Writings about Music

When Count Basie Met Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth, unidentified woman and man, Vera Lynn, Count Basie

Because it was on that second trip to England that I got one of the biggest thrills of my life. We had a spot on the Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium, also known as the Command Performance, the great entertainment event of the year which the royal family attends, and I was introduced to the queen. You can't beat that, not in Great Britain. (Count Basie, Good Morning Blues)

The future Queen Elizabeth in her youth

Queen Elizabeth congratulated and thanked Count Basie for being the highlight of the 1957 Royal Performance in the Presence of Her Majesty the Queen.

Prince Phillip added, "You had them swinging, and for a good cause."

"Basie Band Is Royal Sensation" was the Melody Maker headline.

After hearing the too mournful news of her passing today, I was practicing the piano, and Here, There and Everywhere by four lads she also met seemed to fit Queen Elizabeth, interpreting in the larger sense of the song being about her and Great Britain.

Earlier, Spirit Lady came to mind.

- Michael Robinson, September 2022, Los Angeles

 

© 2022 Michael Robinson All rights reserved

 

Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer, programmer, jazz pianist and musicologist. His 184 albums include 152 albums for meruvina and 32 albums of piano improvisations. Robinson has been a lecturer at UCLA, Bard College and California State University Long Beach and Dominguez Hills.