Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Jim Belushi, Tony Butala-The Letterman

Sept. 21, 2017

 Audio of interviews are posted below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comedian, actor and blues musician Jim Belushi guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Performer Jim Belushi, along with blues band The Sacred Hearts, will bring high-energy, soulful hits and a lot of laughs to The Tropicana  Oct. 6-8.

Jim Belushi is known worldwide for making people laugh as a regular on “Saturday Night Live,” his long-running comedy series “According to Jim” and his many film appearances. In addition to his film and TV career, Belushi’s music career blossomed in 1995 when he joined forces with House of Blues regulars, The Sacred Hearts. Soon after, friend Dan Aykroyd asked Belushi to join him as part of the Blues Brothers. To get ready to play with the Blues Brothers, Belushi would crash rehearsals of The Sacred Hearts. He had so much fun jamming with them, they eventually collaborated and have been performing as Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts ever since.

Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts have played for many notable figures including Al Gore, former President Bill Clinton and former California Governor Gray Davis. The band frequently headlines shows at the House of Blues venues, benefits and hundreds of corporate events.

The band’s first CD, “36 x 22 x 36,” was released in 1998 and delivered a blend of Memphis rhythm & blues seasoned with a lot of soul. Additionally, the “According to Jim Soundtrack” was released in 2005, containing music by Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts featured in fan-favorite series episodes. Much of the show’s music was written and recorded by Belushi and bandmates Johnny Rubano and Tony Braunagel, who also made regular guest appearances on “According to Jim.”

Belushi is known for his work on the live stages of Second City and “Saturday Night Live,” to the soundstages of “About Last Night,” “K-9,″ “Mr. Destiny,” “Return to Me,” and in ABC TV’s breakout comedy series of 2002 “According to Jim.” For the concert with The Sacred Hearts at The Orleans, Belushi will sing, talk, flirt, dance on table tops and do at least one back flip.

Tony Butala, original founding member of The Letterman

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Tony Butala, Original founding member of The Lettermen guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong to promote The Lettermen’s  upcoming engagement at The South Point Showroom on Sept. 23 & 24 at 7:30pm.

Butala estimates that the group made some 200 appearances on television shows such as Dick
Clark’s “American Bandstand” series, “Shindig”, and “Hullabaloo” were interviewed and
performed on talk shows and variety shows with Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin,
Jack Paar, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, Dinah Shore, and many others throughout the 60’s and 70’s,
cultivating new crops of fans.

Over its 50 years, the trio has gone through a few personnel changes. Engemann left in 1967,
replaced by Gary Pike, Jim Pike’s younger brother. A few years later, due to vocal problems,
Jim left the group and was replaced by his even younger brother, Donny Pike. The group stayed
stable, with this combination all through the seventies and early eighties led by the constant
member Tony Butala. Since then, Mark Preston, Ernie Pontiere, Bobby Poynton, Darren Dowler,
Don Campeau, Chad Nichols and Donovan Tea, have each had stints as members of The
Lettermen.

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Chuck Negron, Kenny Wayne Shepherd

September 14, 2017

Audio of interviews are posted below

Chuck Negron1Chuck Negron & LaFong (2)

Legendary Vocalist Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night, guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Chuck Negron headlines at The Golden Nugget H&C on Sept. 29.

Among Three Dog Night’s biggest hit songs featuring Negron’s soulful, four-octave range and unique vocal styling: “Joy To The World,” “Easy To Be Hard,” “Old-Fashioned Love Song” and “Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog,” which appeared on the multi-Grammy nominated and 1971 Record Of The Year “Joy To The World.”

“Am I Still In Your Heart” was Negron’s first solo release in 1995, followed by a Christmas release of  “Joy To The World” in 1996. Negron spent two years writing his book “Three Dog Nightmare” and recorded the accompanying soundtrack CD “The Long Road Back.” His fourth solo effort “Chuck Negron – Live In Concert” recorded at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas was released in 2001 and the original song “Took Me Under” was nominated in 2002 for a PRISM Award for Best Song. In 2005, Negron released “The Chuck Negron Story: Biography of an Entertainer,” which won several awards including the 2006 PRISM “Video to Production” Award.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

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Award-winning blues musician, and protege of Stevie Ray Vaughn,  Kenny Wayne Shepherd guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.  They will bring their chart-topping hits to The Tropicana H&C, Sept. 16.

Bandleader Kenny Wayne Shepherd began his career at a young age, sharing the stage with New Orleans legend Bryan Lee at 13 years old. Shepherd has since been listed among the top blues guitarists of all time by Guitar World magazine, along with legends B.B. King and Eric Clapton.

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band debuted in 1995 with “Ledbetter Heights” and the album quickly rose to the top of the Billboard blues chart. The band followed up with “Trouble Is…”, which also reached the top of the blues charts and featured “Blue on Black,” a single that spent 17 consecutive weeks at #1 on the rock charts.

In total, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band has released eight albums, including the 2014 release “Goin’ Home,” which was just nominated for “Blues Rock Album of the Year” for this year’s Blues Music Awards.

