Monday, 20 September 2021

Thank you for the music

VINCE HILL has inherited some of his own recordings from one of his biggest fans

VINCE HILL has inherited some of his own recordings from one of his biggest fans.

The 80-year-old singer from Shiplake knew nothing about Rae Wittrick?s devotion to him until after her death in December.

Then the family of the 83-year-old got in touch to offer him her huge collection of his music and Hill gratefully accepted.

The music includes reel-to-reel tape recordings of radio shows, vinyl records from around the world and 5in double plays.

It was delivered to the singer by Ms Wittrick?s sister Priscilla Sharp and her husband Colin on Friday.

Hill said: ?I am absolutely blown away by Rae?s dedication. She must have really loved the sound of my voice.

?I love the collection of reel-to-reel tapes in particular. I have never seen anything like it.?

The Sharps knew Ms Wittrick was a big Vince Hill fan but had no idea about her collection until they came across it when they were emptying her house in in Richford, Essex.

The couple live in Warwick, just a few miles from Coventry, where the singer was born, so were pleased when he accepted their offer.

They delivered a car boot full of old tapes and cassettes packed neatly in boxes. Accompanying the music was a folder full of lists in which each song was noted together with the time its starts on each recording.

Hill said: ?The trouble she must have gone to for this? the hundreds and hundreds of hours.

?The time it would have taken to sit there, set up the equipment and to make the recordings would have been huge.

?To record on cassettes would have been challenging enough and reel-to-reel would have been even more  difficult.

?I will have to take them down to a recording studio to listen to.?

He will add the donation to his own collection of posters, cassettes, videos and records. Mrs Sharp said: ?We wish my sister could have been here too to hand over her collection. She would have been fascinated to see all Vince?s own stuff.?

The collection included some rarer records that Ms Wittrick had bought over the years.

Mr Sharp said: ?There were records not just from England, but from Ecuador, Germany and Canada.?

Ms Whittrick, who worked as a secretary in the City, never married but loved the pop music of her day.

Mr Sharp said: ?She had other singers in her music collection, like Frank Sinatra, but the artist she had most recordings of was Vince because she liked his music best.?

Despite her extensive collection, Ms Wittrick was never able to see her favourite singer live as she suffered from serious travel sickness.

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