Priscilla White died last week, age 72. She was from Liverpool, like The Beatles, and everyone in the UK, I mean every person alive at the time in Britain, knew and loved her. Her debut single, Love of the Loved, was written for her by Lennon and Paul McCartney. She was signed by the Fab Four’s manager, Brian Epstein, and had a string of hits starting in 1964, starting with the Burt Bacharach-Hal David composition, Anyone Who Had A Heart. It became the biggest-selling single by a female artist in the history of British popular music. And Priscilla White became Cilla Black.
Cilla went on to have 20 consecutive Top 40 hits on the British single and EP charts, including 11 British Top Ten singles and two consecutive Number One singles in 1964. She made her television debut in 1968 with Cilla, becoming the first woman to hold her own primetime chat show on BBC One.
Cilla was a great example of an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. She had a natural effervescence, a good voice, a popular touch and a huge work ethic. Her signature, delivered in a strong Liverpool accent, replaced the letter “t” with “r” as in “a lorra, lorra laughs.”
A lorra, lorra luv to you Cilla.