WHEN Kathy King sent off a song she had penned paying tribute to Princess Diana to a national competition, she didn’t really expect to get very far.
But the grandmother-of-four, from St Annes, hit all the right notes, and her ditty ended up getting through to the semi-final of the UK Songwriting Contest.
She wrote the song in 1997, and sent a copy at the time to the royal princes. She received a letter of thanks from Buckingham Palace.
Kathy, of North Promenade, said: “It was a lovely surprise when I got an email telling me my song had got through to the semi-final of the contest.
“I nearly cried! I know I didn’t win, but I am just really pleased it got that far.
“I only ever really get to sing that song around the anniversary of Diana’s death.
“It always goes down well on the Fylde coast when I sing it. I was a big fan of Diana and wanted to pay tribute to her.
“Another song, which I wrote last year in tribute to all our armed forces, got a ‘commended entry’ certificate.
“For that song I made a disc to sell, and gave all the proceeds to the Royal British Legion in Blackpool, where I sing regularly.”
Remarkably, Kathy cannot and has never played a musical instrument. She can’t read music and has to rely on a friend transferring her ‘humming’ a tune to an instrument and recording it.
She said: “It’s the lyrics I think of first. They just sometimes pop into my head.
“I don’t sort of sit down and think to myself ‘I’m going to write a song’. It just happens. Songs will just pop into my head.
“Once it happened when I was in America, on a night bus from Nashville!”
Kathy regularly sings at the Royal British Legion and occasionally at care homes to entertain residents with her war-time repertoire. She has also appeared singing on TV in the early 90s.
She said: “I had written to David Jacobs and his TV show, Prime Time, in 1989, saying I would love to come on in the musical interlude and sing.
“They wrote back and said they only had professionals, but then in 1991 I had a call from them inviting me to come and watch the show.
“And I ended up singing on it! It was a big surprise. It was a wonderful experience.
“I love music and I love singing. When I was younger, I always wanted to be a singer with a big band. It wasn’t the sort of thing you really did back then and I didn’t learn how to read music or play an instrument, but I love music.
“I worked in the cotton mills and so on, and didn’t really have time to sing until I got older. Now I love to sing.”