#445: Constantly/True True Lovin’ by Cliff Richard

Peak Month: July 1964
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #5
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Constantly“/”True True Lovin’
Constantly” lyrics
True True Lovin’” lyrics

Cliff Richard was born Harry Roger Webb on October 14, 1940, in the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India. In 1940 Lucknow was part of the British Raj, as India was not yet an independent country. Webb’s father worked on as a catering manager for the Indian Railways. His mother raised Harry and his three sisters. In 1948, when India had become independent, the Webb family took a boat to Essex, England, and began a new chapter. At the age of 16 Harry Webb was given a guitar by his father. Harry then formed a vocal group called the Quintones. Webb was interested in skiffle music, a type of jug band music, popularized by “The King of Skiffle,” Scottish singer Lonnie Donegan who had an international hit in 1955 called “Rock Island Line”.

In 1958 Webb became the lead singer of a British rock group named the Drifters. It was during this time that Harry Greatorex, who was promoting the band, gave Harry Webb the stage name, “Cliff Richard.”As rock and roll made some people think of rocks, Greatorex reasoned that “Cliff” would be a rock solid name for the young 18 year old Harry Webb. Cliff Richard would go on to record nearly 150 singles that made it onto the UK charts. While his popularity in the USA was erratic, he was a big seller in Vancouver.  On this survey of 1,130 songs he appears on 20 occasions.

At the age of 16 Harry Webb was given a guitar by his father. Harry then formed a vocal group called the Quintones. Webb was interested in skiffle music, a type of jug band music, popularized by “The King of Skiffle,” Scottish singer Lonnie Donegan who had an international hit in 1955 called “Rock Island Line.” In 1958 Webb became the lead singer of a British rock group named the Drifters. It was during this time that Harry Greatorex, who was promoting the band, gave Harry Webb the stage name, Cliff Richard. As rock and roll made some people think of rocks, Greatorex reasoned that “Cliff” would be a rock solid name for the young 18 year old Harry Webb. Cliff Richard would go on to record nearly 150 singles that made it onto the UK charts.

Cliff Richard had his first single on the Vancouver charts peak at number one in the fall of 1959. “Living Doll” became an auspicious beginning for a recording artist. Fans in Vancouver were wild about Richards. He had a string of hits between 1959 and 1966, and again in the late 70s onward. Of 26 singles that charted on the Vancouver pop charts, only two didn’t climb into the Top 20. His sixth Top Ten charting song was “Summer Holiday”, in the spring of 1963.

From March 1963 to May 1966 Cliff Richard had 15 hit singles in the Top 20 on CFUN. Of these 12 made the Top Ten and three peaked at #1. In 1963 Richard won the Best UK Male Singer in the NME (New Musical Express) Reader Poll. In Vancouver, Cliff Richard’s follow up hit to “Summer Holiday” was “Lucky Lips” and simultaneously “It’ll Be Me”. This was a #2 hit in the UK in 1962 and #7 in Vancouver in the summer of ’63. While “Lucky Lips” climbed to #1 in Vancouver and #4 in the UK in the summer of ’63.

Of the next eight singles after “It’ll Be Me”, seven made the Top Ten in Vancouver. Among these were “Constantly [L’Edera]” and “True True Lovin'”.

Constantly/True True Lovin' by Cliff Richard

“L’edera” is a song written in Italian by Vincenzo D’Acquisto and Saverio Seracini. The song premiered at the 8th Sanremo Music Festival in 1958, being performed by Nilla Pizzi and Tonina Torrielli, with separate performances, and placing second in the competition, behind “Nel blu dip into di blu”, by Domenico Modugno. “L’edera” was later recorded by several artists, including  Claudio Villa. In 1964, the Italian song was revived by Cliff Richard in an English adaptation of the Italian lyrics, and the music based on “L’Edera”. The single, a non-album release officially titled “Constantly (L’Edera)” is more commonly known as just “Constantly”. The music is still credited to Saverio Seracini, who composed the music for “l’Edera”. The English lyrics to the song were written for Cliff Richard by Michael Julien.

Michael Julien was born in the UK. He wrote “Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me”, a #3 hit for Shirley Bassey in 1959 in England. Other notable hits Julien wrote are “Let’s Live For Today” for the Grassroots in 1967. In 1968 Julien wrote “La La La” as the Eurovision entry for Spain as performed by Massiel. The song won the Eurovision contest that year. In 1969 he wrote the British entry for the Eurovision contest, “Boom-Bang-A-Bang”, which was a #2 hit for Lulu. The song tied for first place in the 1969 Eurovision contest. It became a Top Ten hit in ten other nations internationally, though it was passed over in North America. 

