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Big band music legend dies

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Joan Rigby (nee Plant), born 13th May 1930 died 24th May 2015.

WELL known local singer Joan Rigby, or Joan Plant, as she was known to thousands of Warringtonians, who danced to the big band music of The Wilf Rigby  Orchestra in the 1950s-1960s, died in Warrington Hospital,aged 85, after collapsing at her home in Padgate Lane.Joan-rigby-nee-plant
A former employee of Hancock and Wood, Joan successfully auditioned to become the vocalist in the Wilf Rigby Orchestra, which won numerous Melody Maker Big Band awards.
She was a well known favourite of courting couples at all the local dance halls, namely The Parr Hall, Fletchers, The Baths, Mersey View and of course the American Air base at Burtonwood, captivating GIs and fans with her singing of romantic songs.
Joan married band leader Wilf in 1959 and had four sons, Paul, Mark, John and Simon.  When the big band music made way for Skiffle, Rock and the Disc Jockeys, Joan continued singing with local choirs including Crosfield Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society.
Even when her singing days were over her enthusiasm for music remained by regularly attending Big Band and Jazz performances.
Joan, who died during the early hours of Sunday, is survived by three sons, a granddaughter and six grandsons.
Her funeral will be held at St. Wilfrid’s church Grappenhall at 1.00pm on Monday, June 8.


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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

2 Comments

  1. I accompanied Joan on the piano on many occasions

    A delightful and beautiful young lady with a soprano voice of immense quality

    RIP Joan

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