Michael Dores’s Christmas Celebrations – Central Hall, Grimsby

Talented musical duo return to their roots. Two of Grimsby’s brightest musical stars dazzled in a special Christmas concert. Michael Dore and Gary Williams took to the stage together for the first time at the town’s central hall on Saturday.

The relaxed and informal event showcased two local talents who have sung in some of the biggest music venues around the world. Both put on a polished performance and looked to be enjoying themselves in the more intimate setting. The Leo Solomon trio were on top form and started the night off perfectly with smooth and relaxing music.

Grimsby born Michael sung some popular Big Band numbers including Frank Sinatra’s World on a String.

Gary who is from Immingham, was the guest singer and performed Get Your Kicks On Route 66 as well as an alternative version – by swappingthe glamorous American setting for the A56 in Yorkshire. The relaxed mood worked and the evening was a lot of fun.

The second half allowed the audience to test their voices, singing along to popular Christmas numbers, including On the Twelfth Day of Christmas. The Barnetby Silver Band was superb, creating the perfect festive atmosphere.

Michael said; “I have been coming back to do shows in Grimsby for 10 years and I love being back. It is always exciting. I love doing the big venues, like the Albert Hall, but it is more exciting when there are people in the audience you have known for a long time. It is a bit scary as well. They have seen you grow up and you want to do a good job. Some people have been coming every year and are really staunch supporters, which is really fantastic.”

Gary, who will be performing in the Ross Kemp Hall at the Duncombe Street venue on Mothering Sunday said; “I used to sing with Stage One and there are people here who know me from that time when I was 18 – which was a long time ago.” Grimsby Evening Telegraph

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Gary plays the palace!

Last Thursday night [16th June], Gary Williams had the honour of performing at Buckingham Palace for the His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The evening was a formal ‘thank you’ to the American supporters of The Prince’s Trust charity. Celebrity guests.

Backed by John Wilson and his Orchestra, Gary sang a selection of songs from the MGM musicals. He was joined by singer Kim Criswell for ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ and ‘That’s Entertainment’.

Gary said, “the whole evening was a great thrill! Straight after the concert we were introduced to Charles, Camilla and some of the guests, including Michael Caine and Joan Rivers, who were great fun! They gave us beautiful rooms to change in at the front of the palace – so our view was through the gates out at the tourists on the other side – we even had balconies, but managed to resist the temptation to wave!”

It’s a busy time for Gary. The following day he flew to Dublin for a sell-out Dean Martin tribute concert with the RTE Orchestra and from there to Italy to join Crystal Cruises, then back to London for the Royal Garden Hotel. Grimsby Evening Telegraph

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Let There be Love: A Tribute to Nat “King” Cole

Symphony HallCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra John Wilson – conductor, Gary Williams – vocalist

A full house greeted conductor John Wilson and vocalist Gary Williams for what was to be a magical evening bringing together the CBSO and the American Songbook with the emphasis on the songs sung by Nat “King” Cole.

There were 22 planned numbers including 2 instrumentals to give Gary a short break in each half and the 20 vocals demonstrated his ability to sing both ballads and up-tempo arrangements. We were also treated to 2 encores “Let There Be Love” and “Route 66” with some special lyrics changing it to “Route A56” and providing references to places like Barnsley and Pontefract which coming not far from them I thought very amusing. But let’s get back to the evening proper. It is easy to see and sense when an audience is enjoying themselves and as Gary started off with a real winner in the up-tempo number “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” then his first ballad of the night “On the Street Where You Live” and quickly following it up with the classic Gordon Jenkins arrangement of “Stardust” it was clear he had already won over the audience. And to be honest that was the pattern that proved to be a winning combination of the CBSO and Gary Williams. The applause was loud and long and as Gary said it was a shame that the Controller of BBC Radio 2 could not have been there to see a full house for “Our kind of music”. We should hear more of this style of music on the BBC.

