Monday, 3 August 2015

Ta-ra Cilla

Swingin' Cilla, 4 x 6 inches, watercolor and pencil, 2015
When I was 6 or 7 years old I was given an old record player - the type that was in a box with a lid, on legs.  As far as I can remember I think it had belonged to one of my Aunts and came with a pile of old singes - 45's and 78's, all stuff from the 60's. I can only really remember two of the records  - one was The Beverly Sisters  "Little Drummer Boy" and the other was "Anyone Who Had A Heart" by Cilla Black. That one I played again and again, I loved it.

Around the same time my paternal Grandparents lived in Denham, and I frequently stayed with them. I was outside playing one day when a lady passed with a pram. The baby in the pram threw it's glove into the street, so I retrieved it and handed it to the lady, who smiled. My Nan must have been watching as when I went back in she told the lady with the pram was Cilla Black,

It wasn't until the 1990's that I really paid attention to Cilla's music. Throughout the 80's and my adolescence she had been a fixture on TV with Surprise Surprise and Blind Date and I was ambivalent about her. I was working in a music shop in the early 90's when a compilation of Cilla's hits was released (I think it was the first time her music had been released on CD). I was hooked! I would play it in the shop - on one occasion Elvis Costello was in the shop at the time and examined the CD case in the "What's Playing Now" box with a wry smile. It's a love affair that's lasted until now. Cilla was the most successful of the 60's girl singers (Dusty, Lulu, Sandie etc) but the least well remembered, mainly because she never really went away but became a staple of "light entertainment" and that rather tainted her musical legacy. Of course, there is also the voice - distinctive but divisive. Cilla always said she hoped to be remembered as a singer rather than a TV presenter. I hope she is too.

Cilla Black - 1943 - 2015

1 comment:

  1. I followed Cilla during her singing career for many years. Always such a thrill to see and hear her perform live on stage