Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Comedian Tom Cotter, Jackie “The Joke Man”

Jan. 29 & 31, 2015 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web

Audio of interviews are posted below

America's Got Talent - Season 7Tom Cotter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“America’s Got Talent” Breakout Star Comedian Tom Cotter returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.  In a very candid interview, Tom gives many inside tips on how to advance on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.  He will be performing at the Suncoast Showroom February 6.

After appearing on the 2012 season of “America’s Got Talent,” Cotter was invited back to perform as a special guest, and again to host the “2013 AGT Viewing Party.” Cotter’s other numerous television and radio credits include “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” his very own special “Comedy Central Presents… Tom Cotter,” The Howard Stern Show and, most recently, a third appearance on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”

For more go to http://www.tomcotter.com/

Jackie “The Joke Man Martling

Jackie Martling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling returns on LVBST to  promote his gig with Bobby Slayton “The Pitbull of Comedy,” and Comedian John Melendez, “Stuttering John,” at the South Point Showroom, Jan. 30 & 31.

While touring as a national headliner, Martling released three comedy lp’s, 1979’s “What Did You Expect?,” 1980’s “Goin’ Ape!,” and 1981’s “Normal People Are People You Don’t Know That Well.” He blindly sent the three LP’s to Howard Stern upon Howard’s arrival at WNBC-AM in New York City in 1982, and Howard called him to make a guest appearance on his radio show. in 1986, Jackie became  a full-time cast member and the head writer of Stern’s show.

Jackie left the show in 2001 after fifteen-year run as head writer of the radio show, four television series, and three Pay-Per-Views.

He still works all around the country, performing his solo act of rapid-fire filthy jokes and the classic finale, “Stump The Joke Man,” is about to release a CD of his original music entitled “Happy Endings,” and is currently doing his own radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio 101, “Jackie’s Joke Hunt.

Jackie Martling’s videotaped interview on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong is posted on lasvegasbackstagetalk.com

More about Jackie Martling here–>

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John Melendez/Stuttering John

Jan. 22 & 24, 2015 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web

Audio of interviews are posted below

John Melendez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comedian John Melendez/Stuttering John guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong to promote his upcoming engagement with Jackie “The Joke man” Martling, and Bobby Slayton, “The Pitbull of Comedy,” at The South Point Showroom,  Jan 30 & 31 at 7:30pm.

John Melendez worked as a staff writer on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Melendez also appeared in some of the show’s comedy sketches.  Melendez, who began with The Howard Stern Radio Show as an intern in college, landed on the air almost immediately. During his 15 seasons with Stern, Melendez gained national acclaim and recognition as “Stuttering John”, with his daring and irreverent interview style and prominent personality. In addition to interviewing countless celebrities on the radio, Melendez was simultaneously hired as a field reporter for the nationally syndicated Howard Stern Television Show, where he worked for two seasons as an interviewer and in sketch pieces for the show’s man-on-the-street segments. He continued his television work for Howard Stern on the highly rated E! television show.  He became known for asking impertinent questions of celebrities on the red carpet and at press conferences with his stuttering.  Following a guest appearance on The Tonight Show to promote I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in 2003, Melendez received the offer from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

For more go to: John Melendez’s Official Site http://www.johnmelendez.tv/

 

 

 

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Mary Wilson, Julie Budd

Jan. 15 & 17, 2015 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Mary WilsonMary Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Wilson, founder of The Supremes,  guests on LV Backsage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong to promote her appearance at the Suncoast Showroom January 17-18 at 7:30pm.

While growing up in Detroit’s Brewster Projects, Wilson befriended Florence Ballard, Betty McGlown and Diana Ross at age 13. The quartet later formed a singing group, The Primettes. Wilson, Ballard and Ross were signed to Motown Records and became known as The Supremes.

The Supremes were nominated for a Grammy Award in 1965 and 1966, garnering an unprecedented 12 #1 hits, including four in a row – “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Stop, In The Name Of Love” and “Back in My Arms Again.” In 1977, Wilson released her first solo album, “Mary Wilson,” which yielded the dance hit “Red Hot.” In 1992, Wilson released her first album in 13 years, “Walk the Line,” which included the single “One Night With You.”

