Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lost Beatles demo for Cilla Black song to be auctioned in August

Liverpool Beatles Auction


A two-minute demo disc for the John Lennon-Paul McCartney song “It's For You” with a vocal by Paul McCartney that was never recorded by the Beatles will be auctioned Aug. 27 at the 25th Liverpool Beatles Memorabilia Auction in Liverpool, it was announced by the Beatles Shop July 20.

According to the auction, the demo, which was recorded by Paul McCartney on a seven inch disc with the label "Dick James Music Limited," was delivered to Cilla Black in 1964 at the Palladium where she was performing, but then disappeared and had not been seen for 52 years. It was believed the record had been lost or destroyed. The recording was found by a member of Cilla Black's family in a brown envelope that had the words “It’s For You” on it with her name underneath. It was originally believed to be a copy of her hit record. The disc was among a group of records taken to The Beatles Shop on Liverpool's Mathew Street to shop manager Stephen Bailey.

“We played each of the various demo discs that we had been asked to value,” Bailey said. “The ‘It’s For You’ Cilla copy was not there but was a recording by Paul McCartney. I was shaking with excitement and speechless. I realized that this was the long lost Beatles demo disc from 1964 and I was probably one of the few people to have seen and heard it in over 50 years. What I had in my hand was probably the only copy in existence and this is going into The Beatles Auction in Liverpool.” 

A 20 second excerpt of the demo is at the Liverpool Beatles Auction website. The shop's assistant manager Anne-Marie Trace said the seller had no idea what they had. “The sleeve it was housed in listed it as a Cilla demo and the label just lists the song title without an artist,” she wrote on her blog.

In Cilla Black's book “What’s It All About,” she wrote, “John and Paul wrote my next single ‘It’s For You’ and Paul introduced me to the song by sending a demo disc that he had made of it round to The Palladium. Although Paul had sung it as a waltz, George Martin took a big hand in my recording of it and asked Johnny Spence to arrange it.” 

Black recorded the song on June 29, 1964 at a session produced by Sir George Martin. The song was released by Parlophone on July 31. It rose to No. 7 on the UK singles charts but only No. 79 on the U.S. Billboard charts. Black died after a fall at her Spanish home on Aug. 1, 2015 at age 72.