One of my great inspirations and idols, Chuck Berry, is gone.
Many years ago I was opening for the Rolling Stones, when I was a very young rock ‘n’ roll singer. That week in Boston, Berry was playing somewhere close by. He died March 18 at the age of 90.
Everyone in Vegas, gave big tributes on stage… Rod Stewart had Berry’s pictures and did one of his songs. We lost a great guitar player, who inspired so many performers with his talent, self-confidence and memorable songs, to say nothing of his great guitar licks.
In my other life I was around the greats – Little Richard, Brook Benton – and I was handled by the late Ruth Bowen, whose clients were all people of color. I was the only white client she had.
We lost one of the real greats; may Chuck rest in peace.
At The Orleans, March 17-18, we had one of my friends – singer, composer, pianist and record producer, Neil Sedaka. In my big show I would sing one of the songs he wrote with Phil Cody, “Solitaire.” He’s was very kind to me in New York and California. He and his wife helped me with my music and rumor has it there is a Broadway show in the works showcasing his music, like Carole King’s and Billy Joel’s shows.
When you think about Sedaka and Chubby Checker, who are both still working, it’s great to see. Neil is definitely one of my favorite people. He was always very social and wonderful to me.
A “Dancing With the Stars,” recent show had Charo, the Cuchi Cuchi girl. She was in Vegas some time ago and built a nightclub at Planet Hollywood with Latin/Spanish food and a wonderful show. Sadly, it didn’t work. Then she went to the Riviera and failed as well. But seeing her on DWTS is a big wow. She was incredible and didn’t miss a beat. At 66 she’s no spring chicken. And neither is Mr. T, who will be 65 in May. Mr. T was funny, nice and able to dance. He has battled cancer for many years now.
Nick Viall, The Bachelor, looked pretty good too. This 24th season might be the best.
I’ve been talking in this column about legends, the people I absolutely admire, and this week I have to give it to Louie Anderson. He really keeps going, coming back, and now he has an Emmy plus a new showroom, which is a Black Box Theater. I have to give it to him, as an entertainer myself. He reminds me it’s never too late to win an Emmy. Looking for a good part!
Maybe I’m crazy but Kim (Kardashian) was talking about her robbery and how she was almost murdered. It was very deep and sad, but she’s now back on social media and again showing her jewelry. Crazy, right? The robbers are all in jail waiting for their day in court.
“Beauty and The Beast” came out earning millions and millions of dollars the first weekend, and beat every other movie at the box office. It’s going to make billions!
My old friend Clint Holmes, is on the charts with his new CD. So again, in the world of entertainment, it’s never too late to have a hit. Good going Clint!
Bob Anderson was in town and still working on The Frank Sinatra show. He has new writers and new sets. The word is it may go to New York.
Giving back to Vegas
Two of my favorite people in Las Vegas… legendary choreographer Anita Mann and illusionist, magician and comedian, Murray Sawchuck. There is something new in Las Vegas they are trying to make like the Academy Awards and it’s called the Las Vegas F.A.M.E. Awards, for iconic celebrities in Sin City who have achieved greatness in film, art, music and entertainment.
The strange thing is Anita is getting a Lifetime Achievement award and Murray is getting Career Achievement in Magical Arts award.
Marty Allen will get the Lifetime Achievement: Comedian (still going strong at 95!) and Olivia Newton John: Las Vegas icon. Something new and interesting!
I remember a show called the Society of Seven, a very successful variety troupe from Hawaii. What I loved about it is they brought in a lot of stars like Martin Nievera, a Filipino singer, songwriter and actor. He’s like an idol and a really big star in the Philippines. He’s now working solo and will be doing a concert at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.
A-Rod’s biggest HR
I’ve been trying to find a way to not make this sound too bad. Jennifer Lopez is a Bronx native. She cut her hair and has a show at Planet Hollywood and also a TV hit series called “Shades of Blue.”
Now she’s with retired baseball slugger Alex Rodriguez, who is said to have dated Madonna, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz, among others, She really seems serious about him. They were sited in Miami and lots of other hot spots.
Mars at T-Mobile
The wonderful Bruno Mars, will be at the T-Mobile Arena on July 15 and tickets are now on sale. His shows are amazing!