Music legends of yesteryear are winning over a whole new audience thanks to Michael Buble.
The silky voiced star’s rendition of old classics has won over a new and young audience.
And that’s a boon for Rat Pack Live, which recreates the music of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr.
“A few years ago the audience would have been almost totally 50-plus,” reveals Jim Whitley, who takes on the role of Davis in the musical extravaganza that’s heading for big Scottish dates next month.
“But since the emergence of Michael Buble, that’s all changed.
“While there’s still plenty of the older generation, we see kids as young as 10.
“Buble doing things like Come Fly With Me has made that kind of music cool for the younger generation.”
Jim’s joined on stage by Mark Halliday, who has performed as Dino in West End shows, and Richard Shelton, who has won acclaim for his portrayal of Ol’ Blue Eyes.
New York, New York, That’s Amore, My Way, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and Mambo Italiano are just a few of the musical highlights. But there’s plenty of chat and stage presence, too.
“We have a lot of banter and portray them just as close as we can to how they were,” explains dad-of-two Jim.
“There are so many live CDs and YouTube footage of the gags and the ribbing they gave one another.
“Some of it we lift straight, while some of it is our take on it. Frank and Dean were always having a go at Sammy.
“We all have a good chemistry so it’s like old friends having a dig, exactly as they used to do back in the day.”
Being a musical star is Jim’s second career after years as a pro footballer.
He spent nine years at Manchester City before spells at the likes of Norwich and Blackpool and then finishing up at Wrexham.
“My knee started playing up when I was about 31 and after a couple more years I knew that was it,” says Jim.
“Being on stage is a lot more nerve-racking than football. There were 10 other players to blame if something went wrong!”