Command Performance

If you could summon up musicians from any era to play just for you in concert, at a venue of your choice – who would you choose and where would it happen?

Let’s say that there are two halves of 2 hours each and you can have as many – or as few – bands or artists as you like. But the gig starts at 8.30pm and finishes at 1am, with a half-hour intermission.

It’s surprisingly difficult to work out who you want there, in what order-and – as you’re running the show – also select what gets played. But here goes;

The gig is at The Albert Hall in London and my MCs are Bob Harris, of ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ fame, and Greil Marcus, the American author and music critic.

Bob Harris  introduces;

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan. They will play ‘Bolero‘ (Ravel)

Fats Waller and his Rhythm will play ‘Your Feet’s Too Big’ and ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’

Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five will Play ‘West End Blues’.

Frank Sinatra and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra will perform ‘Nature Boy’ and ‘Come Fly With Me’.

The Charles Mingus Sextet will perform ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’ and ‘Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting’.

Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley backed by The Blue Moon Boys will perform a medley of hits from their Sun Records days.

Chuck Berry will perform ‘Nadine’, ‘No Particular Place to Go’, ‘Brown Eyed Handsome Man’ and ‘Too Much Monkey Business’. Backing will be provided by Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Linda Ronstadt and Tina Turner.

The first half will be closed by Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin performing a medley of their hits including ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ and ‘Respect’. The backing will be provided by members of The Blues Brothers Band, including Steve Cropper, Matt Murphy and Donald Dunn

There will now be an intermission. The second half will appear in the next blog.

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