A Sorg Opera House event will show the power of big bands and female singers

Three talented vocalists — Nancy James, Lynne Scott and Pam Mallory — and the RL Big Band will present “RL Big Band & the Girl Singers” at the Sorg Opera House in Middletown.

The concert at 8 p.m. Saturday will pay tribute to Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn.

“I love it when you get the back story of the different songs, and the story about when Judy Garland sang that, or when Peggy Lee joined Judy Garland on her television show, and the two of them sang a really funny song about men. … So, we’ll tie in stories about the singers and the songs before we sing them,” said Nancy James.

As a singer and entertainer, James has performed on stage, and on radio and on television for more than three decades. She is known by many for her role on the Bob Braun Show for nearly a decade — singing, interviewing, and creating live commercials.

James will be producing the show and perform a Judy Garland medley as well as “Birth of the Blues” and “Get Happy,” to name a few.

“When I grew up, Judy Garland was one of my heroes. She was one of the people I listened to, and I thought she hung the moon. For me, that was a natural. Judy’s songs are more theatrical, and my background is musical theater. Lynne Scott is so much fun like Peggy Lee. Lynn has that same kind of a style. Then, Ella is more known for her jazz, so that’s a natural for Pam, and she is throwing in a little of Sarah Vaughn,” James said.

As an accomplished jazz singer, Scott has been performing in the Midwest area many years. She will present the music of Lee such as “I Love Being Here With You” in the show.

Mallory, known by many as a pure jazz singer, will interpret the music of Ella Fitzgerald for the Sorg crowd. Mallory has been compared to the greats, such as Carmen McCrea and Fitzgerald.

The RL Big Band, fronted by Randy Linville, will join James, Scott and Mallory on stage. The 16-piece band of A-List players specializes in high-energy, Big Band, swing and jazz music. The RL Big Band will also entertain the crowd with some of their own numbers.

“It will be a lot of fun to perform these songs with The RL Big Band. It’s a nice time to let everybody shine. … We are looking at The Great American Songbook from three different perspectives,” James said.

She said the evening of story and song is a perfect fit for the newly renovated Sorg, which has a rich history of bringing live entertainment to the region.

“All of this music is reflective of the era that the Sorg was in its height of glory. So, for the Sorg, it’s the music that filled the tapestry of that beautiful venue,” James said.

Other upcoming events at the Sorg:

Saturday, June 22 — With The Country Roots Tour, Nathan Stanley will bring his award-winning band to the Sorg stage for an evening of bluegrass. Ashton Shepherd will join in the concert as audiences enjoy her chart-making country and Americana tunes. 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Friday, June 28 — Restoration United: A United Fight, a licensed nonprofit dedicated to recovery, will present “Hope Fest 2019.” The benefit, hosted by 96 Rock’s Aaron Laine, will feature inspirational talks from KORN co-founder and guitarist Brian “Head” Welch and Phil Stacy, who launched his career during the sixth season of America Idol. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $35. (Limited meet and greet tickets are available for $75.)

Saturday, June 29 — The Claudettes fuse Chicago piano blues with the energy of rockabilly and punk and the sultriness of ’60s soul to write a new chapter of American roots music. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23; students $11.50.


What: RL Big Band & the Girl Singers featuring Nancy James, Lynne Scott and Pam Mallory

When: Saturday, June 8 at 8 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Sorg Opera House, 63 S. Main St., Middletown

Cost: $20

More info: Visit www.sorgoperahouse.org. Tickets are available at www.cincyticket.com.

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