"It's a Fine Line: Renaissance Man or Dilettante?"
The MUSTY, DUSTY ARCHIVES
Take a gander at these RARE PHOTOS... rescued from the deepest, darkest recesses of Wayne's personal collection!
Wayne chats with Silent Silver Screen Legend LILLIAN GISH. (1971)
The "Boy" Nightclub Singer - 1974
"I dare you, knock THIS off my shoulder!", sez Wayne, co-starring with DICK SARGENT (TV's "Bewitched") in "Not With My Daughter" (1976)
Improvising with multi-talented singer/actress/author GLORIA LORING. (Off The Wall, 1977)
ONE DAY AT A TIME - Guest starring as boyfriend Nick Jameson with the very talented MACKENZIE PHILLIPS. (CBS - 1978)
"DE PLANE, BOSS, DE PLANE!" A little down time with Fantasy Island's enigmatic HERVE VILLECHAIZE. (c 1985)
THE LOUDMOUTH: Before he became the purposely outrageous 1980's TV shock talk show sensation, MORTON DOWNEY JR. followed in his famous father's footsteps as a singer. Here, Downey gets an after-show visit from E.J. PEAKER ("Hello Dolly!") and Wayne. (1977)
BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN: Both suited up in style with XXXX Stetsons, Wayne trades cowboy jokes with America's greatest western star and singing cowboy, GENE AUTRY. (c 1983)
WESTERN ROYALTY: The "King of the Cowboys" ROY ROGERS helps Wayne with the lyrics to "Happy Trails." Both were special guests at the CHARLTON HESTON Celebrity Shoot, Dana Point, CA. (1989)
"VASECTOMY - A Delicate Matter" (1986)
A contentious exchange at the reading of the will: PAUL SORVINO as Gino Ragone asks, "Would you like to EAT that cigar?"
Wayne as Vinnie Marshall in a classic comedy drunk scene.
ON THE SET: Wayne and Paul share some laughs between takes.
Wayne Powers - Musty Dusty Archives - Rare Photos
POWERS' TWISTED RESPONSE to the "How am I Driving" signs on trucks. (Daily Variety - 1990)
Bringing 'em TOGETHER AGAIN ... just for this rare 1993 reunion moment ... JACKIE CURTISS & BILL TRACY, hilarious comedy team, popular on the Playboy nightclub circuit and every major TV variety show during the 1970s and early 80s.
IMPROVISE: At a party, an icepick suddenly becomes a microphone, as Wayne takes on the role of comedy straight-man, "interviewing" JONATHAN WINTERS, of whom Powers says, "He's America's true comic genius."
BEFORE "THE JUICE" WENT SOUR: Singer JERRY VALE, actor CARMINE CARRIDI, O.J. SIMPSON, Wayne, and actor PAUL SORVINO hang out during happier, more innocent times. Powers is quick to claim he is NOT really the shortest guy in the photo, pointing out that Jerry Vale was standing on a box!
The definitive caricature of Powers. (Daily Variety - 1985)
A COMEDIAN'S COMEDIAN, voice artist/actor ROBERT RIDGELY (1931-1997), ("Blazing Saddles", "Boogie Nights", etc.) Powers always looked forward to sharing a meal with pal Bob Ridgely. "It was the best way to lose weight," Wayne recalls. "Who could eat when you're laughing too hard to even breathe?"
ANATOMY OF A JOKE
(ONE) "GOING..." Powers totally immerses himself into character while telling one of his classic drunk stories on MTM'S "Stop Me If You Heard This One" (1991)
(THREE) "TOTALLY GONE!" Wayne's drunk lays the audience out... along with the rest of the cast. Powers identifies, "The guy in the background with such obviously good comedic taste" as "talented fellow comedian HIRAM KASTEN."
(TWO) "GOING..." With his seemingly rubberized face in 'high' gear, you can see why Powers has never been accused of being a "deadpan" comedian.
Backstage, Wayne greets old friend and one of the all-time great sitcom directors, HOWARD STORM, ("Everybody Loves Raymond," "Mork and Mindy," "Laverne & Shirley,", etc.). Howie was a stand-up comedian and is an accomplished actor, too, playing himself in Woody Allen's classic "Broadway Danny Rose". (1993)
Guitar master RON ANTHONY, a member of the renowned GEORGE SHEARING Quintet and, later, FRANK SINATRA's guitarist. Once, after recording with Frank all day, he filled-in with Powers' band at night, but Wayne could never talk Ron into giving up his "day job." Here, Ron and Wayne catch up after an L.A. jazz jam session. (c 1992)
Former vocalist with the world-famous TOMMY DORSEY big band, FREDDIE STEWART (1925-2000) also starred in a series of 1940's "bobby-soxer" movies. "Freddie was always one of my most loyal and enthusiastic supporters," Powers recalls, "He was a kind and talented man, and my valued friend, now sorely missed." (1993)
Powers On Live Performance...
The lovely and gifted PAULA KELLY JR, following in her famous mother's footsteps, heads the historic vocal group THE MODERNAIRES, a tradition dating back to the incredibly popular GLENN MILLER big band. Here, Paula and Wayne team up for an improvised duet to the audience's delight. (Los Angeles, 1993).
"THE VERY BEST THING ABOUT PERFORMING LIVE ... is sharing the joy with the audience," says Powers. "You can feel that good energy building and bouncing back and forth. When it finally starts to snowball, it truly develops a life of its own. That's when you just know down deep in your bones that 'We're all on this ride together...' and that everyone in the room, whether they realize it or not, is about to have a really great night."
Songstress JOANIE SOMMERS joins Wayne onstage. The famous voice of "The Pepsi Generation", her TV appearances spanned several decades and her hit records include "One Boy" and "Johnnie Get Angry" but, "She remains one of the most underrated female jazz vocalists of all time," Wayne says of his dear friend for many years, "Joanie posesses a unique voice and a great, great talent."