martes, 4 de agosto de 2015

In Pictures: Cilla Black and the Beatles in 1963

www.birminghammail.co.uk
Cilla Black in Birmingham - hob nobbing with the Beatles, Searchers and Jerry and the Pacemakers
Archives show how star loved to come to the city
BY GRAHAM YOUNG
3 AUGUST 2015

Rehearsals at Alpha studios in Birmingham, for ABC's 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' programme in 1963, with Brian Matthew, Cilla Black, The Beatles, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Searchers.
Rehearsals at Alpha studios in Birmingham, for ABC's 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' programme in 1963, with Brian Matthew, Cilla Black, The Beatles, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Searchers.

It’s a picture which speaks volumes about how Cilla Black became a star who would entertain the nation for five decades.

Taken at Birmingham’s Alpha Studios in Aston on December 15, 1963 the working class lass from Liverpool’s Scotland Road is the only woman surrounded by more than a dozen men.

And they weren’t just any old men.

During rehearsals for ABC’s Thank Your Lucky Starts programme with Brian Matthew, she was photographed with The Beatles (back), Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Searchers.

The mind boggles how much it would cost to see a line-up like that if all were at their peak today.

Almost exactly 40 years later, docker’s daughter Cilla was still the star attraction in the Bullring on September 13, 2003 to sign copies of her new book ‘What’s It All About’.

The new £500 million shopping centre had only been open for a week and had had one million people through its doors in the first four days.

Signing books, Cilla, whose mother was a market trader, said: “I really hope I get the chance to do some shopping myself.”

Then 60, Cilla was celebrating her 40th anniversary in showbiz and she was dreaming of staging a big charity show – in Birmingham.

“I’d either like to play at the Hippodrome or the NEC, because it’s much bigger there,’ she said.

“Perhaps friends like Shirley Bassey or Cliff will come along and join me.”

Downstairs at Borders (now Jamie’s Italian), she had a healthy number of fans turn out to see her – and she put on a mini show, collectively addressing them as her audience.

As Cilla held court in front of everyone at Borders, you would never have guessed she had just had one of her most traumatic nights four weeks earlier when burglars had raided her Buckinghamshire home on August 16, 2003.

Cilla wasn’t at home at the time, but she lost more than £1 million worth of jewellery, cash and gold after masked raiders held a knife to the throat of her 22-year-old son, Jack and stole her late husband’s gifts to her.

A distraught Cilla said in the aftermath: “I am just so grateful he is alive and slowly coming to terms with what has happened.”

With some songs written for her by Lennon & McCartney and Burt Bacharach (Alfie), Cilla was the first woman to record two consecutive No 1 hits in the UK – with Anyone Who Had A Heart and You’re My World – and she enjoyed 11 top ten singles among 20 consecutive Top 40 hits.

In 1968, she also became the first woman to host her own prime time show for BBC1.

It was called, simply, Cilla – two decades before anyone had heard of Kylie.

On March 19, 1969, she showed off her stage clothes for “Cilla’s Spring Show” at Coventry Theatre.

On March 24, she was photographed with paper boy Richard Morgan, 15, one of 2,500 delivery boys and girls treated to a seat at the show by the Coventry Telegraph.

Cilla and Bobby stayed at the Brooklands Hotel, Holyhead Road, Coventry when she was appearing in the show, paying 55 shillings (£2.75) per night.

In 1983-84 she starred in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Birmingham Hippdrome, with Harry Worth, Gareth Hunt and Jimmy Cricket.

Cilla was photographed with Fiona Garner, Leanne Garner, Mim Mohammed and Kate Turley during a visit to the Merry Hill Centre on February 26, 1999.

After having three sons, Robert, Ben and Jack – and losing premature daughter Ellen after just two hours – Cilla’s career took off for a second time in the mid 80s – with hit TV shows Surprise, Surprise and Blind Date.

In 1991, she attended the wedding of Alex and Sue Tatham, who had a three-year courtship after meeting on the dating show in 1988. Sue was a former pupil at Aldridge Comprehensive School and worked in Walsall.

Sue said: “The programme was not as glamorous as it’s made out to be but great fun and Cilla made everyone feel at ease.

I was very nervous but she came on and fluffed her lines, so it made us feel we could do the same if necessary.”

But, as much as Cilla enjoyed her second career as a TV presenter, she wanted to be known as a singer first – someone whose only rivals in the 1960s were Lulu and Dusty Springfield.

Cilla Black at Borders bookshop in the Bullring, signing copies of her book "What's it all about?" in 2003.
Cilla Black at Borders bookshop in the Bullring, signing copies of her book "What's it all about?" in 2003.

Cilla Black outside the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre, where she was performing in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. 18th October 1983.
Cilla Black outside the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre, where she was performing in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. 18th October 1983.

Cilla Black at The Merry Hill Centre, with Girl band members, Fiona Garner, Leanne Garner, Mim Mohammed and Kate Turley.
Cilla Black at The Merry Hill Centre, with Girl band members, Fiona Garner, Leanne Garner, Mim Mohammed and Kate Turley.

Cilla Black outside the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre, where she was performing in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. 18th October 1983.
Cilla Black outside the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre, where she was performing in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. 18th October 1983.

Andrew Stanley from Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, on Blind Date in 2002 with Cilla Black and the contestant who turned him down.
Andrew Stanley from Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, on Blind Date in 2002 with Cilla Black and the contestant who turned him down.

Cilla Black outside the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre, where she was performing in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. 18th October 1983.
Cilla Black outside the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre, where she was performing in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. 18th October 1983.

Cilla Black signing books at Borders in Bullring, in 2003.
Cilla Black signing books at Borders in Bullring, in 2003.

Cilla Black at Borders bookshop in the Bullring, signing copies of her book "What's it all about?" in 2003.
Cilla Black at Borders bookshop in the Bullring, signing copies of her book "What's it all about?" in 2003.

Cilla Black at Borders bookshop in the Bullring, signing copies of her book "What's it all about?" in 2003.
Cilla Black at Borders bookshop in the Bullring, signing copies of her book "What's it all about?" in 2003.
Cilla Black and her husband Bobby, in a "Birthday Show" at Coventry Theatre, in September 1975.
Cilla Black and her husband Bobby, in a "Birthday Show" at Coventry Theatre, in September 1975.



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