Buddy Greco will be missed

January 24, 2017 3:00 AM
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This column is devoted to my late, great friend Buddy Greco. I first met Buddy in Aruba about 40 years ago when I was performing one of my craziest acts as Disco Tex and the Sex-o-lettes.

Buddy came and looked, not having a clue as to what was going on onstage. At that time, I was doing the production number “Rio” with all the trimmings and spectacles. I was doing onstage the spectacle of fire, blond blown hair, insanity emerging and this actually would be the norm today!

Mr. Greco came backstage to mingle with the musicians and I would go during my break to see him perform. I realized he was a great musician. He was a great pianist and also the last member of The Rat Pack. So, here I am in Vegas, 17 years ago, and we reconnected. His lovely wife, Lezlie Anders, was his singer for the show.

For several years the Grecos opened my annual birthday extravaganza with song and music. They spared no expense to make me look fabulous. Lezlie, at that time, had just premiered in Fever! The Peggy Lee Musical. We reaffirmed our friendship because many years ago, my ties with Peggy Lee, were strong. She was married to Jack del Rio and I was giving her ideas for future shows and songs. Miss Lee was a consummate songwriter as well as a performer.

When it comes to Buddy, I became a real fan of his work. The Grecos, along with the late Frankie Randall, had created a charity called CASH that would help entertainers who were down on their luck. I was taken with gratitude because they introduced me to the elite of the Las Vegas show world.

I became friends with Bob Anderson, the late Steve Rossi, Marty Allen and more, so I ended up attending a lot of inner circle cocktail parties and insider events. I was privy to the real stories that happened, not the press release versions. They were the ticket masters for me to explore, attend and experience the new Las Vegas.

Buddy was the reason why I ended up as a gossip columnist for GamingToday. He and the others  were my best sources of inside track info. Buddy, the keys of your piano are still waiting for you – may they be played in heaven as you rest in peace.

Way to go, Tony!

This columnist is not political but the inauguration ceremonies list was dwindling. Jennifer Holliday pulled from pressure of her fans.

Tony Orlando, my best friend and a true American supporter of armed forces and our country, stayed strong and performed as the featured singer at the Salute to our Armed Services Ball, one of only three official inaugural balls.  He sang “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” to the masses of attendees.  Way to go, Tony! I am so proud of you.

Tony asked me to come with him to Washington, D.C. for the event, but unfortunately due to previous commitments, I was unable to attend.

Bring on the new

Last week I mentioned the Stratosphere and Red Mercury’s World’s Greatest Rock Show, which is rumored to be opening there in March. Well, Red Mercury also produces Vinnie Favorito Unfiltered at Westgate.

Speaking of Westgate, their show Sexxy! is still hot and running. The Prince tribute in the main showroom, is terrific!

Magnifique!

Recently, I went to see, out of curiosity, “Elle,” as Isabelle Huppert won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a drama. Many years ago, when I was 19, I traveled to Paris and learned French. So, seeing this film in French, even with subtitles, made it easy to enjoy her performance, which was absolutely deserving of the award bestowed upon her.

It is not an easy film to watch, but the drama and psychological ramifications of this film are incredible. She totally deserved that award!

Odds & Ends

Appearing soon at the Smith Center is the divine Shirley Bassey!… The Adult Entertainment Expo at the convention center was here last week… All over town, the attendance at conventions has helped turn around our economy. Last year we had over 42.3 million visitors and among those, many expo attendees… I looked upwards the other day on the Strip saw TRUMP and realized he is now our President!

When it comes to television talk shows, this week I took time to watch “The Real,” five ladies of color doing an incredible job, and then we go to the “The Talk,” with Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne (she knows everyone – she knows everything – she is her own best knowing person ever!).

I have been wanting to do a show with five men – one gay, one straight, one a transgender (originally a female), one a jock, and one a man of the cloth. People do not realize men can be a great audience for these shows. Not everyone wants the usual offerings. So what do you say? Good idea? Who knows?… Congratulations to Kirvin Doak on their 15 year anniversary. David Kirvin has always been a fan of mine… I wish you all a very happy end of January. How fast the month went! Soon, it will be Groundhog’s Day and The Super Bowl.