Cilla Black, the essence of Liverpool, ex Cavern cloakroom assistant, Beatles pal and down to earth pop star from the infamous Scottie Road – and with the most distinctive voice you’ve ever heard! Of these three Lennon and McCartney recordings mostly written by Paul, It’s For You and Love Of The Loved are largely forgotten, the most remembered Lennon and McCartney song being her signature tune, Step Inside Love.
My favourite is It’s For You, produced by George Martin and inspired by Bacharach and David’s Anyone Who had A Heart (a UK No.1) It’s For You made the top Ten in the UK peaking at No.7 – it followed two No.1 singles for Cilla in 1964, the other being You’re My World. It’s For You is a sixties girl singer gem, Cilla, making it her own in a climate of stiff competition from other British girl singers – Dusty Springfield, Pet Clark, Lulu, Sandie Shaw but Cilla Black’s unmistakable tone and banshee wail assured her success.
Love Of The Loved was Cilla’s debut single, and although it was a Lennon And McCartney composition it only made it to No. 35 in the UK charts in 1963. It was one of the earliest Beatles tunes, recorded at their famed failed Decca audition. Their version included here is pre-Ringo and features Pete Best on drums. Whereas this was an old Beatles song recorded by Cilla, Step Inside Love was specifically written by Paul McCartney as the theme for her TV show, it reached No.8 in the UK charts in 1968.
The last video here is a short interesting documentary on the recording of Alfie, one of her most famous recordings made with George Martin and Burt Bacharach. Alfie went to No.9 in the UK chart in 1966. The song’s lyricist, the great Hal David died in 2012 at the age of 91.
One last thought, (and remember this was the early sixties), can you imagine how her parents reacted when she went home and said Mum/Dad, I’m changing my name from Priscilla White to Cilla Black.