Crooner organises charity concert in memory of grandfather

Matt Long

Matt Long

A Birmingham singer who founded the UK’s Perry Como Appreciation Society is organising a charity concert to raise funds for stroke victims.

Matt Long, 25, decided to hold the event after his grandfather, Barry Clark, suffered a fatal stroke two years ago.

The concert is being held on Friday 16 May 2014 for the Stroke Association at the Shirley Centre, Stratford Road, Solihull.

Despite only being in his twenties Matt is highly influenced by crooners such as Frank Sinatra, Matt Monro, and most of all Perry Como of whom he is the UK’s leading authority. Matt said: “As a youngster I was influenced musically by my grandparents’ record collection so holding the concert seemed a fitting tribute and an ideal way to raise money for a good cause.”

Matt together with guest singer Dave Chance and accompanied by The Alan Warner Trio, will be singing classics such as ‘Moon River’, ‘Catch a Falling Star’ and ‘From Russia With Love’ at the concert which is titled ‘A Musical Celebration of the Great Crooners’.

Matt added: “When I was a teenager I founded the Perry Como Appreciation Society and the crooner is a big influence on my singing style. I’ve produced and narrated documentaries about him and even met his brother when I visited their home town in the States.

“I hope the concert attracts a wide range of ages, especially young people who haven’t heard Perry’s laid-back songs before. It’s important to me to bring these wonderful songs to a new generation of followers.”

The singer, who is from Shirley, who has only been singing professionally for a few months, has already raised approximately £1,500 for various charities through his performances. When he was 15 he wrote and recorded a Christmas song to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He has also been asked to sing at awards ceremonies and concerts.

The Stroke Association’s Senior PR & Events Officer, Tony Banks, said: “We are delighted that talented Matt is going to be helping us raise much-needed funds.

“It’s not the first time Matt has used his vocal talents to help the Stroke Association. He’s got an outstanding voice and the evening promises to be an unmissable event.”

Tickets priced £5, including a light buffet, are available by emailing: appleberrywine@live.co.uk or by telephoning 07561 335727. All profits are to be donated to The Stroke Association. More information on concert at www.matthewlong.webs.com