|Sir Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard performing at State Theatre, Sydney, NSW, Australia, in February 2013
|Birth name||Harry Rodger Webb|
14 October 1940 |
Lucknow, United Provinces, British India
|Origin||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Skiffle, rock and roll, pop, gospel, contemporary Christian music|
|Occupations||Musician, actor, philanthropist|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, percussion|
|Labels||EMI, EMI's Columbia, Epic, Decca, Rocket, Papillon|
|Associated acts||The Drifters/The Shadows, The Settlers, Olivia Newton-John|
Sir Cliff Richard, Kt., OBE (born Harry Rodger Webb, 14 October 1940) is a British pop singer, musician, performer, actor and philanthropist. He is the third-top-selling singles artist in the United Kingdom's history, with total sales of over 21 million in the UK and has reportedly sold an estimated 250 million records worldwide.
With his backing group the Shadows, Richard, originally positioned as a rebellious rock and roll singer in the style of Little Richard and Elvis Presley, dominated the British popular music scene in the pre-Beatles period of the late 1950s and early 1960s. His 1958 hit single "Move It" is often described as Britain's first authentic rock and roll song, and John Lennon once claimed that "before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music." Increased focus on his Christian faith and subsequent softening of his music later led to a more middle of the road pop image, sometimes venturing into gospel music.
Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Richard has become a fixture of the British entertainment world, amassing many gold and platinum discs and awards, including three Brit Awards and two Ivor Novello Awards. He has had more than 130 singles, albums and EPs make the UK Top 20, more than any other artist and holds the record (with Elvis Presley) as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades (1950s–2000s). He has achieved 14 UK No. 1 singles (or 18, depending on the counting methodology) and is the only singer to have had a No. 1 single in the UK in five consecutive decades: the 1950s through to the 1990s.
Richard has never achieved the same impact in the United States despite eight US Top 40 singles, including the million-selling "Devil Woman" and "We Don't Talk Anymore", the latter becoming the first to reach the Billboard Hot 100's top 40 in the 1980s by a singer who had been in the top 40 in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. In Canada, Richard achieved moderate success in the 1980s with several albums reaching platinum status. He has remained a popular music, film, and television personality in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Northern Europe and Asia, and he retains a following in other countries.
1940–58: Childhood and adolescence 
Harry Rodger Webb was born in India at the King George Hospital, Victoria Street, in Lucknow, which was then part of British India (or the British Raj). His parents were Rodger Oscar Webb, a manager for a catering contractor that serviced the Indian Railways, and his wife Dorothy Marie Dazely. Richard was baptised Harry Rodger Webb on 2 November 1940 at St Thomas's Church, Dehradun, India.
The Webb family lived in a modest home with other Anglo-Indians at Maqbara, near the main shopping centre of Hazratganj. The Anglo-Indians living at Maqbara were often employed as musicians; a band played at the Royal Cafe Restaurant, Lucknow, and another at the Mohmmad Bagh club, which was the officers' club serving the garrison at Lucknow. Dorothy's mother served as the dormitory matron at the La Martiniere Girls' School. Anglo-Indians did not enjoy any great social status in India and were looked down upon by the British. Richard has three sisters. In around 1945, his family moved to Howrah, near Calcutta, where he started his schooling in St. Thomas' Church School, Howrah.
In 1948, following Indian independence the family embarked on a three-week sea voyage to Tilbury, Essex, England aboard the SS Ranchi. The Webbs moved from comparative wealth in India, where they had servants and lived in a company-supplied flat at Howrah near Calcutta, to a semi-detached house in Carshalton, Surrey (which was also the location of the school he attended, Stanley Park Juniors). In 1949 his father obtained employment in the credit control office of Thorn Electrical Industries and the family moved in with other relatives in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, where he attended Kings Road Junior Mixed Infants School until a three-bedroom council house in Cheshunt was allocated to them in 1950.
Harry Webb then attended Cheshunt Secondary Modern School, later renamed Riversmead School (later rebuilt and renamed Bishopslea School) from 1952 to 1957. As a member of the top stream, he stayed on beyond the minimum leaving age to take GCE Ordinary Level examinations and gained a pass in English literature. He then started work as a filing clerk for a company called Atlas Lamps. A development of flats, Cliff Richard Court, has been named after him in Cheshunt.
1958–63: Success and stardom 
Harry Webb became lead singer of a rock and roll group, the Drifters (not to be confused with the US group of the same name). 1950s entrepreneur Harry Greatorex wanted the up-and-coming Rock 'n' Roll singer to change from his real name of Harry Webb. The name Cliff was adopted as it sounded like cliff face, which suggested "Rock." It was "Move It" writer Ian Samwell who suggested that the former Harry Webb be surnamed Richard as a tribute to Webb's musical hero Little Richard.
Before their first large-scale appearance, at the Regal Ballroom in Ripley, Derbyshire in 1958, they adopted the name "Cliff Richard and the Drifters". The four members were Harry Webb (now going under the stage name "Cliff Richard"), Ian "Sammy" Samwell on guitar, Terry Smart on drums and Norman Mitham on guitar. None of the other three played with the later and better known Shadows, although Samwell wrote songs for Richard's later career.
For his debut session, Norrie Paramor provided Richard with "Schoolboy Crush", a cover of an American record by Bobby Helms. Richard was permitted to record one of his own songs for the B-side; this was "Move It", written by the Drifters' Samwell on a number 715 Green Line bus on the way to Richard's house for a rehearsal. For the "Move It" session, Paramor used the session guitarist Ernie Shears on lead guitar and Frank Clark on bass.