Saverio Seracini was born in 1905 in Prato, Tuscany, Italy. He was an Italian composer, guitarist and conductor. In 1951 his composition “Grazie dei fiori” was sung by Nilla Pizzi at the Sanremo Music Festival in 1952, winning the competition. He died in 1969.

After the single was released, James Wynn wrote on the liner notes of a UK EP, “At a time when Beat was all the rage, Cliff achieved yet another memorable milestone in his career when he soared up the best sellers with the tender, romantic Constantly, a classy ballad on which he hit a peak of vocal and artistic perfection.” The lyrics reveal someone who has a special someone constantly on their mind. The lyrics tell listeners “Shadows fall and I try to drive you from my mind/So you’re no longer near to me.” The trees, breeze and love birds remind the singer of their amor. At the end of the song we learn that the romantic interest is nowhere near: “Though we may be far apart/You’re constantly deep in my heart.” So, while the singer has someone on their mind constantly, that person is not in the vicinity.

Constantly/True True Lovin' by Cliff Richard

Bruce Welsch wrote “True True Lovin'”. He was born Bruce Cripps in 1941, Sussex, UK. He studied guitar and vocals and later became a composer and producer. He chose the name Bruce Welch as a stage name and became a guitarist with Cliff Ricard’s backing band, The Shadows. Over his career he has written and arranged over 900 songs. These include other Cliff Richard hits “Summer Holiday” and “On The Beach“. He also wrote “If Not For You” and “Please Mr. Please”, both hits for Olivia Newton-John and Roger Whitaker’s 1986 album, The Genius Of Love. In 2004, Welch also received an OBE (Order of the British Empire).

“True True Lovin'” is a song that contrasts one person in a romantic involvement who wants to spend more time with the person they are attracted too. However, the woman he adores is less committed. He sings “I know you hang around with every Tom, Dick and Harry…” While she may like the guy who is hung up on her, she is happy to play the field. All of his friends tell him to give up on her. But he is determined to try to make it work and “spend a little time.” A little time? It seems they may not be actually doing much socializing together at all. This song may be another example of someone building a fantasy about a relationship that is more a dream than a reality. It is a “pre-steady” kind of fantasy. Until it is clear they both want to date only each other, he is at best just one of her playthings.

“Constantly” and “True, True Lovin'” peaked at #3 in Moose Jaw (SK) and #5 in Vancouver (BC). “Constantly E’Ledera” reached #1 in Malaysia, South Africa and the Netherlands, #3 in New Zealand, #4 in the UK and Norway, #6 in Australia, #7 in the Philippines, #8 in Ireland and Spain, and #10 in Sweden. As a double-sided single the disc reached #6 in Hong Kong.

The last of Cliff Richard’s eight consecutive Top ten hits in Vancouver was in the fall of 1964 with “On The Beach”. He also had a Top Ten hit in Vancouver in 1966 with a cover of the Rolling Stones “Blue Turns To Grey“.

In the UK Cliff Richard had 26 of his first 28 singles, from 1958 reach the Top Ten, which included a record of 23 Top Ten singles in a row, ending in the middle of 1965. Of these 15 singles were non-album singles. It would seem with the coming of the British Invasion that Cliff Richard would be discovered by the American record-buying public. However, it was not to be. He remained almost completely off the radar in the USA until his Top Ten hit in 1976 on the Billboard Hot 100 called “Devil Woman.”

In the late ’70s into the early ’80s he scored again with “We Don’t Talk Anymore” and “Dreamin’.” A third hit in the early ’80’s did well in Vancouver titled “Wired For Sound”.

Cliff Richard was among the performers at the Diamond Jubilee concert held outside Buckingham Palace in June 2012. Then, on June 30, 2012, he helped to carry the Olympic torch from Derby to Birmingham as part of the torch relay for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Cliff Richard has also been active as a philanthropist. In October 2015 he went on tour at the age of 75. Over the course of his recording career, Cliff Richard has had 68 singles reach the Top Ten on the UK singles chart between 1958 and 2008. In late June and early July, 2019, Cliff Richard celebrated his 60th year as a recording artist with his Diamond Encore Tour. He performed in the village of Cartmel in Cumbria, just south of Scotland. He gave a concert in Scarborough by the North Sea, and in Greenwich, London.

May 22, 2020
Ray McGinnis

References:
Cliff’s Career,” Cliff Richard.org.
Cliff Richard UK Singles chart discography,” official charts.com.
L’Edera (Song),” Wikipedia.org.
Bruce Welch,” Wikipedia.org.
Michael Julien,” Wikipedia.org.
C-FUNTASTIC FIFTY,” CFUN 1410 AM, Vancouver, BC, July 18, 1964.

For more song reviews visit the Countdown.


One response to “Constantly/True True Lovin’ by Cliff Richard”

  1. Judy says:

    Beautiful song — thanks for the memory!

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