"Like many of you, I was sad to hear of the death of Cilla Black who recently died in Spain on August 1st. She celebrated fifty-years in show business in 2013, having begun her career as a singer in 1963. In 1964, Cilla, who was championed by the Beatles, had the biggest-selling single by a female artist of the 1960s with her record 'Anyone Who Had a Heart.'
When Cilla first burst onto the pop scene, I was out in Canada, and even though thousand of miles separated us between Toronto and Liverpool, she still played a big influence in my life. She didn't know me, we never spoke or met, but even from afar she possessed the capacity to connect with a working class kid who was a bit homesick. I always felt able to identify with her songs and loved that infectious smile of hers which never seemed to leave her public face. She may have changed her name from White to Black in order to advance her career, but she never abandoned her working class roots, nor sought to change her speech or lost that common touch which kept her forever favourite in the heart of the Nation.
In 1969, Cilla released her Liverpool Lullaby, which to me is the finest song she has ever sung. It is the song whose lyrics remain closest to the times and reminisces of an age I am most familiar with. Rest in peace, Cilla and thank you for being you and staying you." William Forde: August 7th, 2015.