The CBSO with over 70 instrumentalists created a magical sound that can be as soft as a feather or as loud as an aeroplane but always exactly right for the song in question. John Wilson made great use of some classic arrangements from Gordon Jenkins with for example a most beautiful reading of “Stay As Sweet As You Are” which I believe dates back to when Gordon Jenkins was the arranger and conductor for 6 years on Dick Haymes, “Auto-Lite Show” in the 1940s. Gary sang this gentle song flawlessly and every single word could be heard perfectly. There were also plenty of swinging numbers too in arrangements by Billy May: “Walking My Baby Back Home”; “Say It Isn’t So”; “Just One of Those Things” and “The Song Has Ended”. Likewise, Nelson Riddle arrangements were aplenty: “Smile”; “Somewhere Along the Way”; the ever popular “Mona Lisa” which again Gary performed perfectly; “Unforgettable”; “Dance, Ballerina, Dance” and “Nature Boy”. There were also some wonderful George Shearing arrangements: “L.O.V.E”, “Pick Yourself Up” and “Let There Be Love”. The material, the orchestra, the arrangements, the soloists and the vocalist were the best and we could not have asked for more. Even the members of the CBSO were applauding after the 2 encores. The publicity for the show used the song title “Unforgettable” and that is how I shall think of the evening. Running time 2 hours 10 minutes including the interval. Clive Fuller for “Encore Magazine”

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Clive Davis reviews Alone Together for the Sunday Times

Michael Buble is the not only singer keeping the Sinatra flame alive. Britain's Gary Williams has, in fact, been working this side of the saloon for quite some time. His model this time is not so much the insouciant playboy of Songs for Swingin' Lovers as the pure romantic of In the Wee Small Hours. Williams could not have asked for a better companion on the journey than the conductor John Wilson, the Geordie arranger responsible for the lush sound of Kevin Spacey's film tribute to Bobby Darin. If Williams's voice is a little on the light side, Wilson's orchestra is always on hand to supply a velvet backdrop. Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins would surely have approved. Clive Davis

Review of ‘Alone Together’ for Shropshire Weekend Post

Gary Williams wasn’t really born in down-at-heal Grimsby three decades ago. In a parallel universe, the crooner was born in sun-kissed Monterey in a golden era of smart suits, fast cars, beautiful women and rat packs. Williams is a great interpreter of the American songbook and has the ring of authenticity. Alone Together is an unashamed throwback to the halcyon days of swing. Andy Richardson

A Song for Our Dear Friend Mark

One of Immingham's most famous sons returned to his musical roots to help raise money in memory of an old school friend. Gary Williams, one of the Grimsby area's greatest singing sensations, joined up with Immingham's Pelham Singers for a Christmas concert of Yuletide melodies at St Andrew's Church. Gary was born in Brewster Avenue, Immingham, and went to school with Mark Hole.

Mark (31), from Habrough, died from meningitis two years ago. His mother, Elaine Hole (59), of Cotham Gardens, Keelby, is a member of the Pelham Singers ladies' choir. She invited Gary to join them for a benefit concert. After an initial postponement, he joined the choir at St Andrew's Church, Immingham, for a resounding concert for Christmas.

Gary has finished his European tour with The Rat Pack, a tribute to Frank Sinatra and his contemporaries, which he is due to restart in February. He said: "Mark was my best friend at school. Even when we left school and got our first jobs we hung out together. "It was a terrible shock when I was told he had died. I did not know much about meningitis, but when you know someone who has had it you pay more attention. Mark was a good friend and a very sincere guy. He was ambitious and a great friend to have. He was so young when it happened - it is wrong. Things like that are not meant to happen. It does not make sense."

The singer said he hoped the concert would raise more awareness about the risks of meningitis. Gary, who has performed all over the world, joined Grimsby's Stage One when he left Immingham School, where both he and Mark were educated. Gary said: "I still see some of the old teachers around town and it is good to meet them after all those years.

