A few years back I was told about a nationwide completion that was being run for ‘The Peoples Crooner’ … So I decided that I would take part in it. The show needed a demo song so they could shortlist the competitors and I had a nice recording of Nat King Coles; The Autumn Leaves. A Beautiful ballad. The song was enough for me to get down to the final few. After a trip to London to sign some papers and meet the other competitors I was signed up and ready for action.
The next week I flew back to London and was driven to the BBC studios (although it was a channel 3 TV show it was filmed at the BBC) What can I say about Alan Titchmarsh? What a gentleman … He made time for everyone that day, making everyone so comfortable on the set and sharing some jokes. I’d like to say he put me at ease but I was very nervous with all the bustle of the cameras, cranes, people running around and then the pressure of ‘3, 2, 1, we’re rolling’ lol. My song was a Sinatra classic, written by Jimmy Van Heusen entitled Come Fly With Me. The experience was brilliant and the audience, including Alan loved the performance. I earned praise from the judges and left so proud to have made it to the finals. What a great experience!
I have had the great honour of not only knowing Rat Pack Legend Buddy Greco, but also have worked along side him. We met some years ago via email, and over the course of the next year we became very friendly, mostly chatting about music and upcoming events. The more we talked, the more he opened up and really took a shine to me. This led to regular phone calls, where he and his beautiful wife Lezlie would sit for hours on the telephone chatting about the music industry and years gone by. They both told me of the times they had shared with Sinatra & Dean Martin and of all the great places he had performed. He has a brilliant sense of humour … so let’s just say some stories are totally unrepeatable, lol. We met up in London were we invited as his VIP guests to a very special show. It was here that he gave me his very own tracks from recording session he did in Capital Studios in L.A a few years back. The tracks featured not only Buddy on piano, but also a 42 piece orchestra featuring some of the best Jazz musicians in the States. Not only did he share the tracks to use at my own shows, he gave me so much advice, guidance and a friendship that has lasted to this day. Buddy recently performed a sell out show at The Boatyard in Essex where I was invited to sing alongside him. I got the chance to swing some standards alongside not only Buddy, but the London based Jazz sensation Atila, The Rat Pack Cast, Paul Young and Michelle Collins … What a night! Just recently his wife Lezlie asked if I would perform at his 90th Birthday celebration in Las Vegas … And so the story continues …
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