. 'Apron Strings'. (Weiss/Schroeder)ReleasedJuly 1959Format, discRecorded28 April 1959,Length2: 35DB4306and the Drifters singles chronology'Mean Streak'(1959)' Living Doll'(1959)'(1959)Worldwide sales. 1959 version: 1.86 million. 1986 version: 1.50 millionBackground and composition'Living Doll' was written for the film. Lionel Bart had been approached by film producer Mickey Delamar to write songs for the film.
The idea for the song came on a Sunday morning in October 1958 while reading a newspaper and seeing an advert for a child's doll. The doll was said to 'kneel, walk, sit and sing'. Bart recounted, 'I was looking at the back pages and there was a small advert for a doll which could apparently do everything. I wrote the song in ten minutes.' The song was written as an up-tempo light song (rather than a ballad), and this is how Cliff Richard performs the song in the film.Unbeknown to Richard, his contract to appear in the film required that there would be a single of one of the film's songs released.
Richard recounts, 'I remember passionately refusing to record 'Living Doll'. There was a day of telephone calls from, with me saying I hated the song and that it wasn't right for us.' Richard did not like what he called its 'pseudo-rock' beat. 'It did not sound like real American rock 'n' roll to us' said Richard. Paramor told Richard 'Change it. Do it any way you like, but do it'. While sitting around one afternoon before a show, thinking about what they could do with the song, while strumming a guitar, suggested they do it like a song.
Richard and his band agreed and duly rerecorded the song with the slower tempo. 1959 versionThe song was recorded in April 1959 by Cliff Richard and the Drifters and produced. It was first released in the in May 1959 on the soundtrack before being released as a single in July 1959. It was number 1 on the for six weeks from July, becoming the biggest selling single of 1959 in the UK with sales of 770,000.
Richard was awarded a Silver Disc on 1 November 1959, on the television show.It was a number 1 hit in several European countries, including, and and top ten hit in numerous countries. In the US, it was Richard's first hit single, reaching number 30 on the. It went on to sell over a million copies worldwide and earnt the record company's internally awarded Gold Disc for the achievement. The Gold Disc was awarded to Richard on 17 January 1960, on the again, the night the show achieved its biggest audience and broke previous UK viewing records.It was the first number 1 in the UK Singles Chart for Cliff Richard and the Drifters; although their debut single ', released the previous year, is often cited as their first number 1, in fact that peaked at number 2.The song also won writer Lionel Bart an for best song. PersonnelThe song is performed by Cliff Richard (vocals), (lead guitar), (rhythm guitar), (bass) and (drums).1986 version 'Living Doll'. By and featuring'(All the Little Flowers Are) Happy'Released8 March 1986Format, vinylRecorded29 January 1986 at Master Rock Studios, London/Length4: 18YZ 67singles chronology'It's in Every One of Us'(1985)' Living Doll'(1986)'Born to Rock and Roll'(1986)In 1986, 27 years after the first release, group approached Richard to record a comic version of 'Living Doll' for the charity.
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Despite the apparent contrast between the anarchic comedians and the clean cut Richard, he agreed and their version again topped the UK Singles Chart, for three weeks from March 1986. The single was certified gold in the UK by the in April 1986. Shadows guitarist was reunited with Richard on this recording for the first time since 1975.When the song was performed in the 1986 TV broadcast for Comic Relief, The Young Ones announced to the audience that Richard could not make the show and that well-known BBC presenter would be taking his place. They then introduced Craven, but it was Richard who appeared.