Summer gig for Cliff
by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2013-01-23
Sir Cliff Richard
Chart veteran Sir Cliff Richard is set to return to Israel this summer to perform in Tel Aviv - 50 years after he first touched down in the Holy Land.
The 72-year-old, who has sold more than 260 million albums around the world, will play a show at the city's Nokia Arena on July 11.
Cliff - real name Harry Webb - first performed in Israel in September 1963, when he was mobbed by over 2,000 fans on arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.
He returned in 1969 to make a documentary, His Land, about his experiences visiting the country's religious landmarks - and also played at Israel's 40th anniversary celebrations in 1988.
Some years after Cliff's first visit it was later claimed that he was given a shot at stardom in Israel after local impresario Giora Godik chose to bring him to Tel Aviv instead of The Beatles, who were also at the height of their fame.
In a 1976 article in the publication Yedioth Ahronoth, writer Emanuel Bar Kadma claimed: "British talent agent Leslie Grade suggested that Godik choose between two concerts for next to nothing – Cliff Richard, who was at the height of his fame at the time, and a young band called the Beatles.
"In that year, 1963, Godik enthusiastically signed a concert contract with Cliff Richard, but rejected the Beatles."