Kingston Town UB40
The Beatles played a big part in helping Cilla carve out her music career. We look at the relationship between both music acts who started out at The Cavern Club in Liverpool.
From a young age, Cilla was determined to become an entertainer. She took a part-time job as a cloakroom attendant at famous Cavern nightclub in Liverpool where she knew she would make the right connections. And that she did. It was there she met The Beatles.
John Lennon introduced her to Beatles manager, Brian Epstein who after persuading, gave Cilla an audition. Troubled by nerves, Cilla fluffed it up because The Beatles who were accompanying her, played her song in the wrong key. Later, Epstein spotted her singing 'Bye Bye Blackbird' in a jazz club and changed his mind.
Cilla made her chart debut with a song given to her by John Lennon and Paul McCartney - 'Love of the Loved'. It was a song the band had performed many time at The Cavern. However, it only made no.35 in the UK charts.
Paul and John also wrote 'Step Inside Love' - the theme tune to Cilla's TV series, 'Cilla'. It was a variety show broadcast on the BBC. Artists that performed on her show include Tom Jones, Andy Williams and Phil Everly.
Cilla was close with all of The Beatles and even used to cut Ringo's Mum's hair occasionally. She also credited George Harrison with introducing her to avocados saying, "He told me you can have them with vinaigrette or Marie Rose sauce or prawns."
Paul McCartney paid tribute to his old friend saying: "She was a lovely girl who infected everyone with her great spirit. From first meeting her as a cloakroom girl at the Cavern in Liverpool, to seeing her many times since, she always had a fun loving dignity that made her a great pleasure to be around. "She had a fine distinctive voice and was always a bit of a laugh. It was a privilege to know and love her."
Ringo Starr also spoke about Cilla’s passing: "I just heard the news Cilla Black has left us she was a good friend we will all miss her peace to Cilla peace and love to the family R&B xxx."
Flowers and messages for Cilla have been left outside The Cavern nightclub this week as a marker of the place where it all began. It's true that The Beatles played a big part in Cilla's career but with or without their help, she was guaranteed to be a star with that big voice and big personality. We'll miss you Cilla.