To Lulu with Love Part One
It’s one of those songs that you know what day you heard it, so let’s hear it again, on To Lulu with Love Part One.
Lulu Kennedy-Cairns, OBE (born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie; 3 November 1948) is a Scottish singer-songwriter, actress, TV personality and businesswoman.
as part of Here Come the Girls 2010
Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie
Also known as
Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire, Scotland.
Music for Pleasure.
She is internationally known, but especially by UK audiences in the 1960s. Later in her career she had hits internationally with “To Sir with Love“ from the 1967 film of the same name and with the title song to the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. In European countries, she is also widely known for her Eurovision Song Contest 1969 winning entry “Boom Bang-a-Bang“, and in the UK for her 1964 hit “Shout“, which was performed at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Life And Career
Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie was born in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire, and grew up in Dennistoun, Glasgow, where she attended Thomson Street Primary School and Onslow Drive School. She lived in Gallowgate for a while before moving to Garfield Street, Dennistoun. At the age of 12 or 13, she and her manager approached a band called the Bellrocks seeking stage experience as a singer. She appeared with them every Saturday night: Alex Thomson, the group‘s bass player, has reported that even then her voice was remarkable. She has two brothers and a sister, and her father was a heavy drinker. Aged 14, she received the stagename “Lulu“ from her future manager Marion Massey, who commented: “Well, all I know is that she‘s a real lulu a of a kid.“
In August 2017, Lulu‘s family history was the subject of an episode in the UK series Who Do You Think You Are? The research showed that her mother had been brought up by another family. The investigation into her genealogy showed that Lulu‘s maternal grandparents had come from across the religious divide in Glasgow. Her grandfather Hugh Cairns was a Catholic and her grandmother, Helen Kennedy, was a Protestant. Cairns had been a member of a Catholic gang and was found in there search to have been in and out of prison at the time of the birth of Lulu‘s mother. Kennedy was found to be the daughter of a Worthy Mistress of the Ladies‘ Orange Lodge 52; the discovery explained why the two families had opposed the union between Kennedy and Cairns.
Early Chart Hits
Lulu in 1965 on the set of Fanclub, Dutch TV.
In 1964, under the wing of Marion Massey, she was signed to Decca Records. When she was only fifteen, her version of the Isley Brothers‘ “Shout“, credited to‘ Lulu & the Luvvers‘ and delivered in a raucous but mature voice, peaked at # 7 on the UK charts. Massey guided her career for more than 25 years, for most of which time they were partners in business, and Massey‘s husband Mark produced some of Lulu‘s recordings.
After the success of “Shout“, Lulu‘s next three singles failed to make an impacton the charts. She released “Leave A Little Love“ in 1965, which returned her to the UK Top Ten. Her next record, “Try to Understand“, made the Top 30.
In 1966, Lulu toured Poland with the Hollies as the first British female singer to appear live behind the Iron Curtain. In the same year, she recorded two German-language tracks; “Wenn du da bist“ and “So fing es an“ for the Decca Germany label. All her Decca recordings were made available in 2009 on a 2-CD setentitled Shout!, issued on RPM Records. After two hit singles with the Luvvers, Lulu embarked on a solo career.
After failing to reach the charts in 1966, Lulu left Decca and signed with Columbia, to be produced by Mickie Most. She returned to the UK singles chart in April 1967, reaching # 6 with “The Boat That I Row“, written by Neil Diamond. All seven singles she cut with Mickie Most made the UK Singles Chart. However, in her autobiography I Don’t Want To Fight, published in 2002, she described him as“cheap“ and had little positive to say about their working relationship, which she ended in 1969 after her biggest UK solo hit. Nonetheless, when Most died in 2003, Lulu was full of praise for him and told the BBC that they had been very close.
She made her acting debut in 1967 To Sir, with Love, a British vehicle for Sidney Poitier. Lulu both acted in the film and sang the title song, with which she had a major hit in the United States, reaching # 1. “To Sir With Love“ became the best-selling single of 1967 in the United States, selling well in excess of 1,000,000 copies; it was awarded a gold disc, and was ranked by Billboard magazine as the # 1 song of the year. In the UK, “To Sir With Love“ was released on the B-side of “Let‘s Pretend“, a # 11 hit.