"And I was blown away by the sound the choir makes. They have a lot of enthusiasm and energy. The concert is in memory of Mark, but it was not a sad occasion - it was a positive thing." Mark died in Aberdeen while he was working for BP. He contracted the virulent form of meningitis and died within days. Mrs Hole said her son's ashes were scattered over the course at Immingham Golf Club, where he and Gary played. The concert, at St Andrew's Church last Friday, raised funds for the special care baby unit at Grimsby's Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital. The choir is now looking forward to putting on another concert on July 8 to raise cash for Meningitis Research. Peter Craig for The Grimsby Evening Telegraph

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Radio 2's David Jacobs Talks About 'Alone Together'

"Just over a year ago I was constantly telling you where we could meet up around the country when I was appearing with Gary Williams in the Legend of Sinatra show. We had such a very happy time working together, and there’s news of perhaps more to come. Gary is a splendid artist and although he has made several albums in the past they lacked the big orchestral backing which his talent deserves. This has all changed as at last he’s been in the studio with that British orchestra or orchestras led by John Wilson. Gary’s new CD on the Vocalion label is called quite simply ‘Alone Together’ and it’s a shear joy from start to finish."

Review of 'Alone Together' for 'In Tune' Magazine

In his liner note for the album Gary says “ I want to record an album of great songs with the best arranger, best producer and the best orchestra possible” I have to agree with him when he says “This CD is that ambition realised…” I cannot think of any other recent album of great songs that has sent a shiver up my spine not once but several times during listening. The last time this happened to me was when I first heard Dick Haymes sing ‘Where or When’ on his now classic 1955 LP ‘Rain or Shine’ and here we have Gary singing that very same song. To achieve the happy marriage that occurs on this CD song after song must tell the listener something good. I hate comparisons and always try to avoid them but this album brought back the atmosphere created at many a Capitol session. The combination of the John Wilson orchestra, his superb soloists and Gary is a winning formula and one, which has been built through working together for many concerts. The sheer size and excellence of the orchestra assembled explains how and why so magical a sound has been created.

Gary Williams should now be well known to every music lover in the country for it is his interpretation and ability to sing ballads and up-tempo songs combined with faultless orchestrations and playing that creates this magic. It is refreshing to hear Alec Wilder’s “I’ll Be Around” given a definitive performance and new life being brought to Johnny Mercer’s “I Remember You”. And in the year of great interest in all things Cole Porter, Gary comes in with 3 classics “Why Shouldn’t I?” “Just One of Those Things” and the aptly titled “You’re Sensational”. The songs here make up a who’s who of composers and I can hear this CD being played on many a retrospective of their work both now and in years to come.

In his liner notes BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Russell Davies remarks upon the availability of a full orchestra listing. It is rare to find such dedication on all fronts as so many labels cut corners but not here. A special mention must go to the sound engineers, Chris Bolster and Mike Dutton without whose ability we might not have the audible feast on offer. Overall, this is a must for anyone interested in the art of vocal expression. Clive Fuller - ‘In Tune’ Magazine

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Radio 2's Malcolm Laycock plugs 'Alone Together'

Mike Dutton at Vocalion has been busy on other fronts. This summer he put singer Gary Williams with the John Wilson Orchestra into studio 2 at EMI’s Abbey Road. I have to say that Gary Williams is outstanding through every single number, the best I’ve ever heard him. So just when you thought that record companies were not making such records anymore, up pops “Alone Together” – that’s the album’s title. Plays "They Can’t Take That Away from Me"

Wonderful! The Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”. And I must congratulate Gary Williams for his performance throughout, Mike Dutton for his superb sound balancing, John Wilson and his orchestra for their beautiful playing, and Andrew Cottee for writing such classy arrangements. A great young team of talents which bodes well for the future! And “Alone Together” is on Vocalion CDSA 6809. That’s CDSA 6809.

BBC Radio 2

“Packing them in” Michael Darvell meets Gary Williams, one of the company of ‘The Rat Pack’

