But I’m forever a fan of the original of the Burt Bacharach (music) and the late Hal David (lyrics) song, which was the Dionne Warwick version, released in late 1963, and getting to its zenith on three different charts in 1964: #8 on the Top 100, #6 on the rhythm & blues charts, and #2, for three weeks, on the adult contemporary charts.
There were a number of versions over the years. Heck, there was a lot in 1964 alone:
Percy Faith, 1964 Dusty Springfield, 1964 Cilla Black, 1964 #1 in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa. According to Wikipedia, the fact that Black’s version stalled Warwick’s version at #47 in the UK bugged Warwick even 30 years later.
Petula Clark, in French (Ceux Qui Ont Un Coeur) #7 in France in 1964 Petula Clark, in Italian (Quelli che hanno un cuore) #5 in Italy in 1964 Petula Clark, in Spanish (Tú No Tienes Corazón) #1 in Spain for two weeks in 1964
I was waiting impatiently for Dustbury’s take. And he did not disappoint: “Perhaps the very definition of ironic: the first I heard about the death of an iconic Liverpool star was from two girls trying to make it big in Liverpool fifty years later.”
I always associated Cilla with the Beatles, of course. Lennon-McCartney wrote a few songs for her, including Love of the Loved and It’s for You [LISTEN], and she covered Beatles tunes such as Yesterday, For No One, Across the Universe, and The Long and Winding Road.
Moreover, I bought LP The Big Hits From England & U.S.A. back in 1965, featuring songs by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, plus two L&M songs by Peter & Gordon. On Side 2 were songs for the “grownups” by Al Martino, Nat Cole, and two from Cilla, Suffer Now I Must [LISTEN], which was just OK, and the last song on the album You’re My World [LISTEN], which I really loved.
She was introduced to [Beatles manager Brian] Epstein by John Lennon, who persuaded him to audition her. Epstein had a portfolio of local artists but initially showed little interest in her. Her first audition was a failure, partly because of nerves, and partly because the Beatles (who supported her) played the songs in their usual vocal key rather than re-pitching them for Black’s voice. In her autobiography What’s It All About? she wrote:
I’d chosen to do “Summertime”, but at the very last moment I wished I hadn’t. I adored this song, and had sung it when I came to Birkenhead with the Big Three, but I hadn’t rehearsed it with the Beatles and it had just occurred to me that they would play it in the wrong key. It was too late for second thoughts, though. With one last wicked wink at me, John set the group off playing. I’d been right to worry. The music was not in my key and any adjustments that the boys were now trying to make were too late to save me. My voice sounded awful. Destroyed—and wanting to die—I struggled on to the end.