There are various stories about why the A-side was replaced by the intended B-side. One is that Norrie Paramor's young daughter raved about the B-side; another was that influential TV producer Jack Good, who used the act for his TV show Oh Boy!, wanted the only song on his show to be "Move It". Richard was quoted as saying -
|“||It's wonderful to be going on TV for the first time, but I feel so nervous that I don't know what to do. I shaved my sideburns off last night... Jack Good said it would make me look more original.||”|
The single went to No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. John Lennon credited "Move It" as being the first British rock record and music critics Roy Carr and Tony Tyler wrote that it was the first genuine British rock classic, followed by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' "Shakin' All Over".
In the early days, Richard was marketed as the British equivalent to Elvis Presley. Like previous British rockers such as Tommy Steele and Marty Wilde, Richard adopted Presley-like dress and hairstyle. In performance he struck a pose of rock attitude, rarely smiling or looking at the audience or camera. His late 1958 and early 1959 follow-up singles, "High Class Baby" and "Livin' Lovin' Doll", were followed by "Mean Streak", which carried a rocker's sense of speed and passion, and Lionel Bart's "Living Doll".
It was on "Living Doll" that the Drifters began to back Richard on record. It was his fifth record, and became his first No. 1 single. By that time the group's lineup had changed with the arrival of Jet Harris, Tony Meehan, Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch. The group was obliged to change its name to "The Shadows" after legal complications with the American group the Drifters as "Living Doll" entered the American top 40, licensed by ABC-Paramount. "Living Doll" was used in Richard's debut film Serious Charge, but as a country standard, rather than a rock and roll standard.
The Shadows were not a typical backing group. They became contractually separate from Richard, and the group received no royalties for records backing Richard. In 1959, the Shadows (then still the Drifters) landed an EMI recording contract of their own, for independent recordings. That year, they released three singles, two of which featured double-sided vocals and one of which had instrumental A and B sides. They thereafter had several major hits, including five UK No. 1s. The band also continued to appear and record with Richard and wrote many of his hits. On more than one occasion, a Shadows' instrumental replaced a Richard song at the top of the British charts.
Richard's fifth single "Living Doll" triggered a softer, more relaxed, sound. Subsequent hits, the No. 1s "Travellin' Light" and "I Love You" and also "A Voice in the Wilderness" lifted from his film Expresso Bongo and "Theme for a Dream" cemented Richard's status as a mainstream pop entertainer along with contemporaries such as Adam Faith and Billy Fury. Throughout the early 1960s, his hits were consistently in the top five.
In 1961, EMI records organised Richard's 21st birthday party at its London headquarters in Manchester Square led by his producer Norrie Paramor. Photographs of the celebrations were incorporated into Richard's next album "21 Today" in which Tony Meehan joined in despite, then, having very recently left the Shadows to be replaced by Brian Bennett.
Typically, the Shadows closed the first half of the show with a 30-minute set of their own, then backed Richard on his show-closing 45-minute stint as exemplified by the retrospective CD album release of "Live at the ABC Kingston 1962". Tony Meehan and Jet Harris left the group in 1961 and 1962 respectively and later had their own chart successes for Decca. The Shadows added bass players Brian Locking (1962–63) and then John Rostill (1963–68) and took on Brian Bennett permanently on drums.
In the early days, particularly on EP and album releases, Richard sometimes recorded without the Shadows in order to cater to other styles with the Norrie Paramor Orchestra with Tony Meehan and then Brian Bennett as a session drummer. Even after the Beatles' rise he continued to achieve hits, although more often with an orchestra rather than the Shadows: a revival of "It's All In The Game" and "Constantly", a revived single of a well-known Italian hit. A session under the direction of Billy Sherrill in Nashville, Tennessee yielded two more top two hits: "The Minute You're Gone" and "Wind Me Up" in 1965.
Richard, and in particular the Shadows, never achieved star status in the United States. In 1960 they toured the United States and were well-received, but lacklustre support and distribution from a revolving door of American record labels proved an obstacle to long-term success there despite several chart records by Richard including the aforementioned "It's All In The Game" on Epic, via a renewed linking of the worldwide Columbia labels after Philips ended its distribution deal with CBS. To the Shadows' chagrin, Apache reached No. 1 in the US via a cover version by Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingmann which was almost unchanged from their worldwide hit. Richard and the band appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, which was crucial for the Beatles, but these performances did not help them gain sustained success in North America.
Richard and the Shadows appeared in six feature films including a debut in the 1959 film Serious Charge but most notably in The Young Ones, Summer Holiday, Wonderful Life and Finders Keepers. These films created their own genre known as the "Cliff Richard musical" and led to Richard being named the No. 1 cinema box office attraction in Britain for both 1962 and 1963 beating that of even James Bond. The title song of The Young Ones became his biggest-selling single in the United Kingdom, selling over one million copies in the UK. The irreverent 1980s TV sitcom The Young Ones took its name from Richard's 1962 film. In 1966, Richard and the Shadows appeared as marionettes in the Gerry Anderson film Thunderbirds Are GO. In mid-1963 Cliff and the Shadows appeared for a season in Blackpool, where Richard had his portrait modelled by Victor Heyfron, M.A..
1964–75: Changing circumstances 
As with the other existing rock acts in Britain, Richard's career was affected by the sudden advent of the Beatles and the Mersey sound in 1963 and 1964. He continued to have hits in the charts throughout the 1960s, albeit not at the level that he had enjoyed before. Nor did doors open to him in the U.S. market; he was not considered part of the British Invasion, and despite four Hot 100 hits (including the top 25 "It's All in the Game") between August 1963 and August 1964, the American public had little awareness of him.
Richard's 1965 UK No. 12 hit "On My Word" ended a run of 23 consecutive top ten UK hits between "A Voice in the Wilderness" in 1960 to "The Minute You're Gone" in 1965, which, to date, is still a record number of consecutive top ten UK hits for a male artist. Richard continued having international hits, including 1967's "The Day I Met Marie", which reached No. 10 in the UK Singles Chart and No. 5 in the Australian charts.