The astonishing worldwide success of The Rat Pack is really about the music. The fact that there are three gentlemen on stage at the Strand Theatre, recreating the performance styles of Sinatra, Dean Martin And Sammy Davis Jr also has something to do with it, but it’s the material – songs such as ‘Fly me to the Moon’, ‘Come Fly With Me’, ‘Volare’, ‘My Way’, ‘Once In a Lifetime’ – that audiences love to hear. Of course, much pleasure is also derived from the actual performances of the artists who amazingly recreate the singing stars who were part of the ‘Rat Pack’. Gary Williams is a young singer who, on and off, has been appearing in the Rat Pack at the Strand Theatre, taking over the role of Sinatra when Stephen Triffitt or Chris Mann have been in the Canadian production of the show. He is currently playing the part in Munich, but will no doubt be returning to London. Gary had just released a new CD when I met him. It’s called Alone Together and has some of the best songs ever written: ‘More Than You Know’, ‘Where or When’, ‘I Remember You’, ‘Just One of Those Things’, ‘Time After Time’ etc. he hopes to go on making albums like this as long as there is an audience to buy them. Judging by the reception at the Strand Theatre, Gary has a captive audience on tap. Next year he has a new touring show called Music to Watch Girls By, based on the songs of Andy Williams, Bobby Darin, Eddie Fisher and Matt Monroe – his kind of music.

“I love this style of entertainment and there are a lot of people out there who love it too. I know it’s a cliché to say it, but there is a resurgence of interest in this kind of music because it is great music. I like coming in to this show when they need me and that’s perfect for me because I like the variety of the work. I think its good fun, healthy entertainment. There’s a new audience of older and younger people coming to see it. Last night there were loads of young people in – it was like a sea of young people out there, which was great. There are a lot of people would come to see Frank, Dean and Sammy but who wouldn’t necessarily go to see, say, Les Misérables.

What’s also great about this show is the big band which people just love to see. As well as getting people back into the theatre, The Rat Pack has got people seeing this sort of music live. They might not go and hear something like the Syd Lawrence Band because they consider themselves Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra fans rather than big band fans, but they come here and really enjoy that big band sound.” London What's On

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Preview of 'Alone Together' for Journal Into Melody magazine

This CD arrived just as we were going to press, so it has been slotted in to this feature literally at the last minute. This means that space is limited, so the following comments should be regarded as a ‘teaser’ to a feature on Gary that will appear in our next issue. RFS members who saw him with the magnificent John Wilson Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in the Spring of 2003 will know that he certainly understands how to handle a song. Other readers will have seen him in various concerts around Britain and there is no doubt that he is building a strong following of loyal fans. Although Gary often sings songs that are associated with the great stars of the past half century, he doesn’t try to copy them note for note. Sensibly he is developing his own style, and this new CD must surely be the very best thing he has done to date. He can handle the ballads and swing numbers with the same gentle ease and it all seams so effortless. Yet in the background there is the strong impression that you are listening to a fine young singer who has worked hard at his craft, and who has a great future ahead of him.

His choice of material includes several titles that are lesser known (full marks for that) and it is so pleasing to hear some unfamiliar verses. The CD booklet informs us that the lush orchestrations are by Andrew Cottee – we must find out some more about him. The John Wilson Orchestra perform as brilliantly as always, and this is a superior quality product from start to finish. It should be in the Christmas stocking of everyone who appreciates the finest popular music that is around in 2004. David Ades for Journal Into Melody

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The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas, Bradford Alhambra

Leaving the Bradford Alhambra following a performance of The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas, one can’t help but feel a deep sense of disappointment. Disappointment that we will never see the likes of Frank, Dino and Sammy again. If they were anything like these three men who brought there spirits to life on stage of the Bradford theatre, they really must have been something. The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas takes the audience to one of the nights that Sinatra, Martin and Davis Jr performed at the Copa Room of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. In 1960, Sinatra gathered his buddies together to make the movie Ocean’s Eleven. They would film during the day and put on their show in the evenings.

Gary Williams, Timothy Sell and E Clayton Cornelious, playing Sinatra, Martin and Davis Jr, evoke the spirits of the three men in a way that is so spot-on it’s spooky.

Ol’ Blue Eyes opens up with the night with pitch perfect renditions of songs including I’ve Got You Under My Skin and The Lady Is A Tramp. It is amazing to see the essence of Sinatra live once again. When he is joined on stage by Sell and Cornelious, the show and the effect is jaw-dropping.

