With Paul and John on the set of The Music of Lennon and McCartney. Granada Television, Manchester, 1965.
It was thanks to John Lennon that I got my big break in music. I first met John when I was 15 years old and attending the Anfield Commercial College. Some time afterwards, I was at the Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead, and Brian Epstein came up to me and said: "I've never heard you sing. I want you to sing with the boys tonight." So I sang "Summertime", with The Beatles playing behind me, but I was terribly, terribly nervous, and Brian was not at all impressed, and I thought: "Well, OK, that's that, I'll just be singing around the clubs in Liverpool." A few months later, I was singing in a club called the Blue Angel. After I finished my set, Brian came up to me and said: "Why didn't you sing like that at the Majestic?" I had no idea he was even in the club that night, but he loved what he heard and asked to manage me right then. I later asked Ringo if he had asked Brian to give me another listen, because Ringo and I were friends, but he just looked at me and said: "It wasn't me, it was John." I thank him to this day because, but for John, Brian never would have given me a second shot after that awful first audition. It truly changed my life.
(Cilla Black, extracted from 'Memories of John Lennon', edited by Yoko Ono Lennon, published by Sutton Publishing)