Hello one and all and welcome to my news page. Here you can see me as my two alter egos the ever efficient secretary Prudie Jones, Evette the Spivette and plain old little me as you catch up with all that is current in my world. Regrettably unlike Prudie my spelling is quite frightful at the best of times due to my dyslexia so I shall apologise now for anything which might be shamefully mis-spelt. In the mean time I hope you find this page fun, entertaining and informative and become a regular visitor to my site.

Kind Regards

A Voice in a Million

Horses Hounds & Heroes & Remembering French Horn Player Barry Castle!

Meeting the Horses!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of performing for the Horse Trust in Speen just out-side of Princes Risborough. It was my first visit there and I had been engaged to sing for their “Horses Hounds and Heros” event to tie in with the run up to Armed Forces day. My brief was simple to sing a selection of vintage songs from the 1920s through to the 1970s while people were taking tea in the marque.

I love doing these sorts of events because they are easy for me to do and it’s just a case of selecting charming songs while visitors enjoy the

On Stage for the Horse Trust!

ambience and take refreshments.  I also love to people watch and take in the atmosphere while I’m singing. I’d been booked to perform 3 x 60 minute music sets over the course of the afternoon. The time very quickly flew by as I mixed my music and made sure visitors heard a selection of popular tunes form various decades. I confess I only have two horse related tunes in my repertoire, the most popular one being the “Ascot Gavotte” from “My Fair Lady”,  which visitors thoroughly enjoyed when I performed it in my second set.

Between Sets at the Horse Trust!

I’ve lived in this area for years and I’m astonished I’d never been to the Horse Trust before. When I was a little girl I was mad about horses and I was interested to find out it little more about the Trust.

For 135 years The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses has specialised in providing retirement and respite for working horses and ponies. These hard-working equine public servants have served our nation in the Police, the Army or with charities which use horses to help people. The Horse Trust also provide sanctuary to horses,

Horses on Parade!

ponies and donkeys who have suffered from cruelty or neglect and who are in desperate need of specialist treatment and care.

At the end of afternoon there was a special parade where visitors were able to see and find out more about each horse who in many cases had had distinguished carees serving the Police, Army and the Royal house hold. It was a lovely afternoon and I hope very much I shall have the pleasure of performing for them again in the future.

Making New Friends!

This week I performed the last of my “Happy and Glorious” shows of the season and now it full steam ahead with the Summer and 4th July “Stars and Stripes” shows. I’m getting ready for the Black Country Living Museums 1940s event on the 9th & 10th July and have a number of show plans to complete not to mention out-fits and uniforms to prepare.

I can confirm I will be performing on The Park Stage and my shows for the weekend are as follows:-

Dressed for the Last of My Happy and Glorious Shows!

Saturday 9th July – 11.30am ATS “We’ll Meet Again” 1.30pm 40s Hollywood Glamour “Stage and Screen” 3.30pm US WAC “GI Jive” 8.15pm Evening Dance “In the Mood”

Sunday 10th July – 11.30am Wrens “The Fleets in Port Again”, 1.30pm Hollywood Glamour “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” 3.30pm WAAF “Straighten Up and Fly Right”

I look forward to seeing you!

Yesterday I had the honor of attending a special remembrance afternoon as friends and family came together to remember musician Barry Castle. I met Barry by chance in 2016 and we immediately struck up a rapport. It was lovely

Getting Set for Black Country Living Museum’s 1940s Event!

to hear his daughter Stephanie speak about Barry’s life and see some of the family photos which included shots of his air craft Sprite and Muso which Barry had built and designed himself.

Barry Castle was a remarkable man and played french horn. He had enjoyed a long and distinguished career playing all over the world for all the top names in show business which included every-one from Maria Callas to Freddie Mercury. Sadly he passed away on VE Day the 8th May earlier this year and he will be sadly missed. I know I will miss him immensely. I use to play to him my new musical arrangements and tell him about the pieces I was working on in the recording studio.

Dressed for the 1940s

We use to have long chats about music and I remember him telling me he started his professional career way back in 1957 when he got a job as the resident french horn player at Covent Garden. During that time he played for 9 Ring Cycles which if you know your Wagner is no mean feat. The opera plays over four days and is essentially four operas in one.

I always used to love listening to his stories about being on tour with Frank Sinatra and playing for new up and coming artists in the recording studio such as Tom Jones. Incidentally he told me he was still waiting to be paid his royalties for “Delilah” which made my chuckle! He also played on the Morecambe and Wise show that famous sketch with Shirley Bassy and the boot along with “There is Nothing like a Dame” which stared all the news readers and was classic 1970s TV of the time.

Barry also made up part of Frank Sinatra’s final tour in 1992 which took place at the Barcelona stadium. When I was in Milan I was able to visit La Scala and bring back the new back stage extension plans for Barry to look at. I thought he would be interested having played at the opera house many times. He had also played on countless original film scores from James Bond, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Star Wars to Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark .

I can’t tell you how proud I was to know him and to speak to some-one who knew Richard Bonynge. Richard Bonynge was married to Joan Sutherland and did many wonderful musical arrangements for her including an overture to “The Merry Widow” which Lehar strangely never included as part of his original score. My father adored the Operetta “The Merry Widow” and it was listening to this overture as a child which first inspired my interested in musical arrangements and singing.

I hope Barry was looking down on us all on Friday and enjoyed the occasion as much as we did appreciating his legacy, and what a wonderful treasure chest it is too. RIP Barry and thank-you for all you have given. Your music will live on forever!

That’s all my news for now thank-you for following Toodle Pip and Bye for Now!