Although baptised as an Anglican, Richard did not appear to practise the faith in his early years. In 1964, he became an active Christian and his faith has become an important aspect of his life. Standing up publicly as a Christian affected his career in several ways. Initially, he believed that he should quit rock 'n roll, feeling he could no longer be the rocker who had been called a "crude exhibitionist" and "too sexy for TV". Richard intended at first to "reform his ways" and become a teacher, but Christian friends advised him not to abandon his career just because he had become an active Christian. Soon after, Richard re-emerged, performing with Christian groups and recording some Christian material. He still recorded secular songs with the Shadows, but devoted a lot of his time to Christian work, including appearances with the Billy Graham crusades. As time progressed, Richard balanced his faith and work, enabling him to remain one of the most popular singers in Britain as well as one of its best-known Christians.
Richard acted in the 1967 film Two a Penny, released by Billy Graham's World Wide Pictures, in which he played Jamie Hopkins, a young man who gets involved in drug dealing while questioning his life after his girlfriend changes her attitude. He released the live album Cliff in Japan in 1967.
In 1968, he sang the UK's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest: "Congratulations" by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter; it lost by just one point to Spain's "La La La". According to John Kennedy O'Connor's The Eurovision Song Contest—The Official History, this was the closest result yet in the contest and Richard locked himself in the toilet to avoid the nerves of the voting. In May 2008 a Reuters news report claimed that voting in the competition had been fixed by the Spanish dictator leader, Francisco Franco, to ensure that the Spanish entry won, allowing them to host the contest the following year (1969). In particular, it is claimed that Spanish TVE television executives offered to buy programmes in exchange for votes. The story was widely covered and featured on UK Channel 4 News as a main story, with Jon Snow interviewing author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor about the matter. Eurovision later ended voting by national juries in a bid to eradicate such alleged scams. Nevertheless, "Congratulations" was a huge hit throughout Europe and yet another No. 1 in April 1968.
After the Shadows split in 1968, Richard continued to record.
During the 1970s, Richard took part in several television shows and fronted his own show It's Cliff Richard from 1970-1976. It starred Olivia Newton-John, Hank Marvin and Una Stubbs, and included A Song for Europe. He began 1970 by appearing live on the BBC's review of the sixties music scene, Pop Go The Sixties, which was broadcast across Britain and Europe on 31 December 1969. He performed "Bachelor Boy" with the Shadows and "Congratulations" solo. In 1972, he made a short BBC television comedy film called The Case with appearances from comedians and his first ever duets with a woman, Olivia Newton-John. He went on to release a double live album "Cliff Live in Japan 1972" featuring Newton-John.
His final acting role on the silver screen was in 1973 when he starred in the film Take Me High.
In 1973, he sang the British Eurovision entry "Power to All Our Friends"; the song finished third, close behind Luxembourg's "Tu Te Reconnaîtras" and Spain's "Eres Tú". This time, Richard took Valium in order to overcome his nerves and his manager was almost unable to wake him for the performance. Richard also hosted the BBC's qualifying heat for the Eurovision Song Contest, A Song for Europe, in 1970, 1971 and 1972 as part of his BBCTV variety series. He presented the Eurovision Song Contest Previews for the BBC in 1971 and 1972.
In 1975, he released the single "Honky Tonk Angel" produced by Hank Marvin and John Farrar, oblivious to its connotations or hidden meanings. As soon as Richard was notified that a "honky-tonk angel" was southern US slang for a prostitute, Richard ordered EMI to withdraw it. He refused to promote it despite making a video for it. EMI agreed to his demand despite positive sales. About 1,000 copies are known to exist on vinyl.
1976–94: Comeback 
In 1976, the decision was made to repackage Richard as a "rock" artist. That year Bruce Welch relaunched Cliff's career and produced the landmark album I'm Nearly Famous, which included the successful but controversial guitar-driven track "Devil Woman" (Richard's first true hit in the US) and the ballad "Miss You Nights". Richard's fans were excited about this revival of a performer who had been a part of British rock from its early days. Many music names such as Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Elton John were seen sporting I'm Nearly Famous badges, pleased that their boyhood idol was getting back into the heavier rock in which he had begun his career.
Notwithstanding this, Richard continued to release gospel-tinged albums in parallel with his rock and pop albums, for example: Small Corners from 1978 contained the single "Yes He Lives". On 31 December 1976, he performed his latest single "Hey, Mr. Dream Maker" on BBC1's A Jubilee Of Music, celebrating British pop music for Queen Elizabeth II's impending Silver Jubilee.
In 1979, Richard teamed up once again with producer Bruce Welch for the pop hit single "We Don't Talk Anymore", written by Alan Tarney, which hit No. 1 in the UK and No. 7 in the US. Bryan Ferry added hummed backing vocals to the song. The record made Richard the first act to reach the Hot 100's top 40 in the 1980s who had also been there in each of the three previous decades. The song was quickly added onto the end of his latest album Rock 'n' Roll Juvenile. It was his first time at the top of the UK singles chart in over ten years and the song would become his biggest-selling single worldwide, selling almost five million copies throughout the world. The accompanying music video was the sixth to appear on American cable channel MTV when it debuted on 1 August 1981.
At long last he had some extended success in the United States following "Devil Woman". The follow-up "Dreamin'" peaked at No. 10. His 1980 duet "Suddenly" with Olivia Newton-John, from the film Xanadu, peaked at No. 20. In the UK, "Dreamin'" peaked at No. 8 and "Carrie" reached No. 4. In a retrospective review of the single, Allmusic journalist Dave Thompson praised "Carrie" as being "an enthrallingly atmospheric number. One of the most electrifying of all Cliff Richard's recordings."
The singles chart saw his most consistent period of top twenty hits since the mid-1960s, with "A Little in Love", "Dreamin'", and "Suddenly" on the Hot 100 at the same time at the end of 1980. Richard continued with a string of top ten albums, including I'm No Hero, Wired for Sound, Now You See Me, Now You Don't, and, marking his 25th year in show business, Silver.
