Saturday, August 08, 2015

Bookmarks: Cilla Black

Andy Medhurst's piece on Cilla Black concedes she was square, but suggests that was her superpower:

In many ways, her achievements were most notable for establishing continuities between different eras. Despite being vaulted into prominence by the earthquake of Merseybeat, which shook a nation out of post-war deference by insisting on the new, the now and the young, she was within a few years drawing on entertainment codes honed in earlier decades. This led some to lament her supposed co-option by conservatism but the shift now looks more shrewd: a fusion of novelty and tradition that fashioned her into the unlikeliest of hybrids, a pop art Gracie Fields.


3 comments:

Robin Carmody said...

Ah yes, the same Andy Medhurst who once (when it looked as if the BBC would be scaled down to a Himalayan Option, the first time) suggested, in a eulogy for Simon Bates, that the vocal music played on Radio 3 being "in foreign languages" was *in itself* a case against it ...

I think we might get an idea here of why, by my own admission, I felt relatively little when Cilla died compared to how I know a lot of other people felt; I don't have that kind of atavistic feeling for the common people, not least because I don't think you can have that feeling without, at least, being prepared to cut Europhobia a lot more slack than I am.

Robin Carmody said...

The Gracie Fields comparison is spot on, though; it's precisely how she was so loved, even in the first incarnation, despite blatantly not being able to sing. I tend to prefer "Conversations" and "If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind" (the latter being the one Agnetha covered) to the more obvious, crowd-pleasing hits; they have an ominous melancholy about them apt for the moment they were released, when the first seeds for the political diversion of the working class were planted.

slamet toto said...

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