Music at GMC: Rosemary Squires Concert

Music at GMC

Rosemary Squires Concert: Life is a Song

Concert: Rosemary Squires in 'Life is a Song'
Date: Saturday 12th September, 2009
Performers: Rosemary Squires
Brian Dee (piano)
Colin Green (guitar)
CD available: Yes - please contact Music at GMC here

In the evening of a beautiful sunny day in September, we were delighted to host a concert given by the legendary Rosemary Squires.
What a lovely evening! The audience were captivated by Rosemary's stories and music. Details of Rosemary's background and some pictures follow...

Rosemary Squires

'Honeysuckle Rose' - it's a signature tune that has stood the test of time.
There is a timelessness about Rosemary Squires, which is one of the qualities that makes her so special. She was never a megastar but she has seen megastars come and go while she remains in demand.
It is a contradiction in her profession that she never sought the limelight. Even at the height of her career, surrounded by the glitz of big-time show business, Rosemary preferred to go home for a cup of tea after a show rather than to a late-night party.
The distinguished conductor, composer and arranger, Neil Richardson, said: "She may have missed out on some publicity but there was never any scandal for the gossip columnist. She could then have been a very different Rose from the lady we all know and love."

Her many fans are known to include the late Queen Mother and two former prime ministers, Edward Heath and John Major. Then there is Denis Healey who, when he met Rosemary by chance in a London shop, with old world chivalry, kissed her hand with the greeting 'Ma chère chanteuse'.
Fan clubs were never her style but the epithets abound: 'Radio 2's First Lady of Song'; 'Britain's best-known big band singer'; 'Queen of the Jingles'. Yet perhaps her proudest is to be known as a 'musicians' singer' who can call upon the support of the finest talent in the land.
Equally at home in the Albert Hall, the London Palladium, Salisbury Cathedral or Ronnie Scott's Club, Rosemary's versatility is legendary. An early ambition to be a jazz singer flourished into big band, cabaret, concert hall and even Variety, which was expected once you hit the big time.

Having recorded on almost every major label, her record sales run into millions. Tune in to BBC Radio 2, Saga FM, Jazz FM or the numerous local radio stations that still play her kind of music and it's only a matter of time before you will hear a track with that distinctive West Country burr. Veteran broadcaster Sheila Tracy reckons Rosemary is the only lady vocalist who actually sings with an accent!
Reader's Digest paid her a compliment too, choosing her as one of the four stars on their CD compilation set entitled 'Great Stars Great Songs'.
Her frequent guest appearances with star names, from Ted Heath (the other one!) to Johnny Dankworth and Humphrey Lyttelton, led to regular spots with the BBC's Big Band and Concert Orchestras, with whom she later toured.
Radio and television series of her own were followed by frequent broadcast appearances in Europe and later the 'Johnny Carson Show', coast to coast in America.
If you were big in television at that time, agents insisted that you toured theatres and Rosemary did, often topping the bill, on one occasion above two little-known comedians called Morecambe and Wise.

Rosemary Squires is unique among the stars of our time, havinf shared top billing at all the major venues with just about every big name on both sides of the Atlantic - from Danny Kaye to Sammy Davis Jnr, from Cliff Richard to Ken Dodd.
Her virtuosity is unequalled across the whole spectrum of show business - broadcasting, cabaret, theatre, concert hall, films, recording - and even jingles.
This is what 'GIGS, GIGGLES and GOSSIP' is really all about: a fascinating and entertaining look back on a lifetime of enduring popularity at the top of her profession.
Rosemary remains in demand and amazingly popular among her fellow artistes. It was star pianist George Shearing who said: "I'll play for her any time." Humphrey Lyttelton declared her latest CD to be "world class".
On Radio 3 recently, speaking from her home in Arizona, international arranger and composer Angela Morley rated Rosemary and Mel Tormé as her 'two favourite singers'. Rosemary is happy to be in that company. She was honoured in 2004 by the award of MBE for services to music and charity.

Now living back in Salisbury, her home town, with her husband Frank and her cat Susie, whilst pacing herself these days Rosemary has no immediate plans for retirement. But then, as long as her fans want to listen and she continues to enjoy entertaining them, why should she?

Extract from programme notes for 'Gigs, Giggles and Gossip' (the alternative titles for the show) written by Jason Baille.


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