In 1986, Richard reached No. 1 by teaming up with The Young Ones to re-record his smash hit "Living Doll" for the charity Comic Relief. Along with the song, the recording contained comedy dialogue between Richard and the Young Ones. That same year Richard opened in the West End as a rock musician called upon to defend Earth in a trial set in the Andromeda Galaxy in the multi-media Dave Clark musical Time. Two Richard singles, "She's So Beautiful", which reached No. 17 in the UK and "Born To Rock 'n Roll", were released respectively in 1985 and 1986 from the concept album recorded for Time.
In August 1986, Richard was involved in a five-car crash in torrential rain on the M4 motorway in West London. Richard's car was a write-off as another car swerved and braked hard. Richard hurt his back in the accident, but was not seriously injured in the crash. Police called for a cab from the accident scene so that he was able to perform that night in the "Time" musical. Richard said: "I'm lucky to be here" after the show. He said that his seatbelt prevented him from flying through the windscreen.
In October 1986, "All I Ask of You", a duet that Richard recorded with Sarah Brightman from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical version of The Phantom of the Opera reached No. 3 in the UK singles chart. 1987 saw Richard record his Always Guaranteed album, which became his best selling album of all new material. It contained the two top-10 hit singles "My Pretty One" and "Some People".
Richard concluded his thirtieth year in music by achieving a UK Christmas No. 1 single in 1988 with "Mistletoe and Wine", while simultaneously holding the No. 1 positions on the album and video charts with the compilation Private Collection summing up his biggest hits from 1979-1988. "Mistletoe and Wine" was Richard's 99th UK single and spent four weeks at the top of the chart. It was the best-selling UK single of 1988, shifting 750,000 copies.
In 1989, Richard received the Brits highest award: "The Outstanding Contribution award". In June 1989, he filled London's Wembley Stadium for two nights with a spectacular titled "The Event" in front of a combined audience of 144,000 people.
Richard's 1989 UK No. 2 hit single "The Best of Me" received positive reviews from critics and established him as the first British artist to release 100 singles. "The Best Of Me" was included in the top ten album Stronger, together with the UK No. 3 "Just Don't Have The Heart" (written and produced by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman) and the 1990 UK No. 11 hit From a Distance.
Later in 1990, Richard scored his second UK Christmas No. 1 single with "Saviour's Day", a song written by Chris Eaton, which became Richard's 13th UK No. 1 single and his 100th top 40 hit. The video for "Saviour's Day" featured Richard singing on top of the limestone arch landmark of Durdle Door in Dorset.
Richard unsuccessfully bid for the Christmas No. 1 spot again with "We Should Be Together" and "Healing Love" in 1991 and 1993 respectively – the latter being taken from his No. 1 studio album Cliff Richard - The Album. The next few years saw Richard concentrate on bringing the musical Heathcliff to the stage.
Back in the UK during the next years and throughout the 1980s, Richard remained one of the best-known music artists in the country. In the space of a few years he worked with Elton John, Mark Knopfler, Julian Lennon, Freddie Mercury, Stevie Wonder, Phil Everly, Janet Jackson, Sheila Walsh and Van Morrison. Richard also reunited with Olivia Newton-John. Meanwhile, the Shadows later re-formed (and again split). They recorded on their own, but also reunited with Richard in 1978, 1984, 1989–90, 2004, and 2009 for some concerts.
1995–2007: Knighthood 
On 17 June 1995 Richard was appointed a Knight Bachelor (and invested on 25 October 1995) and became the first rock star to be so honoured (Bob Geldof had received his honorary knighthood nine years earlier).
In 1998, Richard demonstrated that radio stations were refusing to play his music by releasing his latest single "Can't Keep This Feeling In" on a white label under the pseudonym of Blacknight. The single was featured on playlists until the true artist was revealed.
In 1999, controversy again arose regarding radio stations refusing to play his releases when EMI, Richard's label since 1958, refused to release his latest song, "The Millennium Prayer", having judged that the song did not have commercial potential. Richard took it to an independent label, Papillon, which released the charity recording (in aid of Children's Promise). The single went on to top the UK chart for three weeks, becoming his fourteenth No.1 and the third-highest-selling single of his career.
Richard's next album, in 2001, was a covers project, Wanted, followed by another top ten album, Cliff at Christmas. The holiday album contained both new and older recordings, including the single "Santa's List", which reached No. 5 in 2003.
For his seven-day long 60th birthday party Richard in conjunction with OK magazine hired a cruise boat to Monte Carlo and sailed with his top 80 (out of a possible 500) specially invited guests, mostly from British showbiz, to France. Among the guests were Olivia Newton-John, Shirley Bassey, Sue Barker, Gloria Hunniford, Tim Rice, Mike Read, Bobby Davro (a Cliff Richard impersonator), Richard's three sisters, etc.
Richard went to Nashville, Tennessee for his next album project in 2004, employing a writers' conclave to give him the pick of all new songs for the album Something's Goin' On. It was another top ten album, and produced three top fifteen singles: "Something's Goin' On", "I Cannot Give You My Love", with Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, and "What Car".
On 14 June 2004, Richard joined the Shadows on-stage at the London Palladium. The Shadows had decided to re-form for another tour of the UK. It was not to be their last tour together though, as they would re-form once again for a final tour five years later in 2009.
Two's Company, an album of duets released in 2006, was another top 10 success for Richard and included newly recorded material with Brian May, Dionne Warwick, Anne Murray, Barry Gibb and Daniel O'Donnell, plus some previously recorded duets with artists such as Phil Everly, Elton John and Olivia Newton-John. Two's Company was released to coincide with the UK leg of his latest world tour, "Here and Now", which included lesser known songs such as "My Kinda Life", "How Did She Get Here", "Hey Mr. Dream Maker", "For Life", "A Matter Of Moments", "When The Girl In Your Arms", "Every Face Tells A Story", "Peace In Our Time" and the Christmas single "21st Century Christmas", which debuted at No. 2 on the UK singles chart.
