Americans and Brits remember Cilla Black

The World
Cilla Black with Cliff Richard

Cilla Black (right) with Cliff Richard in 2003

Reuters

Tributes poured in over the weekend as fans remembered Cilla Black, a TV personality and singer whose career spanned five decades. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron praised her as a "huge talent" who made significant contributions to public life. Those of us in The World's newsroom who spent time in England know Cilla Black as the host of several popular TV shows that ran through the 80s and 90s.

But Black got her start as a coatroom clerk at the Cavern, a music club in Liverpool. That's where she met and befriended the Beatles.  Here's one of her early tunes, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who both make a cameo apperarance in the video.

"She was a lovely girl who infected everyone with a great spirit." McCartney said in a statement this weekend. 

Americans may remember her best from a song she recorded a few year later, the title tune for the movie Alfie. American composer Burt Bacharach flew to London to record Cilla Black singing this song live with a 48-piece orchestra in the famous Abbey Road studios. Beatles record producer George Martin ran the session, which was a punishing one.  Cilla Black claimed she did 18 takes of the song. Others who were there remember even more.

Cilla Black died at her home in Estepona, Spain on Saturday. She was 72.