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2 items from 2015

Cilla Black was the archetypal British working-class pop star

3 August 2015 2:41 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Cilla Black’s TV career sometimes overshadows the fact she had more 60s hits than the Stones or the Kinks, and a consistent sound that few of her contemporaries could match

In 1969, the journalist Nik Cohn said of Cilla Black “she makes people glow. In her time, she will grow into a pop Gracie Fields, much-loved entertainer, and she’ll become institutionalised.” Given the reaction to her unexpected death yesterday, this all seems remarkably prescient.

When Cohn wrote those words, Cilla Black was still a pop star. She had her own TV show, true, but so did Dusty Springfield, Lulu and Sandie Shaw. In the decades since, the huge success of shows like Blind Date and Surprise Surprise has obscured and almost obliterated the scale of her pop career: it’s easily forgotten that, in the 60s, Cilla had more hits than the Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield or the Kinks. »

- Bob Stanley

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Cilla Black obituary

2 August 2015 6:05 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

One of the leading pop singers of the 1960s who went on to have a successful television career with Blind Date and Surprise, Surprise

The British pop revolution of the 1960s involved not only male guitar bands, but also several young female singing stars, including Cilla Black, who has died aged 72. Of these, Dusty Springfield was the most technically proficient and the most temperamental; Lulu had the most powerful vocal cords but weaker songs; Sandie Shaw had a trendy, kooky image and songs to match; and Black benefited hugely from her association with the Beatles – John Lennon and Paul McCartney composed several of her hits – and their manager Brian Epstein.

Additionally, Black was the most telegenic. What one critic called her “gauche, unsophisticated girl-next-door image” propelled her from pop-star beginnings to become in later years the most highly paid woman in British television, with her shows Surprise, Surprise and Blind Date. »

- Dave Laing

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