This’ll be the day!

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Katy Wheeler steps back in time with a star of the swinging sixties.

SIXTIES star Jess Conrad will help the forthcoming Buddy Holly show to go with a swing.

Known for his stage and screen work, Jess will be a special guest in Buddy Holly – a Legend Reborn, which plays at Sage Gateshead on June 9.

Jess, discovered on legendary early Sixties TV show Oh Boy! and a chart topper of that time with his singles Mystery Girl, Cherry Pie and This Pullover, went on to forge a successful career on the silver screen and the West End stage.

“In 1960, I won the original X-Factor, TV’s legendary Oh Boy!,” says Jess. “Produced by Jack Good, the Simon Cowell of the time, viewers wrote in to choose their favourites.”

He added: “I was fortunate enough to be regarded as a teen idol, an incredible time I’ll remember forever.”

A particularly proud moment came in 1961. He explained: “I was voted the Most Popular Male Singer in the New Musical Express’ annual poll and went on to play the most prestigious venues of the time – the London Palladium, Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Pool.”

He went on tour the world with the biggest rock’n’roll stars of the day – Gene Vincent, Brenda Lee, Johnny Kidd, Eden Kane, Billy Fury, Marty Wilde and Joe Brown to name but a few.

During the 70s Jess made the transition from pop star to stage star, playing Jesus in Godspell and Joseph in the original Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Today, Jess tours the world with his own concert show and has agreed to appear on a select number of dates with the Buddy Holly – a Legend Reborn stage production.

Compere for the evening is John-Simon Rawlings, who has starred in many West End box office hits including the musical Buddy, in which he played The Big Bopper.

Joining Stars in Their Eyes winner Marc Robinson as Buddy – who performs classic Buddy hits Peggy Sue, That’ll Be The Day and Oh Boy – is Paul Lillie, winner of the nationwide Elvisly Yours Elvis tribute show competition as Elvis Presley, and Johnny Curtiss’ critically-acclaimed Roy Orbison revue show.

l For more information and tickets, telephone 443 4661.