Cilla Black discusses performing for the Queen in 1970
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Cilla Black once revealed she always wanted to grace the stage with her talents. While she wasn’t born into much money or notoriety, she was born in Liverpool at the same time as The Beatles. Throughout their teenage years the two acts crossed paths, but it wasn’t until John Lennon and co hit the stage when Cilla found her way into stardom.
In her youth, Cilla worked at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool as a cloakroom girl.
This was the famous venue that The Beatles played at regularly during the early 1960s before finding worldwide fame.
During this time Cilla crossed paths with the band – and many others – all the time, but they did not yet know the talent she possessed.
Between sets, the young star would pester bands to let her up on stage with them to sing alongside their instruments.
The support from Cilla’s friends was so strong that they would start chanting her name through the performances of other bands.
Recalling the first time she had performed on stage in her autobiography, Cilla said: “Egged on by my friend Pauline, the audience were yelling my name and it was John Lennon who got fed up with it first.
“Pretending he hadn’t heard my name right, he said wearily: ‘OK, Cyril, what song d’you wanna do?’”
Cilla wrote that she “didn’t need asking twice”.
What do you think? Would Cilla Black have become famous without John Lennon? Join the debate in the comments section here
Cilla Black and Bobby Willis interviewed in 1993
Cilla went on to sing the Gershwin track Summertime with The Beatles on stage at the Cavern Club.
She explained: “It was the kind of song you could put your body, heart and soul into, and that’s exactly what I did.”
The band were so impressed with Cilla that they met up with her after the gig.
The Fab Four then arranged for the singer to meet with their manager, Brian Epstein.
Cilla said: “It was at the Majestic in Birkenhead, with The Beatles backing me.”
The young starlet decided to perform Summertime once again, hoping it would be enough to impress Brian.
It was, and the Beatles’ manager went on to sign her onto his label, beginning the rest of her career.
The star had always wanted to be a singer from a young age.
Cilla wrote in her autobiography: “It took me all of 20 seconds to discover the echo [in the bathroom].
“With a toothbrush for a mic, I’d sing at the top of my voice. Why Do Fools Fall In Love was a favourite. By this time, I was convinced I had a talent that one day would be recognised.
“And I was in a helluva hurry for it. I wanted to make a fortune, have the big car, the grand house, the fabulous jewellery. I wanted everyone to adore me.”
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