acting as a ventriloquist with Cilla singing "Nellie Dean". Finally he duetted with Cilla on “Do You Like Me?” and on “Act Naturally”.

Paul McCartney wrote the theme tune to her BBC series - "Step Inside Love". The author and critic Johnny Rogan noted in 1997; "for Paul McCartney to write a song for someone - at that time - was a tremendous privilege, and he wouldn't have done it but for his belief that Cilla Black was an important artist."

The earlier series of Cilla became a phenomenon. Guests included Tom Jones, Mary Hopkin, Donovan, Georgie Fame and Henry Mancini.