No-one will ever be as talented as Frank, Dino and Sammy, but the three come together to create something greater than the sum of their parts and a show that is staggeringly wonderful. Cornelious slips in to the soft shoes of Davis Jr effortlessly – his performance of Mr Bojangles is spine-tingling – and bear of a man Timothy Sell charms the audience with a smile brighter than any of the stage’s spotlights. A set that provides a simple, yet effective backdrop creates a home for an incredibly talented band which has their moment in the spotlight. Evocative, amazing, wonderful. Makes you disappointed that we’ll never see the the real thing again, but optimistic that their spirits live on. Review by Nick Ahad, Yorkshire Post

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Sinatra Tribute Night, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

It isn't every day that a vocalist gets a gig with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, complete with conductor John Wilson, as his backing group. It happened to singer Gary Williams on Saturday and he rose to the occasion magnificently and put on a memorable show recalling the music of arguably the greatest entertainer of all time, Francis Albert Sinatra. But this was not another booze and broads Rat Pack show built around the on-and-off stage shenanigans of Messrs Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr in the Las Vegas of the 1950s and 1960s.

The Rat Pack series also featured some great music but John Wilson and Gary Williams have taken it a stage further and stripped away everything except the music which the pair have elevated to concert hall status.

With those famous scores by Nelson Riddle, Billy May and others meticulously transcribed from the original recordings, Gary Williams and the orchestra turned in superb performances of smooth ballads and energetic swingers.

For this concert the RLPO was augmented by a jazz rhythm section led by pianist James Pearson with Matthew Skelton at the drums and this provided the vital spark that fired up these challenging charts.

The orchestra was also heard in its own right on some pieces, one of which was Without a Song. This was a fine example of Nelson Riddle's writing talents which created a kaleidoscope of musical moods and textures. Gary Williams performed so many great songs that it would be difficult to pick out the best but his version of All The Way was particularly outstanding.

It was a truly memorable concert and a fitting tribute to Frank Sinatra and the composers, arrangers and musicians who served him so well.

By Stan Woolley, Daily Post

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The Legend of Sinatra Gala Performance, Symphony Hall Birmingham

'I always think that if the audience will not let a performer leave the stage after an encore then this is proof that he has entertained them exceptionally. That is what happened last night at Symphony Hall when vocalist Garry Williams treated us to 2 hours of brilliant singing. Having read the flyer I was expecting a very good 17-piece orchestra conducted by John Wilson and so you can imagine my surprise and pleasure to find a 30-piece concert orchestra on stage. The capacity audience were treated to a sound that only an orchestra of this size can produce and song after song it confirmed that this is what people want to hear. The Legend of Sinatra features many classic Sinatra hits but please, Gary is not a Sinatra impersonator, he is far too good for that. The songs are given his own treatment and I counted 24 in all including ‘Lets face the music and dance’, ‘Come Fly With Me’, ‘Witchcraft’, ‘Mack the knife’, ‘Luck be a lady’, ‘My Kinda Town’, ‘New York, New York’ and many more. Gary is an excellent vocalist with considerable range and the ability to sing both ballads and up tempo songs equally as well.

The John Wilson orchestra was superb throughout and the concert orchestra sounded so good in the renowned Symphony Hall a venue of which Henry Mancini once said ‘This is the finest concert hall I have ever played and I’ve done them all’. It was wonderful to hear the string section, several of them at least and they were at their sweetest for ‘Put your dreams away’ and the soloists for the big band numbers such as Mike Lovett (trumpet) on Harry James ‘I’m confessin’ were outstanding.

The ever-popular David Jacobs a man who has by his own admission been doing it for years’ joined Gary and gave his own personal insight into Frank Sinatra's amazing story, recounting their many meetings over the years. The rapport between Gary and David is unmistakable something they developed during a long and successful tour last year of this show. This concert was a one-off put together for the night and what a memorable occasion it was. Let’s hope they are back again and soon.'

