Singer Jason wows ‘Rat Pack’ legend

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A COLERAINE singer has been picking up valuable advice from legendary Rat Pack star Buddy Greco.

Greco shot to fame in the sixties as an original member of Frank Sinatra’s crooning crew.

When Coleraine’s king of swing, Jason Maguire (right), emailed the legendary American singer last year for a little bit of advice, he was gobsmacked when the man who has rubbed shoulders with some of the best in the music business, e mailed back.

Since then the pair have been in touch on a weekly basis.

Jason, who is well known on the music scene for his American songbook style, shot to fame eight years ago after he won a handful of talent competitions. The local man has even appeared on national television, on the Alan Titchmarch Show.

Since then he has been performing at gigs and corporative events across the Province - including the City Hall in Belfast.

In the past year Jason’s friendship with Buddy, who now lives in England, has grown. Buddy has even sent Jason a signed album of his personal backing tracks, recorded by a 40 piece orchestra as a personal gift for Jason to use in his performances.

The album was recorded at the world famous Capitol studios in Los Angeles where Dean Martin, Nat King Cole & Sinatra and the like spent hours behind a microphone.

“I decided to email Buddy about this time last year.

“And to be honest we have been in touch ever since,” said Jason.

“I sometimes have to pinch myself when he phones me up.

“This guy has performed with everyone from Sinatra to The Beatles, and he’s on the phone to me,” said the 26-year-old.

Jason went on: “ I was a bit nervous about telling Buddy that I am actually a performing singer.

“I told him that there were videos of me on You Tube, but I told him not to be expecting too much as the footage wasn’t great.

“To my surprise I got a call from his wife the next day telling me that Buddy had been listening to me singing all night.”

Jason has made such an impact on the veteran singer that he’s now planning to have the Coleraine man open a few of his concerts next year.

“These are all ‘ifs’ at the minute, but it sounds like things are slowly coming round for me, “ said the level headed Coleraine man. STORY: NICHOLA FORGRAVE