People get the chance to record the song that means most to them

People get the chance to record the song that means most to them

December 8, 2018

This will bring a tear to your eye: People get the chance to record the song that means most to them in a heartwarming new show

  • BBC’s This Is My Song gives unlikely singers an opportunity to record a song 
  • Charles Michael Duke, 23, who was born with cystic fibrosis sings Yours
  • George ‘Joey’ Spruce’s band from the 60s relive their glory days
  • Matt Bond, 26, who has a stammer sings Basket Case by Green Day

The 60s were in their infancy when George ‘Joey’ Spruce led his band off-stage at The Cavern Club in Liverpool and exchanged a few words with the nervous singer preparing to go on. 

‘We’d done a few songs I’d written myself, and he said how good they were. 

‘I said, “Have you written any yourself?” And he said, “We have, but they’re not that good,”’ recalls Joey, laughing.

Little wonder, given that the young man was Paul McCartney. 

Yes, that Paul McCartney. 

‘I mean, those songs then went on to become some of the most famous in the world,’ says Joey, now 75. 

A new BBC show sees unlikely singers including Joey (pictured recording vocals, with three of his bandmates from Earl Preston) who performed during the Sixties record a song that has deep meaning to them 

‘But at the time none of us had any idea.’

The Beatles became legends of course, Joey’s band less so. 

Earl Preston And The TTs are still fondly remembered by a certain generation in their native Liverpool, but worldwide fame eluded them. 

Joey and the surviving members of his band got an unexpected chance to relive their glory days, however, when they were asked to take part in a new TV show that sees unlikely singers cut their very own record in a recording studio.

This Is My Song, a heart-warming two-parter, gives members of the public a chance to make a record that is special to them, for whatever reason. 

All sorts of stories – some tear-jerkers – are told in the process. 

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One of the most uplifting ones comes from Charles Michael Duke, 23. 

He was born with cystic fibrosis, and had just had a double lung transplant after three years on the waiting list. 

Seeing him sing Ella Henderson’s Yours, backed by a full choir, will have you reaching for the tissues.

Then there’s Matt Bond, 26, who plays bass guitar in the indie band Blue River. 

He takes the lead spot as a singer for the first time with a rendition of Basket Case by Green Day. 

And what’s his motivation? He has a pronounced stammer when speaking – but not when singing, and he wanted to raise awareness of the problem.

Charles Michael Duke, 23, (pictured in the vocal booth, recording his special track) who was born with cystic fibrosis covers Ella Henderson’s Yours

Joey’s band pictured in 1963, had a conversation about song writing with Paul McCartney after coming of stage at The Cavern Club in Liverpool

For Joey Spruce though, the appearance was a trip down memory lane. 

‘I hadn’t been in a recording studio for years – and never one like this,’ he says. 

‘At first the other lads were a bit funny about doing it, but I said to them, “When are we, at our age, likely to be invited on TV again?”’

Joey was pretty nervous though. 

He’s been through the mill health-wise recently, fighting prostate cancer, and hadn’t sung for five years until taking part in this project. 

‘My confidence took a real hit because of my illness,’ he admits. 

‘I was a bag of nerves, but I’m glad I did it. 

‘It was fantastic to be back with the guys, with that mic in front of me. 

‘And to have an actual copy of the record we cut too. It’s a lovely thing to have.’

The show is touching , with the surviving band members laying down instrumental tracks and vocals for Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. 

All their wives are allowed into the studio for the final performance – and the tears flow all round. 

‘It was magic,’ says Joey. ‘What a thing for the grandchildren to watch.’  

This Is My Song begins on Thursday at 8pm on BBC1.

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