During his career, Shepherd has received five Grammy nominations, two Billboard Music Awards, a pair of Orville H. Gibson awards, the Blues Foundation’s Keeping The Blues Alive award and two Blues Music awards. He’s had released six #1 blues albums and a string of #1 mainstream rock singles. His acclaimed CD/documentary project “10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads” was the top-selling blues album of 2007.

Completing The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band are: Noah Hunt, lead vocals; Chris Layton, drums; Tony Franklin, bass guitar; and Riley Osbourn, B-3 and keyboards.

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Bill Maher, “Tommy Lama,” Tommy Savitt

September 7, 2017

Audio of interviews are posted below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comedian Bill Maher, and Tommy Savitt, the comedian behind “Tommy Lama”, guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Bill has set the boundaries of political humor on what is just about allowed on American television, yet still manages to push the envelope on a frequent basis. His combination of unflinching honesty and blunt observations have earned him a staggering 23 Emmy nominations, a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and he will be showing off his stuff as he hits the Terry Fator Theatre at The Mirage in Las Vegas , NV , September 8 & 9.

Particularly known for his hugely critical views on religion, Maher’s humor squares to the left of center, and has more often than not set his cross-hairs on the right-wing political movement (particularly the Tea Party), and shows a vociferous support for universal health care, same-sex marriage and environmentalism. However, since the events of 9/11, he has supported racial profiling at transport hubs, and is a supporter of gun rights.

As well as his long-running television panel show Real Time With Bill Maher, he is still a keen participant on the political comedy circuit, often performing over 60 dates per year.

Comedian Tommy Savitt as Tommy Lama

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Self-proclaimed Brooklyn Life Coach Stand-Up Comedian Tommy Lama, brings his unmatched and unorthodox wisdom to the Stratisphere where he delivers this original comedy act to his “disciples” five nights a week. It is a parody of the motivational and spiritual speakers seeking to give his audience a backwards education in enlightenment. Equipped with a number of instruments, tarot cards, and his own custom-made underwear for protection when not in his presence, Tommy Lama’s new spiritually healing hilarity shows at The Dragon Room, inside The Stratosphere.  (Dark Wednesdays & Thursdays)

Tommy Savitt, the comedian behind the Tommy Lama, is a multi-award winning comedian with 15 years of performing experience. Originally a lawyer, Tommy Savitt gave up his career in Real Estate Law to pursue stand-up comedy and acting in productions of Shakespeare in New York City. He has performed on the radio for the Bob & Tom Show as well as Blue Collar Radio. He has also been around the world performing for troops. Tommy Savitt’s alter-ego, The Tommy Lama, has proven a huge hit.

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Rob Schneider, Don Brewer, Russell Peters

August 31, 2017

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Schneider guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong, the only show that “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

Rob Schneider is appearing at The Laugh Factory, at The Tropicana H & C, Sept. 2 & 3

After opening for comedians such as Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, Schneider made his network television debut in 1987 on “The David Letterman Show.” In 1990, “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels saw Schneider’s appearance on HBO’s “13th Annual Young Comedians Special” and hired him to be a regular on SNL. During his four seasons on SNL, Schneider was nominated for three EmmyR Awards and a Peabody Award..

Schneider is well-known for his longtime collaboration with Adam Sandler and Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison. Schneider has starred in several Happy Madison projects, including “The Benchwarmers,” “50 First Dates,” “The Longest Yard,” “Eight Crazy Nights,” “Little Nicky” and “Mr. Deeds.” Schneider co-wrote and starred in “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick” and “The Animal.”

Schneider was the star of the new CBS show, “Rob,” about a lifelong bachelor who married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Rob is a successful architect who elopes with Maggie in Las Vegas after a whirlwind romance.

For more about Rob Schneider, click HERE.

Don Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Brewer, original founding member, co-lead singer and drummer for Grand Funk Railroad guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Known as “The American Band,” the high-energy five-piece group will play forty shows all over the USA this year. Grand Funk Railroad includes original founding member Don Brewer (vocals and drums, writer and singer of the multi-million selling hit, We’re An American Band) and bassist Mel Schacher, “The God Of Thunder.” Joining Don and Mel are true “All Stars.” Singer Max Carl is a rock veteran from 38 Special. Max penned and sang 38’s biggest hit “Second Chance” and was co-founder of California’s legendary Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. Don refers to Max as “the best blue-eyed soul singer on the planet.” Lead guitarist Bruce Kulick is best known for his 12 years with KISS and also has credits with Michael Bolton, Meatloaf and Billy Squier. (KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were influenced early on by Grand Funk.) Keyboardist Tim Cashion has a master’s degree in music from the University of Miami. Affectionately called “Dr. Tim,” his credits include stints with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and English soul man Robert Palmer.
Comedian Russell Peters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Peters guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Comedian Russell Peters is a very funny guy.

And not just kind of funny.

