Cilla – Goal Achievement In Black and White!

August 2015, and Cilla Black has passed away. Established as a TV personality for many years, this was largely based on her previous work from years ago, but by going back even further still, to the 1960s in fact, we can see a goal achievement tale in real black and white…

"Cilla Black"
Priscilla White had a variety of jobs – typing pool, waitressing, and cloakroom attendant at a club in her home town of Liverpool called the Cavern.

She saw all the local bands, and would get up and sing guest songs with them, impressing the crowd and the big local band, 4 lads going by name of The Beatles.

John Lennon arranged for their manager Brian Epstein to come and see her, but instead of the rockier songs she normally sang, not only did she choose a slower song, she forgot to tell The Beatles that she needed it played in a different key to their own. Needless to say the song did not go well, and she wasn’t signed.

One mistake, but a big one, and her chance had gone, right? Well, pretty much yes, and she could have given up right there and then. In fact, she pretty much did give up, and it was only the cajoling of her friend Bobby that got her back up on stage, after a break.

She soon fell back into her enjoyment of singing, and getting paid for it, and one person seeing her from the audience in full flow at a gig, was a certain Brian Epstein. Now he could see what others had seen, and he signed her up.

An enigmatic manager, he wanted her to do big ballads, and despite her protestations and lukewarm success of her first record, he got her to record ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It was a massive number 1 for her, followed by another ‘You’re My World.’

Epstein wanted to take her to the US to see if she could follow in The Beatles’ footsteps over there. It didn’t work out for her, with homesickness and poorly attended cabaret shows leading her to come back home.

Giving up after another failure? Well, possibly, and in fact her relationship with Epstein was not going well, with him trying to persuade her to go into TV, while she still wanted to be a singing star.

After Epstein suddenly died from an overdose, it was found he had sorted out a contract with the BBC for Cilla to have her own show. With encouragement from Bobby who took over full time management, she took the contract, opening each show with the Paul McCartney penned ‘Step Inside Love.’

Her show ran for years, a woman at the top of a male dominated tree, and she then cemented herself even more as a TV personality with shows like Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.

As I grew up I only knew her as a TV presenter, and it was only when I started my journey of discovery into music that I found out about her old hits, and you should have seen the looks on my friends’ faces when I told them about ‘great Cilla Black hits!’

Here’s a youtube piece about her recording ‘Alfie’

So, it’s an interesting tale isn’t it! Following her dreams, coming back from big failures to big successes, taking action when opportunity presented itself, listening to encouragement and advice from others. These are all classic goal achievement principles, which is why I say we can remember Cilla as a classic goal achievement tale in black and white!

Ok, let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Till Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

Do leave a comment!

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  • Back in those days, a pop career was seen as a short term thing. Pre-Beatles all the stars said they wanted to become “all round entertainers”. The most notable example of that was Tommy Steele, who ended up in Disney films.

    I remember Cilla doing a pantomime at the Palladium with Frankie Howard fairly early on in her career. She wasn’t really that good a singer but she had a fantastic personality and a great contact with the audience.

    • Indeed, it’s not hard to see why it was hard to persuade her father to give permission for her to sing with Epstein, it was very much seen as short lived and without future.
      You are right that it was her personality and winning smile that served the best over the years, and why not! 😉
      cheers, Gordon

  • Hi Gordon,

    I’ve never heard of Cilla Black. What a beautiful voice she had. It amazes me that she didn’t make it to the big leagues with a voice like that.

    There was a lot of competition in those days with the Beatles having over night success when they came to America.

    I see by your article she did make it to the big leagues as a TV personality and that she had a number one hit in England.

    Sorry to see her go.

    Thank you for your wonderful post about her, Gordon. I’m sure she will be missed by many.

    You have an awesome day and week ahead!


    • Hi Linda,
      Fiercely competitive, and trying new things, she did get there, and was established as part of the light entertainment top table for many years.
      A success story indeed!
      cheers, Gordon

    • Hi Anthony,
      Yes I like that clip too, as it shows the effort to get things right, and the disagreements that came with it – you can’t beat good old hard work!
      Thanks for stopping by,
      cheers, Gordon

  • Hi Gordon,

    I vaguely remember Cilla Black but I can’t place. What a wonderful tribute to her. I’m surprised that she didn’t even get a mention from the news media when she passed. Very sad.

    Love this sentence from your closing paragraph: ” Following her dreams, coming back from big failures to big successes, taking action when opportunity presented itself, listening to encouragement and advice from others. ”



    • Thanks Kate,
      Yes, that sentence is packed full of goal achievement principles – it’s amazing what anyone could achieve by following that lot!