CAUGHT IN THE ACT

I’ve never claimed to be a Sinatra impressionist or “tribute artist” (although he was certainly a tremendous influence on me – and every other singer of The Great American Songbook).

But singing a classic Cole Porter tune like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” with a big band swinging the Sinatra trademark Nelson Riddle arrangement, I just couldn’t resist paying homage and tribute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes” and “The Chairman of the Board.”

So I hope you enjoy this brief glimpse of my humble but joyous voyage into Sinatra Land with the Shout Section Big Band.

Click on the photo below to view the free video.

With the Shout Section Big Band at Fitzgerald’s Night Club

WHEN IT WAS HIP TO BE HEP

Fondly Remembering HARRY “THE HIPSTER” GIBSON…
… On His 102nd Birthday.

Frantic and eccentric … Rockin’ and Rollin’ twenty years before Elvis, Harry was a true master of boogie woogie piano — and every other musical style, too!

HARRY “The Hipster” GIBSON

Julliard trained, he blazed his own musical trail and was popular during the mid-1940’s during the heyday of the “Zoot suit with the drape shape and the reet pleat.”  Today, Harry is often remembered for the dubious distinction of being arrested with jazz pal and drug buddy Billie Holiday.  

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Memorial Day: The WHAT, WHY — and WHY NOT

This shouldn’t have to be a “day to vent” for me or anyone, but I really need to get something off my chest today.

At “Villa Wayno,” our American flag waves proudly but respectfully at half-staff on Memorial Day.

It’s Memorial Day – and I’m concerned as  I begin to wonder what’s happening to our country as it gradually declines into a self-centered “participation award” pop pseudo-culture. Continue reading “Memorial Day: The WHAT, WHY — and WHY NOT”

HE WAS MY ENTRY INTO HOLLYWOOD

TODAY WOULD HAVE BEEN HENRY MANCINI’S 93rd BIRTHDAY.

I can’t let today go by without acknowledging one of my greatest mentors and benefactors, never to be forgotten.
Upon arriving in L.A. back in 1976, I was greatly blessed to work for Henry, eventually administering all his music publishing for a short time before moving on to build my performance career – the original purpose in my relocating to the west coast.

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Making Up With Harry Morgan

TODAY IS HARRY MORGAN’S 102nd BIRTHDAY.

Depending on your age, you’ll probably remember actor Harry Morgan fondly from one or more of his over 100 films – or, on TV, from the original “Dragnet” (1951-1959), “December Bride” (1954-1959), “Pete and Gladys” (1960-1962) or “M*A*S*H” (1972-1983).

Harry and Hal Linden. “Blacke’s Magic” (1986)

Harry also starred in another largely (but unfairly) forgotten TV series.  In 1986, I had the great pleasure of guesting on “Blacke’s Magic,” a delightful but short-lived series starring Hal Linden and Harry Morgan – as a magician/sleuth and his father, who served as his assistant in his off-stage adventures.

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Still Scoey After All These Years

March 12th is the birthday of one of my dear friends and colleagues for many years, Scoey Mitchlll. And I always try to remember my buddy’s birthday.

During the 1960s and 70s, Scoey was a trailblazer for African Americans in the world of standup comedy, appearing regularly on the Ed Sullivan Show and so many other variety shows and game shows. He also went on to blaze more trails, however, behind the camera as a successful writer / producer / director. Continue reading “Still Scoey After All These Years”