Another compilation album, Love... The Album was released on 12 November 2007. Like Two's Company before it, this album includes both previously released material and newly recorded songs, namely "Waiting For A Girl Like You", "When You Say Nothing At All", "All Out Of Love", "If You're Not the One" and "When I Need You" (the last was released as a single, reaching No. 38; the album peaked at No. 13).
2008–present: 50th anniversary and reunion 
2008, Richard's 50th year in music, saw the release of the 8-CD box set And They Said It Wouldn't Last (My 50 Years In Music). In September, a single celebrating his 50 years in pop music, titled "Thank You for a Lifetime" was released. On 14 September 2008 it reached No. 3 on the UK music charts. On 2 November 2008, British newspaper the Mail on Sunday gave away a free promotional CD entitled 50th Anniversary containing 12 tracks picked by Richard himself.
On 11 November 2008, Richard's official website announced that Cliff and the Shadows would reunite to celebrate their 50th anniversary in the music business. A month later they performed at the Royal Variety Performance. In 2009, Cliff and the Shadows brought their partnership to an end with the "Golden Anniversary concert tour of the UK".
A new album by Richard and the Shadows was released in September 2009. Titled Reunited, It was their first studio project in forty years. The 28 tracks recorded comprise 25 re-recordings of their earlier work, with three "new" tracks, originally from that era (and earlier), the single "Singing the Blues", along with Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody" and the Frankie Ford hit "Sea Cruise". The album charted at No. 6 in the UK charts in its opening week and peaked at No. 4. The reunion tour continued into Europe in 2010. In June 2009, it was reported by Sound Kitchen Studios in Nashville that Richard was to return there shortly to record a new album of original recordings of jazz songs. He was to record fourteen tracks in a week.
On 14 October 2010, Richard celebrated his 70th birthday and to mark the occasion, he performed a series of six concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, London. To accompany the concerts, a new album of cover versions of swing standards, Bold as Brass, was released on 11 October.
After a week of promotion, Richard flew out to rehearse for the German Night of the Proms concerts in Belgium at the end of October. He made a surprise appearance at the Antwerp concert of the Night of the Proms on Thursday, 28 October 2010 and sang "We Don't Talk Anymore" to a great reaction from the surprised 20,000 fans at Sportpaleis Antwerp. In all, he toured 12 German cities in November and December 2010, during the Night of the Proms concerts, as the headline act. The total of 18 concerts were attended by over 300,000 fans. Richard performed a selection of hits and tracks from the Bold As Brass album.
In Munich, Richard added his hand prints to the Munich Olympic Walk of Stars during a break when the concerts were held there.
With the DVD release of Bold as Brass in November 2010, he achieved his third consecutive No. 1 music DVD in three years. It has so far achieved a total of eight weeks in the top 10 on the UK chart selling nearly 60,000 copies.
2011 saw Richard recording once again in the US for his Soulicious album, containing duets with American soul legends including Percy Sledge, Ashford and Simpson, Roberta Flack, Freda Payne, Peabo Bryson, Brenda Holloway and Candi Staton. The album is produced by Lamont Dozier with David Gest as executive producer. Released in October 2011, the album was supported by a short UK arena tour and gave Richard his 41st top ten UK hit album.
Lack of commercial support 
Richard has openly complained about the lack of commercial support he receives from radio stations and record labels. He spoke about this on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV in December 2007, pointing out that while new bands needed airplay for promotion and sales, long-established artists like him also relied upon airplay for the same ends. He also noted that '80s radio stations did play his records and that this went some way to help sales and maintain his media presence. In the BBC Radio 2 documentary Cliff – Take Another Look, he pointed out that many documentaries charting the history of British music (e.g. I'm in a Rock 'n' Roll Band!) fail to mention him (or the Shadows).
In 2011, digital station Absolute Radio '60s, dedicated to playing popular music from the 1960s, announced they would not be playing any of Richard's records because they claimed they did not fit "the cool sound... we're trying to create". DJ Pete Mitchell claimed "Timeless acts of the decade that remain relevant today are the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors and the Who, not Sir Cliff." Richard responded to this by saying: "They're lying to themselves, and more importantly they're lying to the public."
In 2009, Richard said: "I've always maintained I'm the most radical rock 'n' roll singer Britain has ever seen. I was the only one who didn't spit or swear or sleep around. I didn't do drugs. I didn't get drunk. I didn't indulge in soulless sex. And I've always felt comfortable with the decisions I've taken."
In 2011, Sam Leith, a journalist from The Guardian, wrote of Richard's lack of commercial support among radio stations: "His uncompromising Christianity, his clean–living ways, and his connoisseurship of the fruits of his Portuguese winery have made him an object of incomprehension, even ridicule, for the uncultured, alcopop–drinking younger generation."
Personal life 
Richard's father, Rodger Webb, died in 1961. His mother, Dorothy, died in 2007 after a decade with Alzheimer's disease. In a 2006 interview with the Daily Mail, he spoke about the difficulties he and his sisters had in dealing with their mother's condition. On 18 October 2007, a statement on Richard's website read, "We are sad to report that Cliff's mother, Dorothy, passed away early on 17 October; she was 87."
Richard is a lifelong bachelor. In a letter written in October 1961 to "his first serious girlfriend", Australian dancer Delia Wicks, made public in April 2010 after her death from cancer, Richard writes, "Being a pop singer I have to give up one priceless thing – the right to any lasting relationship with any special girl." The couple had been dating for 18 months. In the letter he goes on to say, "I couldn't give up my career, besides the fact that my mother and sisters, since my father's death, rely on me completely. (...) I have showbiz in my blood now and I would be lost without it."
