It’s time to get in the mood

PUBLISHED: 13:43 03 May 2007 | UPDATED: 15:05 12 May 2010

Paul Barry

Paul Barry

THE thought of the Memphis Belle Swing Orchestra playing at Bassingbourn is an exciting proposition . So says the orchestra s original bandleader Greg Francis as he prepares for a hangar dance in the actual location of the Memphis Belle, the legendary US

THE thought of the Memphis Belle Swing Orchestra playing at Bassingbourn is "an exciting proposition".

So says the orchestra's original bandleader Greg Francis as he prepares for a hangar dance in the actual location of the Memphis Belle, the legendary USAAF Flying Fortress bomber which was based at the airfield during the Second World War.

"We always knew that Bassingbourn was the spiritual home of the Memphis Belle and we even tried to have a hangar dance organised there 15 years ago, but it just didn't happen," he said.

But now it is happening with a hangar dance taking place on Saturday, June 9.

Greg created the orchestra for David Puttman's 1989 film Memphis Belle, and, as he says, the last 17 years have been "quite unbelievable".

"The name Memphis Belle is as strongly recognised today as it was all those years ago," he said.

The orchestra today is led by Paul Barry, who has been its leader for almost six years." He knows everything there is to know about the music," said Greg.

Talking of the music, Greg said: "The orchestra does not play tunes which people don't instantly recognise."

The orchestra's programme includes Glenn Miller's In the Mood and, obviously, Moonlight Serenade; and numbers remembering the likes of Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

The evening will include a number of songs that Harry Connick sang in the film and there will also be an Andrews Sisters-style trio.

Chris Murphy, who is organising the hangar dance, said: "It's quite appropriate that the orchestra should be playing in the actual hangar used by the Memphis Belle.

"It will be something of a homecoming."

Tickets for the hangar dance will cost £20 each and must be pre-purchased.

Tickets will NOT be available on the evening.


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