The year 1959 was a monumental year for Cliff Richard. He matured and showed indication of his longevity as a performer. A recording of Lionel Bart’s “Living Doll” a softer beat ballad heralded a move away from up-tempo rock-n-roll and provided him with a massive UK number one. A brief tour of the USA helped the song into the Billboard top thirty but facing legal action from the USA based group The Drifters the British band became The Shadows.
Three months later they returned to the top spot with the plaintive “Travelling Light” as Cliff Richard and the Shadows. They also made two movies Serious Charge a non-musical drama featuring the controversial subject of homosexual blackmail. Cliff then played the aptly named Bongo Herbert in Expresso Bongo about the rapacious world of Tin Pan Alley. In the next four years, Cliff Richard and the Shadows had seventeen top ten hits in the UK all produced by Norrie Paramor. Three of the five number ones were written by the Shadows, “Please Don’t Tease”; “I Love You”; and “Summer Holiday”. They were highlighted by the precise guitar solos by Hank B. Marvin (the other Shadows were Bruce Welch on rhythm guitar, Jet Harris on bass guitar and Tony Meehan on drums).
In 1960 “Please Don’t Tease” topped the UK charts for six weeks but things changed dramatically when composer Jerry Lordan passed his latest tune to The Shadows. “Apache” knocked Cliff from the top spot and stayed there for six weeks. It became a worldwide hit except in the USA where a lack of promotion seen a cover version by Jorgen Ingmann take the sales. Shortly after The Ventures became established and cornered the market.
Other 1960 hits for Cliff were “A Girl Like You”; “A Voice In The Wilderness”; “Fall In Love With You”; “Gee Whiz It’s You”; and “Nine Times Out Of Ten”. In 1961, he had hits with “Theme For A Dream” and “When The Girl In Your Arms Is The Girl In Your Heart” when it was coupled with “I Gotta Funny Feeling”.
The Shadows also kept the hits coming with “ F.B.I.”; “Man Of Mystery” and “The Stranger” and followed in 1961 with “The Frightened City”; “Kon-Tiki”; and “The Savage”. 1962 was significant for both Cliff Richard as well as The Shadows. “The Young Ones” from the movie of the same name was one of their most memorable hits showcasing the fabulous guitar work by Hank. The movie had a strong cast and a fine score and broke box office records.
Other Cliff Richard and The Shadows hits this year were “Do You Wanna Dance” coupled with “I’m Looking Out The Window”; “It’ll Be me”; and “Bachelor Boy” coupled with “The Next Time”. Meanwhile, there were personnel changes to The Shadows with Jet Harris and Tony Meehan leaving to pursue a double act career and replaced with Brian “Licorice” Locking and Brian Bennett. With wonderful strings arrangement “Wonderful Land” stayed at the top of the UK charts for eight weeks. Other Shadows hits of 1962 were “Guitar Tango”; “Dance On” and “The Boys” EP.
Cliff Richard and the Shadows top ten hits in Australia 1959 to 1962
“Living Doll” #9; “Please Don’t Tease” #2; “When The Girl In Your Arms” #2; “The Young Ones” #6; “It’ll Be me” #2; “The Next Time” coupled with “Bachelor Boy” #9; and “Summer Holiday” #3.
The Shadows top ten hits in Australia 1959 to 1962
“Apache” #1; “Wonderful Land” #4 and “The Boys” EP #1.
What are your favourite Cliff Richard and the Shadows songs?
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