Richard has said that he once considered marriage to the dancer Jackie Irving and later to the former tennis player Sue Barker. Richard described Irving as "utterly beautiful" and says for a time they were "inseparable".
In 1983, Richard said: "It's not vital to be a father. But I would like to settle down and have a family one day." In 1988, Richard said of his relationship with Sue Barker: "We were closer than just friends. She's the only person with whom I've had that sort of relationship." He said: "I seriously contemplated asking her to marry me, but in the end I realised that I didn't love her quite enough to commit the rest of my life to her."
When asked why he has never married, Richard said: "I've had a few false alarms. I've been in love, but marriage is a big commitment and being an artist consumes a great deal of time." He said that in the early 1970s he was in love with the singer and actress Olivia Newton-John. Richard said: "At the time when I and many of us were in love with Olivia she was engaged to someone else. I'm afraid I lost the chance."
Although he has never married, Richard has rarely lived alone. For many years he shared his main home with his religious affairs/charity/media/promotion schedules manager, Bill Latham, and Latham's girlfriend. A former Catholic priest, John McElynn, who is Richard's property manager "lives in" and looks after the properties whilst Richard is away. Richard said: "John and I have over time struck up a close friendship. He has also become a companion, which is great because I don't like living alone, even now."
Richard declines discussion about close relationships and when asked about suggestions that he may be homosexual has stated categorically that he is not. In 1996, Richard said: "I'm aware of the rumours, but I am not gay." More recently he has said, "what business is it of anyone else's what any of us are as individuals? I don’t think my fans would care either way."
In 1971, Richard was a leading supporter of the Nationwide Festival of Light, a movement formed by British Christians who were concerned about the development of the permissive society. Richard joined notable names including Malcolm Muggeridge, Mary Whitehouse and Dora Bryan to demonstrate in London for "love and family life" and against what the organisers called "pornography and moral pollution". Richard was one of approximately 30,000 people gathering at London's Trafalgar Square to protest against the Swedish sex education film Kärlekens Språk, which was showing at a nearby cinema.
For over 40 years Richard has been an active supporter of Tearfund, a Christian charity that aims to tackle poverty in many countries across the world. He has made a number of overseas visits to see their work first-hand in countries such as Uganda, Bangladesh and Brazil. Richard has said: "Playing a part in relieving poverty is, as I see it, the responsibility of us all."
In 2008, Richard called on the Church of England to affirm people's commitment in same-sex marriage. In his autobiography he said that his views on certain issues are less judgemental than when he was younger and states that "many of my friends are gay – let's face it, homosexuality has been legal for more than thirty years. For me, the commitment is what counts – and I'll leave the judging to God."
In 2006, Richard received a Portuguese knighthood in which he was appointed Commander of the Order of Prince Henry (ComIH), this in recognition of his 40 years of personal and business involvement in that country. Richard finished No. 56 in the 2002 100 Greatest Britons list, sponsored by the BBC and voted for by the public.
Tours and concerts 
- 1959: Serious Charge
- 1960: Expresso Bongo
- 1961: The Young Ones (aka It's Wonderful to be Young)
- 1963: Summer Holiday
- 1964: Wonderful Life (aka Swingers' Paradise)
- 1966: Finders Keepers
- 1966: Thunderbirds Are GO (voice as a marionette)
- 1969: Two a Penny
- 1970: His Land
- 1972: The Case (features Olivia Newton-John)
- 1973: Take Me High
- 2012: Run for Your Wife (cameo role as a busker)
- Television series
- 1960–63: The Cliff Richard Show (ATV Television)
- 1964–67: Cliff (ATV Television)
- 1965: Cliff and the Shadows (ATV Television)
- 1970–74: It's Cliff Richard featuring Hank Marvin, Una Stubbs and Olivia Newton-John (BBC Television)
- 1975–76: It's Cliff and Friends (BBC Television)
- Selected television specials
|1971||Getaway with Cliff||5.2 million||BBC|
|1972||The Case||5 million||BBC|
|1999||An Audience with Sir Cliff Richard||11 million||ITV|
|2001||The Hits I Missed||6.5 million||ITV|
|2008||When Piers Met Sir Cliff||5.5 million||ITV|
Theatre work 
- Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp – music by the Shadows and Norrie Paramor
- Cinderella – music by the Shadows and Norrie Paramor
- Time – music by Dave Clark
- Heathcliff – music by John Farrar and lyrics by Sir Tim Rice
- 1977 – Best British male solo artist
- 1982 – Best British male solo artist
- 1989 – Lifetime achievement: Outstanding contribution to music (excluded the Shadows)
- 1980 – Most Exciting Male Singer on TV
- 1987 – Best Male Singer
- 1989 – Favourite Singer
- The Sun Reader Polls
- 1970 – Male Pop Personality
- 1971 – Top Male Pop Personality
- 1972 – Top Male Pop Personality
- 1958 – Best New Disc or TV Singer
- 1959 – UK Male Singer[clarification needed]
- 1959 – Best Single: "Living Doll"
- 1960 – Best UK Single: "Living Doll"
- 1961 – UK Male Singer
- 1962 – UK Male Singer
- 1963 – UK Male Singer
- 1963 – Best World Male Singer
- 1964 – UK Male Singer
- 1964 – UK Vocal Personality
- 1965 – UK Male Singer
- 1966 – UK Male Singer
- 1966 – UK Vocal Personality
- 1967 – UK Vocal Personality
- 1968 – UK Vocal Personality
