There were many different musical and variety acts on board from which to choose. Steel drums poolside, a jazz band in the Spinnaker Lounge one night, Karaoke in the Bliss Lounge every evening, a Motown revue at Spinnaker another night and more. One of the more popular acts we kept hearing about was in Magnum’s, where a piano player took requests and alternately played music and joked with cruise guests. So one night we checked it out.
There were comfortable chairs in Magnum’s, the kind you could just melt into. Jill and I found two in the front row, off to the side behind Jim’s back. But we couldn’t hide from him as he quickly bantered with us and found out we were from Florida. Somehow the subject of singing came up. ‘Jill is a jazz singer,’ I said proudly and emphatically. ‘Oh no! We’ve got a jazz singer and her manager. What else do you do?’
‘I’m a C.P.A.’ ‘Oh, how boring,’ he chuckled. ‘I also run marathons,’ I added. ‘Even more boring!’ And the crowd laughed. Jim played and sang another tune or two and took time during and between the songs for interplay with the crowd. A couple hundred spectators had filled every available seat and there were many others standing.
Jim turned toward us. ‘What would the jazz singer like to sing?’ Jill thought for a few seconds and said, ‘My Funny Valentine.’ Jim motioned for her to join him, gave her the microphone and started playing. This is one of the songs that is always a highlight of Jill’s singing, and this rendition was no exception. Luckily I was able to record the performance on my iPhone.
Jill finished the song as the piano faded and the audience clapped enthusiastically. Jim, true to form said, ‘That was great! Now get out of here and take your manager with you!’