Clive Fuller - Encore Magazine

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A Celebration of Frank Sinatra with John Wilson and the Hallé Orchestra

If, like me, you were around in the 50’s you’ll recall how a new Frank Sinatra LP was a great event. You played them over and over, not just for Frank’s flawless singing but to marvel at those wonderful arrangements of rhythmic invention penned by Nelson Riddle and Billy May etc. Did American Popular Music ever get any better than this? On the 15th June at Manchester’s splendid Bridgewater Hall a minor miracle happened, yet again performed by the one and only John Wilson who was conducting the Hallé Orchestra in an evening of Sinatra classic arrangements. As John told the capacity audience, many people think you can just go into a music store and buy the arrangements. They only exist on recordings, and it is a long tedious G-awful job recreating the orchestral parts for performance. John and Andrew Cottee, who also played keyboards, did all the transcriptions. I don’t know what the audience expected of the evening: would the Hallé understand the music?; would they be stiff?; would they swing? All these fears fell away at the end of the first number, Billy May’s punchy arrangement of “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” when the audience’s applause and cheers exploded in realisation of what a treat we were all in for.

Twenty-one songs followed and included “Swinging Down The Lane”, “Nancy”, “I’ve Got The World on a String”, “From this Moment on”, “You Make Me feel so Young”, “Lady is a Tramp”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “I Have Dreamed” etc …simply the best Nelson Riddle and Billy May charts. For me (and enough to make any society member green with envy), the highlight of the evening had to be the four numbers arranged by Bob Farnon – “London by Night”, “A Garden in the Rain”, “I’ll Follow my Secret Heart”, and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”. Hearing them “live” brings it home to you just how beautiful they are. What a treat.

The vocalist, stepping into Sinatra’s shoes for the evening, was Gary Williams. He made no attempt at impersonation but followed Frank’s vocal line with perfection and phrasing; even Ol’ Blue Eyes would have been pleased with him!

One other treat that evening was the inclusion of five orchestral pieces. The brass section got a thorough work-out on Billy May’s “Brassman’s Holiday” (John was seen to cross himself before the start of this piece), “Solving the Riddle” and Bronislau Kaper’s “Invitation”. The full orchestra played the “High Society-Overture”, “Mind if I Make Love to You”, and “You’re Sensational” with Conrad Salinger contributing to all the arrangements.

This was a wonderful evening of music I thought I’d never hear live. A big ‘thank you’ must again go to John Wilson for making this happen. So much time and effort obviously has gone into bringing this music to life, and it is to be hoped that other concerts will follow in the South (what a nice position for us northerners to be in, for a change!). Reviewed by Malcolm Frazer - Journey Into Melody Magazine

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Now Cliff’s A Fan Of Gary’s!

'Gary Williams, who opens in his Swingin’ On Broadway Show at the Bournemouth Pier Theatre on Sunday, is proving a favourite entertainer with the stars himself. The popular vocalist, who is also due to appear to on Gloria Hunniford’s Channel 5 daily magazine set programme Open House tomorrow, was invited to perform at her husband’s birthday party recently and quite an audience was there! Among the 60 or so guests at the afternoon tea party at her house were Sir Cliff Richard, James Galway, Richard and Judy, Brian Conley and Bobby Davro. Gary performed songs by Frank Sinatra along with showstoppers from the great musicals – giving a sneak preview of what he has lined up for his Bournemouth audiences.

Cliff Richard entered into the party spirit, too, by giving an impromptu set of rock and foil music in the back garden and was full of praise for Gary. Gary said: “The following evening I was at home watching the Jubilee party at the palace and Cliff was there singing the same songs he had done for us in front of a TV audience of millions – it was quite surreal! He was lovely and charming and very complimentary to me.”

Gary will be starring in his own show each Sunday until September 8 along with Australian singer Sally Bourne, who has performed in Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Miserables and played Madonna’s maid in the film Evita.' Bournemouth Echo

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Swingin' On Broadway Preview

'Gary Williams, who opens in his Swingin’ On Broadway Show at the Bournemouth Pier Theatre on Sunday, is proving a favourite entertainer with the stars himself. The popular vocalist, who is also due to appear to on Gloria Hunniford’s Channel 5 daily magazine set programme Open House tomorrow, was invited to perform at her husband’s birthday party recently and quite an audience was there! Among the 60 or so guests at the afternoon tea party at her house were Sir Cliff Richard, James Galway, Richard and Judy, Brian Conley and Bobby Davro. Gary performed songs by Frank Sinatra along| with showstoppers from the great musicals – giving a sneak preview of what he has lined up for his Bournemouth audiences.