- 1969 – British Vocal Personality
- 1970 – UK Male Singer
- 1970 – UK Vocal Personality
- 1970 – World's Best Recording Artist of the '60s
- 1971 – UK Male Singer
- 1971 – British Vocal Personality
- 1972 – UK Male Singer
- 1972 – British Vocal Personality
- 1968 – Most Performed Work: "Congratulations" by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter
- 1970 – Outstanding Services to Music
- 1959 – Best Male Singer
- 1960 – Top British Male Singer
- 1962 – The Emen Award – Top male singer
- 1962 – Top British Male Singer
- 1962 – Top single of the year: "The Young Ones"
- 1963 – Best Male Singer
- 1964 – Best Male Singer
- 1965 – Best UK Male Singer
- 1967 – Top Male Singer
- 1967 – Best-Dressed Male
- 1968 – Best-Dressed Male
- 1969 – Best-Dressed Male
- 1970 – Top British Male Singer
- 1970 – Best-Dressed Male
- 1970 – Mr. Valentine
- 1971 – Mr. Valentine
- Bravo Magazine (Germany)
- 1964 – Best Male Singer – Gold
- 1964 – Year End Singles Charts – 1. "Sag 'no' Zu Ihm" ("Don't talk to him")
- 1965 – Best Male Singer – Gold
- 1980 – Top International Male Singer
- 1961 – Record Mirror Survey – Most successful chart records 1958–1961 – No 1: Cliff Richard, "Living Doll" (Richard had three of the top five records and a further two in the Top 50)
- 1964 – Record Mirror Poll – Best-Dressed Singer in the World
- 1961 – Royal Variety Club – Show Business Personality
- 1961 – Weekend Magazine – Star of Stars
- 1962 – Motion Picture Herald Box-Office Survey of 1962 – Most Popular Male Film Actor
- 1963 – Motion Picture Herald Box-Office Survey of 1963 – Most Popular Male Film Actor
- 1963 – 16 (US Magazine) – Most Promising Singer
- 1964 – Billboard (US Magazine) – Best Recording Artist UK
- 1969 – Valentine Magazine – Mr Valentine
- 1970 – National Viewers' and Listeners' Association – Outstanding Contribution to Religious Broadcasting and Light Entertainment
- 1971 – Record Mirror – UK Male Singer
- 1974 – Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Committee – Silver Clef – Outstanding Services to the Music Industry
- 1977 – The Songwriters' Guild of Great Britain – Golden Badge Award
- 1979 – Music Week – Special Award for 21 years as successful recording artistes – Cliff Richard and the Shadows
- 1979 – EMI Records – Gold Clock and Gold Key award – EMI celebrates 21-year partnership with Richard
- 1980 – Richard receives O.B.E. from the Queen
- 1980 – BBC TV Multi-Coloured Swap Shop – Best UK Male Vocalist
- 1980 – National Pop And Rock Awards – Best Family Entertainer
- 1980 – Nationwide, in conjunction with Radio 1 and the Daily Mirror – Best Family Entertainer
- 1981 – Sunday Telegraph Readers Poll – Top Pop Star
- 1981 – Daily Mirror Readers Award – Outstanding Music Personality of the Year
- 1989 – The Lifetime Achievement Diamond Award (Antwerp)
- 1992 – Spectacle Wearer of the Year[clarification needed]
- 1995 – American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers – Pied Piper Award (Richard became the first British recipient of Ascap's coveted Pied Piper Award, which recognises outstanding contributions to the songwriter and music community)
- 1995 – The formal investiture of Richard as Knight Bachelor took place at 10.30 a.m. in Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 25 October
- 1998 – Dutch Edison – Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2000 – South Bank Awards – Outstanding Achievement Award
- 2003 – British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors – Gold Badge of Merit
- 2003 – Lawn Tennis Association – 20 Years of Service to Tennis Award
- 2004 – Induction into UK Music Hall of Fame (representing the 1950s – Cliff and the Shadows)
- 2004 – Ultimate Pop Star (No. 1 singles recording artist in UK)[clarification needed]
- 2005 – Avenue of Stars (star on the pavement, London)
- 2005 – Rose D'or Music Festival (Paris) – Golden Rose
- 2006 – Commander of the Portuguese Order of Prince Henry (awarded for services to Portugal)
See also 
Further reading 
- The Cliff Richard Story by George Tremlett, Futura Publications Limited, London, 1975, ISBN 0-86007-232-0
- The Complete Recording Sessions, 1958–90, by Peter Lewry and Nigel Goodall. ISBN 978-0-7137-2242-0.
- Which One's Cliff?, by Cliff Richard Coronet ISBN 0-340-27159-0.
- You, Me and Jesus, by Cliff Richard with Bill Latham, pub: Hodder & Stoughton, London.
- The Biography, by Steve Turner. ISBN 978-0-7459-5279-6.
- The Bachelor Boy, by S. Turner. ISBN 978-1-84442-037-7.
- The Story of the Shadows, by Mike Read. 1983. Elm Tree books. ISBN 0-241-10861-6.
- The Complete Rock Family Rock Trees, by Pete Frame. Omnibus. ISBN 0-7119-6879-9.
- Guinness World Records: British Hit Singles and Albums (19th Edn), David Roberts. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- The Complete Book of the British Charts Singles and Albums, by Neil Warwick, Jon Kutner & Tony Brown, 3rd Edn. ISBN 978-1-84449-058-5.
- Jet Harris — Survivor, by Dave Nicolson, ISBN 978-0-9562679-0-0, 31 October 2009.
- Cliff Richard Song Database: Cliff and The Settlers gospel concert performance (April 27 1968) and Settlers sessions (December 2 1968 to March 24 1969)
- "The Official Singles Charts' biggest selling artists of all time revealed!". Official Chart Company. 4 June 2012.
- Collett-White, Mike (9 March 2010). "Cliff Richard turns to jazz to mark 70th birthday". Reuters. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Clements, Paul (16 November 2011). "Sir Cliff Richard: 'For me, Cliff Richard makes uncool cool'". The Independent. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Cliff Richard | Happy Birthday Cliff Richard!". Contactmusic. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Tony Meehan" (Obituary), The Times, 30 November 2005.
