Monday, August 04, 2014

Music and sunshine at the Summertime Swing

Laurie London was just 13 when he had a smash hit in the UK and the USA in 1957 with He's Got The Whole World In His Hands. After failing to find an equally successful follow up, he gave up the music business and disappeared from public sight for decades. But now he is back, looking well, singing strongly and with a nice line in humour in between numbers. Laurie was one of the stars of the 10th annual Summertime Swing, located in the gorgeous grounds of Saint Hill Manor near East Grinstead, the UK headquarters of the Scientologists, which took place on a beautifully sunny day. Backed by the excellent seven piece swing band the Jive Aces, as were all the acts, Laurie began with Take The Hand Of A Fool and followed with Hank Williams' Cold Cold Heart and This Little Light Of Mine, before finishing with his 1957 smash. In between numbers he amused the crowd with jokes about DJ for the day Mike Read (the son of Tony Blackburn, he suggested) - see photo below - and members of the band. Very good he was too.
The Jive Aces are the instigators of this annual one day event and they provided the audience with some great swing tunes, including All The Cats, Beyond The Sea, Ain't Misbehaving and the self-penned La Dolce Vita. They were supported by musical theatre star Cassidy Janson and guest trumpeter Antonio Socci and their enthusiasm and humour made for a great afternoon's entertainment.

First guest act on stage were the East Grinstead Ukelele Club who, Mike Read said, had travelled literally yards to be with them.
Also on the bill, and putting on an excellent show, was Woodies favourite Vince Eager, another artist whose career began in the 1950s. He kicked off with Such A Night and followed with Gumdrop, It's Only Make Believe and Mean Woman Blues. Highly enjoyable.

Further musical entertainment was provided by Ray Gelato, whose swing act fitted perfectly with that of the Jive Aces. His set included Whisky On the Shelf, Nosey Joe, Dean Martin's Everybody Loves Somebody (a duet with Cassidy) and I Want To Be Like You.
Here's another photo of Laurie London.
Nick Cobban.


At 3:01 pm , Blogger Nick said...

John Howard commented: Good review, but Laurie's first number was Fools Fall in Love, originally by The Drifters, covered by Elvis.


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