Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1964 Cilla Black – You’re My World

Priscilla Maria Veronica White grew up in Liverpool at a very fortunate time. She wanted to be a singer, so while she worked as a typist, she also worked in the cloakroom at the Cavern Club. Her efforts to be discovered succeeded, and by 1961 she sang with local groups the Big Three Trio and Rory Storm & the Hurricanes. The club billed Priscilla as Cilla White.

John Lennon convinced Brian Epstein to audition Cilla, but the audition did not go well. Brian heard her performing live a few months later at the Blue Angel jazz club, and her performance impressed him. Brian signed her to a management contract and introduced her to George Martin. George got Cilla signed to Parlophone Records and produced her first single. Brian also got Cilla to change her name to Cilla Black.

John and Paul had written the song Love Of The Loved and recorded the song in 1962. They never released the recording, but Cilla recorded a cover of the song in 1963. Her single did well enough to reach #35 in the UK, but went unnoticed almost everywhere else.

George Martin continued producing Cilla’s music for over a decade. Her second single was a cover of Dionne Warwick’s song, Anyone Who Had A Heart. Dionne’s version came out in late December 1963 in the US while Cilla’s single came out first in the UK. Cilla’s single not only reached number one in the UK, but it sold over 1.8 million copies worldwide and remains the top-selling single in the UK by a solo female.

Cilla’s next single finally reached the charts in the US. You’re My World peaked at #26 on the Hot 100 in the US and also reached #4 on the US Adult Contemporary chart. It also returned her to the top of the UK chart.

She sang the single live on the April 1964 television show Around the Beatles. Murray the K hosted the show, which featured the Beatles performing live. This was about a month after Murray earned the nickname “The Fifth Beatle,” after he followed the Beatles on their first US tour; he even roomed with George Harrison in Miami.

Cilla followed her chart-topping successes with another Lennon-McCartney song, It’s For You, that even featured Paul playing piano. The single only reached #7 in the UK and a disappointing #79 on the Hot 100 in the US. Cilla did not tour long in the US because of an attack of homesickness, and that may have contributed to her lack of continued success in the US.

She continued to reach the UK charts with seven more top ten records and six additional top forty singles before her singing career ran out of steam.

Cilla had a second career on television. She hosted a variety show for eight years beginning in 1968 and led a comedy series in 1975. Between 1984 and 2003 she hosted the shows Blind Date and Surprise Surprise and the quiz show The Moment Of Truth. She became the highest-paid female performer on British Television during those years. She continued regular work on television through 2013.

Cilla died from a stroke in 2015.


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