​Jackie Love (Immelman)

1979 Collegian

Jackie Love (Immelman) with Sammy Davis Jr.

I finished school and I drove across the Nullarbor to Sydney to see if there would be any career prospects.

My journey has been quite a mixed one. Through a lot of hard work I had some great opportunities, like appearing on the major television shows, the Logie Awards and gaining the support of some wonderful creative mentors.

After insisting I move permanently to Sydney, my manager, Lyn Rich, tragically died in car accident leaving me in a new city, homesick, without direction and support and grieving.

Long story short, I managed to put together my first full show to the best of my ability, scripted and themed, to perform with my idol, the legendary Sammy Davis Junior.

The opening night was very pressured and I don't remember much except it went according to plan with my dancers and the orchestra. My opening song was in French (thank you Mrs Purdy).

I was told later that I received a couple of standing ovations; no doubt part of the reason Sammy later asked me to be his guest artist in America as he wanted to be the one to introduce me to his "neck of the woods".

I've had some amazing experiences throughout my career. It's impossible to say there was one highlight. Sammy was definitely sensational! Arriving in Monte Carlo by helicopter and the roof opening on my final song as fireworks went off is up there; singing for the Queen, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict VI and getting to wear a magnificent million dollar diamond necklace.

I've also sung with The Merrymakers, a group of Down syndrome and mentally challenged performers. They create an unbelievable aura of love and goodwill when they perform.

I really love mentoring young performers keen to enter the entertainment business.

On MLC: For the most part I really enjoyed school at MLC. It had the Heather Lamont Festival and a great music department, thanks to Margaret Pride. The teachers made a big impression on me – Mrs Hope, Mr Row, Mrs Hardy and a lot more. The school is on such beautiful grounds and I have many memories in summer watching the boats on the Swan River.

I do remember being the choreographer for the combined school production of Oklahoma and trying the get those boys from Christ Church to look like they could dance!