This is your Life
(Recalled by Jean Peterson and others)

In 1976 Eamon Andrews featured Ivy in the television programme "This is your Life". This must have been one of the great highlights of Ivy's life - when, at the finale he presented her with the famous "Red Book" - and those immortal words "Ivy Benson, this is your life". Click here to see photographs.

Apart from that and an honorary fellowshipfrom Leeds Polytechnic, she received no official recognition for what was a truly a remarkable achievement. Her whole life has been dedicated to her band. She commanded not only respect for her music ability but also much affection from her girls. Jean Peterson "She was never tired. She could go to bed at 2am in the morning and wake up at 6pm and feel fine. She was a tough lady.

She had a kidney removed and was back on the stage - I can remember helping to zip her dresses up and holding the gauze over her scars. Of course she was tough and she expected you to be tough as well."
Pianist Diana O'Dell joined the band in Stuttgart in 1968. "She was a wonderful musical disciplinarian. She made us really work, particularly in the wind sections and brass sections. She really made them work and the worst insult she could throw at you was you sound like a girl."

Trombonist Bill Geldert, husband of Gracie Cole said."It was a very good band and it wasn't the fact that they were all girls and looked good anyway. They worked hard, better than we (the Ted Heath Band) ever did. We just sat there and got on with it we weren't really entertaining people. We might have entertained ourselves a bit. Ivy knew how to entertain people.

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