Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Singer, 85 performs at birthday celebration

Singer, 85 performs at birthday celebration

EVERGREEN perfomer Vince Hill celebrated his 85th birthday with a garden party at his home in Lower Shiplake.

The Edelweiss singer welcomed about 80 family and friends, including singer and actress Anita Harris, to drinks and a barbecue on the lawn.

The two stars performed Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World together at the celebration on Sunday.

Hill, whose career has spanned more than 55 years, wore a shirt saying: “Vintage 1934 aged to perfection.”

He said: “My birthday was on April 16 and it was quite a significant one so I didn’t think I wanted to have it in the week. It was a milestone and I just thought ‘I’m going to do it right’. I never thought I’d get there!

“It couldn’t have been better, the sun was shining and we had wonderful weather.

“It was wonderful having Anita there as she’s such a wonderful person and just divine. We had a laugh and she enjoyed it very much.

“It gave me a day I’ll never forget. I’m still opening cards and bottles!

“I’ll do it again in five years’ time if I make 90.”

Hill also sang Make Someone Happy, I Love Being Here with You, After You've Gone and Words by the Bee Gees with helped from his guests.

He was accompanied by his band — Ken McCarthy on piano, Steve Smith on bass and drummer Paul Shepherd.

His sister Valerie Marsden and her daughter Mandy Chaplin also performed.

“We had gentle music — no rock ’n ’roll,” joked the singer.

Among the guests was his former pianist Phil Hinton, with whom he worked for 12 years, who flew from America with his wife Kimberley as a surprise.

Hill said he was thinking about his late wife Annie, who died in 2016, aged 77, during the day.

He said: “I wish Annie had been there, she would have loved it.”

He thanked people for attending and helping out, particularly his assistant Pauline Buckett, who organised the party.

Hill will perform his final farewell show at the Belgrade Theatre in his home town of Coventry on June 4 on what would have been his 60th wedding anniversary.

He said: “People are already saying ‘you’ve done more comebacks than Frank Sinatra’. I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’ve been on the road for 60 years!”

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