It is with great sadness that I must report the death of one of my earlier subjects on this blog. British singer Cilla Black, whom I featured in July 2010 as part of a series devoted to female British singers, died yesterday in Spain at 72.
Black, born Priscilla White in Liverpool, was a friend of the Beatles and was determined to be a professional singer. She worked as a coat-check girl in Liverpool's Cavern Club to get her foot in the door and ultimately got Brian Epstein to take her on as one of his clients. She gained her stage name when local music writer Bill Harry reviewed her show and misremembered her surname. She liked "Black" over "White" and so went by "Black."
In addition to recording songs by her good friends John Lennon and Paul McCartney - three of which, "Loved Of the Loved," "It's For You," and Step Inside Love," were given away by the Beatles for her to record - she covered songs from the Righteous Brothers and also did Burt Bacharach tunes. She never became a big star in the United States like her fellow Britishers Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark did, mainly because she didn't like spending a lot of time away from England. But she became an institution in the United Kingdom, so much that she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
My post of Cilla Black from July 2010 will remain on this blog, but, as always, I will not be featuring her again going forward, as I do not feature women who are deceased.
As a memorial to her, I offer to my followers this 2015 remaster of the appropriately titled "It's For You."