- Anon. "Tony Meehan". Spectropop remembers. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- "Top Hits from". EveryHit. 16 March 2000. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Roy, Amit (11 April 2010). "Letter to girl shows bachelor boy streak". The Telegraph (Kolkata). Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- Stark, Herbert Alick. Hostages To India: OR The Life Story of the Anglo Indian Race, London: The Simon Wallenberg Press: Vol 2: Anglo Indian Heritage Books
- When Piers Met Sir Cliff, ITV1
- Turner, Steve (13 January 2013). "Cliff's Calcutta: How Richard's singing career actually began in the British Raj". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- Cliff Richard; Penny Junor (2008). My Life, My Way. Headline Publishing Group. ISBN 0-7553-1588-X.
- Cliff Richard Court (1 January 1970). "Google maps". Maps.google.co.uk. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Ten Things About... Cliff Richard - Showbiz News". Digital Spy. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Move It by Cliff Richard Songfacts". Songfacts.com. 2 November 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Richard himself stated that the latter theory is correct; interviewed for the first episode of the BBC Four programme, Pop Britannia, broadcast on 4 January 2008.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 58. CN 5585.
- Lazarevic, Jade (15 September 2012). "Cliff Richard has no time to stop". Theherald.com.au. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- 'Top Box Office Stars of 1962, Motion Picture Herald 1962
- "Cliff Richard | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Record-Breakers and Trivia". everyHit.com. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Two a Penny (1967) IMDB.com
- O'Connor, John Kennedy. Richard says: Spain is the best of Eurovision Song Contest.
- "Reuters". Uk.reuters.com. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Govan, Fiona (4 May 2008). "Telegraph article". Telegraph article. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- JKMMOC. "EUROVISION CHANNEL 4 NEWS May 7, 2008". YouTube. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007. ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
- "Cliff Richard - Trivia - IMDb". M.imdb.com. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Thompson, Dave. "Carrie - Cliff Richard : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 24 September 1980. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
- "Sir Cliff Richard, OBE Authorised Biography – Debrett’s People of Today, Sir Cliff Richard, OBE Profile". Debretts.com. 14 October 1940. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Pop Star Performs Despite Car Accident". Ocala Star-Banner. 27 August 1986. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "The Official Charts Company - All I Ask Of You by Cliff Richard And Sarah Brightman Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
- Allen, Liam (22 December 2008). "Entertainment | The stories of the Christmas hits". BBC News. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Brit Awards artist page". Brit Awards. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Cliff Richard: From A Distance – The Event". Nigel Goodall. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Thompson, Dave. "Stronger - Cliff Richard : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- Cousins, Andrew. "The Music Scene in 1990 - Inside Time Newspaper". Insidetime.org. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Dorset - History - Durdle Door, Cliff Richard and me". BBC. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 12 January 1996. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Cliff Richard, Centre Court, Wimbledon". Gigs in strange places. Virginmedia. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
- Hodgkinson, Mark (18 June 2011). "Wimbledon 2011: entertainment values". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
- "Sir Cliff foils radio ban". BBC News. 11 October 1998. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- Thompson, Dave. "The Millennium Prayer - Cliff Richard : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "And They Said It Wouldn't Last (My 50 Years In Music)". cliffrichard.org. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Sound Kitchen Studios[dead link]
- BBC[dead link]
- "Sir Cliff Richard hits back over radio airplay snub". BBC News. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Boucher, Phil (29 July 2009). "No sex and no drugs... I'm the real rock rebel, says Cliff Richard". Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Leith, Sam (20 November 2011). "I'll tell you something about Cliff Richard – I would love to get stoned with him". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "Sir Cliff Richard's mother dies after long battle with Alzheimer's - Showbiz - Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. 18 October 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Sir Cliff talks of his anguish over mother's dementia". Daily Mail. 22 September 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Sir Cliff tells of ex priest who shares his life. The Daily Express. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Sir Cliff Richard picked music over love". BBC News Online. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Farmer, Ben (4 September 2008). "Sir Cliff Richard talks of ex-priest companion". Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Richard has no plans to marry". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 30 September 1983.
- "My lost love, by bachelor boy Cliff". Evening Times. 9 November 1988.
- "Sir Cliff Richard: Evergreen entertainer". BBC News. 12 March 2003. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Sir Cliff Richard: Sweet 60". BBC News. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Rallying for love and family life". The Herald (Glasgow). 12 July 1971.
- Daniel Ekeroth, Swedish Sensationsfilms: A Clandestine History of Sex, Thrillers, and Kicker Cinema, (Bazillion Points, 2011), p. 126, ISBN 978-0-9796163-6-5.
- "Friends of Tearfund". Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- Green, Chris (6 September 2008). "Sir Cliff speaks frankly about his 'companion' the ex-priest". The Independent (London). Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- Cliff Richard with Penny Junor My Life, My Way, London: Vox Rock, 2008, p. 39
- "ThePortugalNews.com...Sir Cliff Richard honoured with Portuguese award of merit...". www.theportugalnews.com. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
- Sumário - website Diáro da República
- Overview for Swingers' Paradise (1965)", Turner Classic Movies page
- "William's Cliff Chart Site - Cliff Richard Television Hits". Cliffchartsite.co.uk. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Rocklist.net...NME Lists readers Pop Poll Results...". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Cliff Richard|
- Cliff Richard's official website
- Cliff Richard at the Internet Movie Database
- Cliff Richard Songs site
- bfi.org.uk - Cliff Richard on film (bfi database)
- A collection of Cliff Richard scrapbooks are held by the Victoria and Albert Museum Theatre and Performance Department.
- Portraits of Sir Cliff Richard at the National Portrait Gallery, London
with "Puppet on a String"
|UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Boom Bang-a-Bang"
The New Seekers
with "Beg, Steal or Borrow"
|UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Long Live Love"