This post is dedicated to a true Style Icon of the 60s, 70s and beyond: Cilla Black.
I recently watched a TV series about Cilla’s life (made by ITV, you can get it on Lovefilm) starring Sheridan Smith. It showed the Merseybeat scene at it’s height and I was fascinated to learn Cilla had grown up in the same neighbourhood as members of the Beatles and that it was them who had given Cilla her big break.
I’ve also found a new respect for Cilla as a vocalist. She had eleven Top Ten hits in the 60s and ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ was the biggest selling single by a female recording artist. These are big statistics for a female in a time when lots of new music was around. I’ve sometimes found her voice a little harsh and difficult to tune into but seeing Sheridan Smith perform some of the songs showed me just how powerful her voice was. Some of the numbers she was singing were written by Burt Bacharach and were proper powerhouse compositions – not easy to perform. She delivered them with the right amount of light and shade, with emotion and guts.
As for what she wore, well. She was alive during one of the greatest periods for fashion and she certainly made the most of it.
She had a fantastic figure and the trends of the day looked amazing on her.
I love the album covers of the 60s – I’m not sure many people could carry off that paisley pattern but I think you’ll agree Cilla has managed it.
Again hot pants are not forgiving on many figures, but this look is amazing on her.
Managed by Brian Epstein of Beatles fame, Cilla had a successful singing career throughout the 60s and 70s. When Epstein was found dead he was supposedly surrounded by paperwork and one of the documents was a contract for Cilla to host a TV show. This is how I came to know Cilla. When I was a child she was a TV presenter.
I remember her in suits with padded shoulders as was the fashion of the 80s. She was down to earth and funny and people seemed to love her. She also didn’t seem to realise those responses the Blind Date contestants gave were obviously scripted!
She always seemed to be in amazing heels and with perfectly manicured nails. She even managed to make those 80s suits look good. Her other big show of his era being ‘Surprise, Surprise’ where she reunited lost families, fulfilled long held wishes for members of the audience and took part in pranks.
I think her success lay in the fact she was always herself. She was loved for her down to earth persona and the fact she always had a smile and a ready laugh. She was true to her roots – no elocution here, thank you – and of course, how can I not mention her life long commitment to husband Bobby.
They are one of those rare showbiz couples that were completely in love from day one until Cilla sadly lost Bobby in 1999. It is perhaps not entirely glib to suggest she may have gone on to be with him somewhere. I love a love story like theirs.
It’s sad to say good bye but Cilla leaves a legacy of music and TV behind her that any performer could be very proud of.
It is with memories of a lorra lorra laughs I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!