With Sinatra

With Sinatra at the White House

Not only have I had the thrill of working in some of the most fabulous venues like the Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls, the Prince Of Wales Theatre and The Theatre Royal Drury Lane but also the White House in Washington. I did a benefit concert there once with many famous names in the audience including Bob Hope, Shirley McLaine and Frank Sinatra. There wasn’t a band so all the acts had to be self-contained. At the end of the show all the acts were lined up on stage to meet President Carter and the audience started cheering and asking for Frank to sing a song. He came up on stage and I suddenly realized that I was the only one there who could play for him. He looked at me and said ‘My Way, in D’. I started playing the intro thinking ‘I’d better get this right otherwise I’ll end up with a horse’s head on my pillow in the morning!’. Anyway it went great and the audience went crazy when Frank had finished. When the applause had died down he said “Listen folks, next time I go on tour, forget the Count Basie orchestra, I’m taking this guy with me” pointing to me. It was one of the proudest moments of my life and the start of a long friendship.