Cliff Richard entered into the party spirit, too, by giving an impromptu set of rock and foil music in the back garden and was full of praise for Gary. Gary said: “The following evening I was at home watching the Jubilee party at the palace and Cliff was there singing the same songs he had done for us in front of a TV audience of millions – it was quite surreal! He was lovely and charming and very complimentary to me.”

Gary will be starring in his own show each Sunday until September 8 along with Australian singer Sally Bourne, who has performed in Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Miserables and played Madonna’s maid in the film Evita.'

Bournemouth Echo

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The Legend of Sinatra, Wyvern Swindon

'Gary Williams has four albums, radio, TV and concerts worldwide to his many credits. His love affair with Swing, and Frank Sinatra, started aged four when his mother played him the famous Nice and Easy album. Gary has a charm that captivates his audience. His style of singing is impeccable. He is not a Sinatra impersonator, but a singer who knows how to produce a song his way. The audience were treated to some favourite Sinatra songs that Gary make his own. I was particularly bowled over by his easy control of the ballads. You could have heard a pin drop. Mack the Knife was delivered with a great deal of panache, as were many of the truly great swing numbers Like New York, My Kinda Town and Leroy brown.

With Gary was radio favourite David Jacobs, who has the proud boast of knowing and dining with Sinatra. His wonderful BBC voice held us with his anecdotes and reminiscences of times gone by. He even sang us a song. Is there no end to this man’s talents? Great stuff David.

Also singing her heart out with Gary was Tiffany Miramon, who gave a splendid rendition of Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walking. You can’t have a good singer without an exceptional band. The Metro Swing Band was superb. Adrian Cross was some accompanist, with the rest of the band showing what true swing is all about. Excellent. An entertaining evening for me, and also educational for my 16-year-old daughter who accompanied me. She now knows who first sang all those wonderful songs being brought back to life by today’s pop idols. The latest number one by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman, Something Stupid, is a case in point. As probably the youngest member of the audience, she thoroughly enjoyed the evening and so did every one else. I’m sure Sinatra himself would have been pleased with this one.'

Ros Hollands, Swindon Advertiser

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Gary's Magic Brings Legend Back to Life

'It was Frank Sinatra that drew them in - but it was Gary Williams that everyone left raving about. The 30-year old singer from Grimsby, who served his apprenticeship in working men's clubs, worked his magic on Saturday night. His immaculate delivery, phrasing and interpretation of each song was in keeping with the great song stylist. But this stunning vocalist had far more to offer than a pale imitation of a bygone star. This wasn't an impersonation of Sinatra, but Gary Williams being Gary Williams - a thoroughly charming, likable, charismatic individual with a dazzling smile and personality. And he oozed the confidence and professionalism that tells you this is a talent destined for the top. Working through 40-plus songs he spanned five decades of music capturing every mood from the "saloon singer" smoky bar sounds of One for My Baby to the big swing style sounds of New York, New York. The help narrate some of Sinatra's life story Gary was joined on stage by popular Radio 2 presenter David Jacobs who worked and dined with Sinatra and was able to pepper more than two hours of musical entertainment with amusing and fascinating stories.'

Hilary Porter, Bournemouth Echo. Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth

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Reviving The Magic Of Sinatra

'When it comes to interpreting the songs of Frank Sinatra, big band singer Gary Williams is the business. The 30-year-old entertainer from Grimsby is set to impress audiences in Bournemouth with The Legend of Sinatra, which plays the Pavilion Theatre on Saturday night. Such is the confidence in his appeal that Bournemouth entertainment boss Rob Zuradzki has booked him for a summer season here too. Gary will play the end of the pier every Sunday night for an eight- to 10-week season. The rising star is the latest discovery of top showbiz promoter Derek Block. Gary, who used to work on cruise ships, has made numerous radio broadcasts with the BBC Big Band and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. He will be joined at the Pavilion on Sunday by veteran radio presenter David Jacobs.' Preview, Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth.