Rosemary Squires, the only singing star of her era still touring, continues to earn first rate reviews. It’s over 60 years since her first broadcast at the age of 12 and she remains in peak form, giving immense pleasure not only to those of a certain age group but also to their grandchildren who recently rated her “real cool”.
We feature here a recent review of her latest tour:
“Legendary songstress Rosemary Squires served up more than two hours of pure golden entertainment in her show Gigs, Giggles and Gossip at the Guildhall Theatre.
And oh how we loved her! Not simply through a sense of reverence to an ageing star – or should that be ageless, as we all, I suspect, played the guess her age game – but because this was a performance of sheer class and quality.
Just once or twice, a sustained note may have trembled slightly and trailed away, but her voice is still in full bloom, sweet, lilting, at times powerful, but always full of genuine love and feeling for the words and music.
This was wonderful easy-listening fare – the pace never got above laid-back – from a lady who not only commanded the stage but emanated a warmth and affection for her audience, who she gathered up in her arms and said ‘Come into my world’ just as if she was inviting them into her living room for tea and cakes.
She was mesmeric, tripping elegantly across the stage, decorating the songs with the minimum of flourishes, showing her ability to mimic in tributes to Gracie Fields, George Formby and Stanley Holloway – Brahn Boots was delicious – bubbling, still with a hint of a West Country accent, through the potted history of her life, woven like an intriguing thread between the music, and all with the cherished air of a lady who has musically been there, done that and got every T-shirt imaginable.
Without doubt she enjoys blowing her own trumpet. But with a life such as hers she has every right to blow a whacking great tuba, her experiences spoken of with pride, a sense of accomplishment and of endearment to the famous names with whom she had worked.
And how they tripped off her lips – Frankie Vaughan, Alma Cogan, Matt Monro, Lita Rosa, Geraldo, Ted Heath, Syd Lawrence and in America, the likes of Sammy Davis Jnr, Danny Kaye and Fred Astaire. Is there anybody she hasn’t worked with on either side of the Atlantic?
With a career spawned prior to the Second World War – Rosemary, or Rose as she is called, and such as Ken Dodd, are among the few remnants of that great age of entertainment when variety was king – when entertainers learned their art in a learning curve from smoke-ridden working men’s clubs to concert hall.
And all that craft showed, as she cleverly paced herself through the show. When she needed a breather there was her backing group, the Brian Dee Trio – pianist Brian, guitarist Colin Green, and bass player Bill Coleman, who was back at the theatre only weeks after being on the stage with the Kenny Ball Jazzmen – showing their amazing musical pedigree in a number of solo spots.
This still brightly shining star, who has kept faith to a particular genre of music, has been called Britain’s First Lady of Song, Queen of the Jingles – there was a little medley of some of her most famous – and Britain’s Doris Day.
All worthy accolades – but I suspect there are many who, as I do, prefer to think of her as just our English Rose, a national treasure.”
Review by Grantham Journal
Submitted by Frank Lockyer
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