When the creator of Forever In Blue Jeans, Bob Newman, died last year, it was his wish that the show would go on.
Now, in its 20th year, it is back at the Kings Theatre to celebrate Bob’s legacy and play plenty of feelgood hits from the past 60 years.
It’s a legacy for Bob. He performed last April and died two days later – the audience would never have known. It was literally on with the show.Rachel Cantrell
And for one of the singers, Rachel Cantrell, it will be more nerve-racking than usual as she’ll be playing to her hometown crowd.
Rachel says: ‘I auditioned in 2001 and they must have really liked me – I’ve been in it ever since.
‘Most casts stays two or three years, but I enjoy it, and if it’s not broke don’t fix it. When I first joined it was mostly country music, but it’s changed over the years.’
The show was created by husband and wife country duo Bob Newman and Carole Gordon, who played at the Grand Ol’ Opry and toured with Tammy Wynette. The show originally focussed on the country greats, but has expanded to include hits from the ’50s onwards.
‘We are like a little family, but last year was tough with Bob dying’, says Rachel. ‘He said to Carol: “You will continue, please continue”.
‘It’s a legacy for Bob. He performed last April and died two days later – the audience would never have known. It was literally on with the show.’
With the Red Hot Blue Jeans Band on stage for this tour through popular music, they’ll be playing hits from Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley, Billy Ray Cyrus, The Mavericks, The Carpenters and Carol King plus many more.
Rachel adds: ‘I’m probably more nervous playing here than anywhere else, because I work in the box office part-time between the tours, so everyone will be here.
‘The cast are from all over, but when you’re in your home town, even though it’s always a good show, you want it to be even better.
‘I love it, I forget it’s a job.’
Forever in Blue Jeans is at the Kings on Sunday, doors open 7.30pm. Tickets cost £20. Go to kingsportsmouth.co.uk or call (023) 9282 8282.