Harry Rodger Webb was born in India on 14 October 1940 at King George’s Hospital, Victoria Street, in Lucknow, which was then part of the British Raj or British India. Who would ever have considered at that time, this child, would go on to carve a career out of music that would see him catapulted to fame in 1958 and remain at the top of his profession for more than 56 years, known and loved by his many fans as Cliff Richard, awarded the title of Knight Bachelor on 17 June 1995, the first rock star to ever be granted this honor.
That he is still wooing the crowds some 56 years on from his first becoming the lead singer with a small group called the Drifters (not the American group), is nothing sort of phenomenal. His name was changed to Cliff Richard in 1958 at the request of entrepreneur Harry Greatorex, to better reflect his style of music and the vibe of the times.
Cliff Richard burst onto international market with his first single Move It in 1958 and was so nervous on his first TV appearance he shaved his sideburns off to look more professional; the fact that he was considered ‘drop dead gorgeous’, to coin a phrase, certainly did him no harm!
In the early 1960’s he was considered to be the British version of Elvis Presley, going so far as to copy his style of dress and rock attitude. But all this is history, although this style still shines through at each and every performance. His gentlemanly behavior has not changed over the years and as you sit back and watch a master at work in this his 75th Birthday concert celebration, he is still as likable and loveable as he has always been.
He not only charms the audience with anecdotes from his life, but is the first to poke fun, as he is often treated as someone who is just another person, certainly no one famous; he always thanks the members of the band and backing singers who are there performing with him on the night as well as his fans for all helping him become the performer he is today.
In this sell out concert, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, in October 2015, he is surprised by longtime friend and comedian Paul O’Grady bringing in his dinner, a raft of friends wishing him birthday wishes, and the delightful Olivia Newton John in person, who later joins him on stage to sing the beautiful duet Suddenly.
The set list selected for what was a tour culminating on October 16 at the Royal Albert Hall tracks back on a journey spanning 56 years and reflects on the artists who influenced his style over the years. The likes of Chuck Berry, Roll Over Beethoven, The Everly Brothers with Cathy’s Clown, Jerry Lee Lewis’s Great Balls of Fire and Little Richard (the man of which he took his stage name of Richard in honor) with Rip It Up are just a few.
All-time favorites such as Summer Holiday, Move it, Miss You Nights, The Young Ones, and When the girl in your arms is the girl in your heart, mix it up with the up tempo What Car and his latest hit single Golden, proving he has more than still got it; you know you have been given a rare treat of entertainment of the highest standard.
56 years on all the ladies are still in love with him and all the men wonder why, but his music, his talent and his delight in still being able to be out there in front of an audience doing what he loves best, comes across through the joy and delight shown as he celebrates not just his birthday, but his great good fortune, backed by prodigious talent, that sees him celebrating his 56 years in the industry in true style.
There are many memories spanning many, many years, all good, all different and all something to be able to say a heartfelt ‘thanks, may there be more to follow’ from all his many, many fans.
|Distributor||Universal Music Australia|