My song today is ‘On the Beach’. This was a 1964 hit song by Cliff Richards and the Shadows. It was taken from and released in the lead up to the release of the film ‘Wonderful Life’ and its soundtrack. The song became an international hit for Cliff Richard, reaching Number 7 in the ‘UK Singles Chart’. It charted in Australia (Number 4), Ireland (Number. 6), Norway (Number 4), South Africa (Number 2), and Sweden (Number 12).
Cliff Richard has had one of the longest singing careers in show business and is still singing his heart out. In my day, one tended to either give their loyalty to the clean-shaven Cliff or the long-haired sideburn look of Elvis Presley. Both singers developed a twisted curve of their lips deliberately, and Elvis supporters merely accused Cliff of playing copycat to the King. Cliff could send his female followers into a reverie of daydreams, singing about a world of peace, fun, wholesomeness, and even Godliness. Indeed, Cliff was never afraid to 'put God up front' in his world, even though he lost many fans the more he expressed his love of God. Even at the height of his popularity, his fan base comprised of young women, mothers, and even grandmothers. Many original fans, their mothers and even their grandmothers made up the family fan base.
In the fan base camp of his rival, Elvis, the singer's fan base remained differently composed. Elvis started solely with young females, who, in the main remained his lifelong fanbase, and even recruiting their own daughters and granddaughters into the family fanbase!
Both singers developed a twisted curve of their lips deliberately, and Elvis supporters merely accused Cliff of playing copycat to the King. Whereas Cliff could send his female followers off into a wholesome world, Elvis could visually produce a stadium of 20,000 screaming frenzied women who fainted and swooned with greater regularity than a Victorian-English lady of gentility being compelled to enter the sexual sin bins of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In Genesis (18:20), God reveals to Abraham that Sodom and Gomorra are to be destroyed for their grave sins of the flesh. Abraham pleads for the lives of any righteous people living there, especially the lives of his nephew, Lot, and his family. God more or less tells Abraham to leave the city of sin behind them and not look back.
The comparison between the fans of Cliff and Elvis, and the effect that the singing of their idols had on them could not have been greater. During the earlier years of the two singers striving to appeal to and hold on to the affection of their fans, Cliff and Elvis would send their fans off to church weekly in their droves! Church attendance of young women aged from thirteen to thirty rocketed in both groups and church attendance of followers increased exponentially. Whether it involved sitting on the church pew listening religiously to the Sunday Service or queuing around the church aisle to enter the confessional box, Church attendees rapidly increased. However, each set of fans went to church for entirely different reasons. Cliff's fans wanted to keep from their minds impure images, whereas the female fans of Elvis welcomed the opportunity to relive their impure thoughts in the church confessional box!
Cliff’s image was good enough to send his female fans off to church every Sunday morning because of love. Cliff loved God, they loved Cliff, and so their love of God was encouraged also. Elvis’ bad boy image, however, had a much different effect on his adoring female fan base. His overall performance would be more likely to send his female followers off to the confessional box in Church every week because of lust. Along with the impure thoughts that Elvis placed in their wicked minds every time he gesticulated his hips and curved his lips into an unspoken message of suggestive sensuality (for which his followers required no translation to fully understand its meaning)
And that is why the fan base of the two singers could not have been more different, even had they tried to be!
Love and peace