Georgina Jackson Writes…
On a windy afternoon in Birmingham in May 2012 I had one of my dreams come true. Having been given the great honour by Bob Mcdowall the BBC Big Band Special Producer to sing the songs of Peggy Lee with the BBC Big Band.
I arrived at Birmingham Town Hall to be met with a band of my heroes!
The seventeen songs I had to learn had been resounding around our kitchen for months and now was the time to unleash them to the band the audience and the Radio 2 listeners. Luckily, the BBC Big Band didn’t bite me but threw me smiles and encouraging noises across the stage so I began to relax and actually enjoy the experience!
Peggy Lee was a remarkable singer and one of my all-time favourites, she recorded thousands of songs in her career and during the concert we tried to perform songs that covered every decade of her career. I was in no means able to imitate her and that wasn’t the point of the show, just merely to re-visit her songbook and the fabulous big band arrangements within it.
Under the meticulous baton of Jay Craig with peerless Derek Watkins and Mike Lovatt leading the trumpet section, the legendary Gordon Campbell leading the trombones, and the ever stylish Colin Skinner leading the saxes and my dressing room mate and pre-show counsellor Gemma Moore on baritone the band was roaring! Add to that bouncing rhythm section of Tom Gordon on the drums, Jeremy Brown (bass) Graham Harvey (piano) Chris Allard (guitar) and Anthony Kerr (percussion) it really was every big band singers dream!
You can hear the results of the gig on Radio 2 on Mondays the 18th and 25th February at 9.30pm. I really hope you enjoy the experience as much as I did! Thanks again chaps!! x
BBC RADIO 2 BIG BAND SPECIAL