He’s so friggin’ funny that his standup touring earned him, according to Forbes, a whopping $21 million last year.

With that in mind, it’s about time you get familiar with Mr. Peters because we think he really deserves to be more famous. In fact, his current international tour is called…Almost Famous.

Russell is working on new material and figuring out his new set in clubs across the United States. These are work in progress shows! You never know what’s going to happen. Lots of free-styling and improv. Watch for new dates to be announced soon and watch for new international dates in 2018 & 2019!

To see a complete listing of Russell’s upcoming shows, click here

And be sure to register for Russell’s Emails to be notified about shows in your area ahead of the general public

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BJ Thomas, Sommore

August 24, 2017

Audio of interviews are posted below (scroll down)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five-time Grammy® Award winning hit-maker BJ Thomas, guests on “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong.  LVBST radio show is the only show that “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

Five-time Grammy® Award winning hit-maker BJ Thomas will perform at the Golden Nugget on August 25.

In 1966, Thomas released his first hit record, a cover of Hank Williams classic, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” From 1967 to 1975, Thomas charted numerous hits, including: “The Eyes of a New York Woman,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” “It’s Only Love,” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.”

Thomas is perhaps best-known for “Rain Drops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” featured in the 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and winner of an Academy Award® for “Best Original Song.” Since then, the song has been featured in numerous movies, including “Forrest Gump,” “Clerks II,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “Spider-Man 2.”

During the ‘80s, Thomas’ music crossed over to the country charts with “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love,” “New Looks from an Old Lover” and “Two Car Garage.” He became the 60th member of the Grand Old Opry in 1981.

In 1985, Thomas recorded “As Long As We’ve Got Each Other” which was later used as the theme song for the hit ABC sitcom, “Growing Pains.”

In 2007, he released his fourth holiday album, “Home for Christmas.”

More about BJ Thomas here–>

Comedian Sommore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actress and comedienne Sommore guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Sommore is appearing at The Suncoast Showroom August 26 & 27 at  7:30pm

Equal parts classy and sassy, Sommore’s frank, fearless routines and controversial wit have garnered loyal fans worldwide. Among the top-grossing stand-up comediennes in the United States and abroad, Oprah Winfrey proclaimed her “a force to be reckoned with in the new millennium.”

New Jersey native Sommore began her career as the first woman to host BET’s ”Comic View,” later hosting Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” In 2000, she entered “The Guinness Book of World Records,” performing for an audience of more than 50,000 people in Atlanta as part of the “Queens of Comedy” tour. A recording of the show became the longest-running and highest-rated special in the history of Showtime Networks. She is the 1995 recipient of the Richard Pryor Award for Comic of the Year.

Sommore’s film credits include roles in “Soul Plane,” “Friday After Next” and “Something New.” She has also graced the small screen, appearing on “Flavor of Love,” as a regular on “1 vs. 100” and competing for the winning team on season six of “Celebrity Fit Club.” Her comedy specials “The Queen Stands Alone” (Comedy Central, 2008) and “Chandelier Status” (Showtime Networks, 2012) earned rave reviews.

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Rita Rudner, Carl LaBove

August 10, 2017

Audio is posted below except on Internet Explorer

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Award-winning comedian Rita Rudner, and Comic Carl Labove guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Rita explains what is most important to her these days in her very long career in comedy.

Known for her joke writing, with one liners like: “My mother buried three husbands – and two of them were only napping.”

Rita shares her method and inspiration of her day to day life.

Since 2001, Rudner has performed almost exclusively in Las Vegas, selling over one million tickets. She moved to a larger theater at The Venetion  in January 2011. She also created and hosted the syndicated improvisational comedy show Ask Rita, which mimicked the format of a talk/advice show. For this she received a Gracie Allen Award from the American Women in Television and Radio.  In May 2009 she performed for Senator Harry Reid and President, Barack Obama, at Caesars Palace, alongside Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow; a video of some of this performance can be found on Rita’s Facebook  page or YouTube.  Rita is currently on tour.

Carl Labove

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Comedian Carl LaBove, is appearing at The Laugh Factory, at The Tropicana H&C with Andrew Dice Clay August 11-13 at 10pm.  Also, July 23, at 8pm, with Brad Garrett, and Landry.

Carl LaBove was born in Fort Worth Texas, grew up a military child, which required his family to move all around the world during his youth. At age nineteen he discovered stand up comedy with the man who would become his best friend, Sam Kinison. Together the two founded a Rock & Roll Comedy concept that would earn Billboard Magazines “Top Tour” honors by selling out theaters across the country for 5 straight years.

Skyrocketing to the biggest performance stages in the country as a founding member of “The Outlaws” in the late 80’s, and early 90’s, Carl would establish himself as an unparalleled comedic force during the biggest comedy boom of the last fifty years. Twenty years after “The Outlaws,” Carl continues to sellout venues and amaze audiences from coast to coast. With credits that include The Tonight Show, HBO, Showtime, two comedy CD’s, a concert DVD for Journey Records and much more. There is no end in sight for Carl.

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