Dame Shirley Bassey at the John Barry tribute -2011-

2011 G (blog)

(Special thanks to Peter for the scan)

Composer John Barry remembered at memorial concert (By Neil Smith) Arts reporter, BBC News.

Friends and fans of the late film composer John Barry have celebrated his life and career at a memorial charity concert.

Dame Shirley Bassey was among the performers at the event, held at the Royal Albert Hall in central London.

The musician, best known for his work on Born Free and the James Bond films, died in January aged 77.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed selections from a host of Barry scores.

Broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson opened the tribute, remembering the composer as “a great man of music”.

Barry, he said, had “an intuitive understanding of how to create the perfect union of music and the moving image”.

Those sentiments were echoed by Sir Michael Caine, who appeared via video message to salute “one of the all-time greats”.

“John was one of my oldest and closest friends,” the actor continued, reliving the night he had stayed with the erstwhile bandleader only to be kept awake by him working on one of his most famous compositions.

“I was the first person in the world to hear Goldfinger,” the veteran star recalled. “And I heard it all night.”

Lyricist Don Black remembered Barry as a proud Yorkshire man who remained so, despite living in the US for much of his life.

“I like to say John put the York in New York,” said Black, whose collaborations with the multiple Oscar-winner included the title song from 1966’s Born Free.

The concert also featured excerpts from some less familiar Barry scores, among them music from 1965 comedy The Knack… And How To Get It.

Inevitably, though, it was Barry’s contributions to the Bond series that took precedence at an event attended by several members of the so-called “007 family”.

These included Bond producer Michael G Wilson, Goldfinger’s Shirley Eaton and actress Samantha Bond, who played Miss Moneypenny from 1995 to 2002.

David Arnold, who wrote the music for the last five Bond films, produced the programme with Barry’s widow Laurie and also performed.

The celebrated composer was awarded an OBE in 1999 for services to music.

“John would love to know you were here for him,” said Sir George Martin, declaring that his friend had had “an unerring instinct for what a film needed”.

His tribute followed a ‘Bond Suite’ featuring music from Thunderball, From Russia with Love, You Only Live Twice and others that brought the audience to its feet.

The most sustained applause was saved for Dame Shirley as she took to the stage near the end of the evening to belt out the theme tunes to Diamonds are Forever and Goldfinger.

All profits from the concert will benefit the newly established John Barry Scholarship for Film Compositio, at the Royal College of Music, London

Shirley Bassey & John Barry with the gold disc for Goldfinger

Below some pictures from super fan Julie made at the Royal Albert Hall

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Please leave your comment here:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.