Jackie Trent: Being me

Nov 2017 Jackie Trent: Being me

FROM the music halls of Stoke-on-Trent to topping the charts with Frank Sinatra and Petula Clark, singer-songwriter Jackie Trent finally shares her colourful life in her fascinating new autobiography.

“[Their songs] changed my life. They changed the whole course of my career.” Petula Clark

‘Being Me’ charts, for the first time, the glittering career of British singer-songwriter Jackie Trent. Jackie’s journey from Staffordshire-born coal miner’s daughter to the toast of the entertainment industry is told in her own words, with the candour and humour for which she was renowned.

As one of the most celebrated singers and lyricists of her time, Jackie was best known for her creative partnership with her second husband Tony Hatch, with whom she wrote the legendary theme tune to the Australian soap opera ‘Neighbours’. With 12 albums, 51 singles and countless performances on stage and screen as a singer and actress, Jackie’s talent was admired by millions. Although she counted Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Bea Arthur of the Golden Girls among her many celebrity friends, Jackie remained a shy and unassuming woman, even in the face of success and her glamorous life.

Divided into two sections, ‘Being Me’ begins with stories of Jackie’s determination to make it in the spotlight, and the youthful adventures she enjoyed along the way. Leaving her hometown at the age of 15, an early stint at the Windmill Theatre in Soho caught the attention of the infamous Kray Brothers who became two of her first fans and gave her their ‘unofficial’ protection. But, forever restless and hungry for adventure, Jackie wasted no time in signing up to sing for the troops, and during the 1950s enjoyed touring Europe, Africa, Turkey and the Middle East, entertaining British troops under fire for CSE (Combined Services Entertainment), and with USAFE for the United States Air Force – even alongside legend Ella Fitzgerald.

But in 1963, she met Tony Hatch for the first time, and her life changed course. The second half of the book, a more poignant affair, reveals the meteoric rise of their song-writing partnership which spanned 30 years. But not everything was golden inside the music industry’s much-loved couple’s world, and as a result of money troubles they were forced to move to the Republic of Ireland and later Australia. Jackie candidly shares her side of their marital break-up, and the lack of acknowledgement she was given for her contributions to their songwriting from both Tony and the industry, which not only broke her heart but led to the health problems which were to plague her in later years.

Courageous, poignant and entertaining, ‘Being Me’ finally sets the record straight, charting the ups and downs and the often bitter truth of Jackie’s life. A special woman with a real gift, Jackie’s story is a must-read, and her rich legacy deserves to be recognised.

About the co-author: Living in Menorca, Spain, Colin Gregory, Jackie’s third husband, has fulfilled his wife’s dream of sharing her life story with the world. Being Me by Jackie Trent (published by Clink Street Publishing, October 24 RRP £9.99.