Wilson became a best-selling author with her autobiography, “Dreamgirl… My Life As A Supreme.” The book has sold more than 250,000 copies in hardback, becoming one of the most successful rock and roll autobiographies of all time.

Wilson created a traveling exhibit of 70 gowns worn by The Supremes throughout the years and can be seen on tour at countless cities across the United States. The exhibit is currently being housed at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Julie Budd

Julie Budd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Award-winning Singer Julie Budd guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Julie is considered to be one of the most exciting singers on the scene today, and last week won The Broadway World Award for Best Show.  She has also landed a residency at The Metropolitan Room in NY starting in April 2015.

“ They Wrote The Songs “ Julie Budd has enjoyed a very multi -faceted career, that ranges from, television to film, along with the New York stage & symphonies all over the country.  “ The New York Times ” raved with a full two page glowing retrospect of Julie’s career, declaring Ms. Budd “The Consummate Performer”.  She began her professional career at the tender age of 12, after meeting record producer / orchestrator Herb Bernstein.  Herb Bernstein, who produced Laura Nyro’s first Hit Album, was at that time, recording Merv Griffin as well.  Herb immediately took Julie under his wing, and introduced her to Merv Griffin at the
recording session in New York City.  And, after Merv heard Julie sing, this “Mini Girl with the Maxi Voice “
was invited to appear on more than 100 of Merv’s shows.  From there, Julie went on to appear on “The Tonight Show, Entertainment Tonight , and every major TV show in the country.  In the years that followed, Julie co-starred with such legendary performers as, Frank Sinatra , Liberace , and Carol Burnett.  As Julie Recalls; “What a way to grow up and start in this business “
“These people were wonderful to me “Some kids went to school, but I went to work and learned from the Best”  “Each one of these performers was a professor to me, and I was so lucky to have had the opportunity to know them all”  And Now, Today..while touring in her One Women Shows, Julie’s concerts have included performances at Lincoln Center , Carnegie Hall , The Kennedy Center , The London Palladium.  Tel Aviv’s Israel Performing Art’s Center, Venues in La Vegas, and Major Symphony
Halls all over the United States.  Julie also toured as Guest Artist for seven years , with The late great Marvin Hamlisch .
Julie has become a favorite to Many of the Symphony Orchestras .  Julie Budd has also pursued an exciting acting career and is in the process of writing a book about her days as a Child prodigy. Julie’s CD Pure Imagination {After9 Touchwood } was named
Top Ten Cd By ” Entertainment Today ” And received a ****Four Star Rating {4Stars }
For more about Julie and how to buy her CD’s go to www.juliebudd.com

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Bob Anderson, Bobby Slayton

Jan. 8 & 10, 2015 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

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Singing impressionist Bob Anderson guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

A Legend is Brought to Life as “FRANK – The Man. The Music.” Debuts at The Palazzo® Las Vegas

Starring Bob Anderson and featuring a 32-piece orchestra under the musical direction of Vincent Falcone, the show celebrates Frank Sinatra’s timeless sound, beginning Jan. 24. “FRANK – The Man. The Music.” performs Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Fridays at 9 p.m. at The Palazzo Theatre starting Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. Tickets are now on sale. For up-to-date schedule information, including dark dates, or to purchase tickets, visit any Box Office at The Venetian or The Palazzo, go online at www.venetian.com/frank, or call (702) 414-9000.

Conceptualized and brought to life by an all-star creative team, “FRANK – The Man. The Music.” is produced by Hoboken Productions in association with Stephen Eich. Bob Anderson, a revered singing impressionist, is transformed into Sinatra with the help of Oscar®-nominated makeup artist Kazu Tsuji, who aged Brad Pitt in the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

A Las Vegas legend in his own right, Anderson moved to Las Vegas from Detroit at the age of 22 and got his start performing with Nancy Sinatra as a singer in her show at the Sahara Hotel and Casino. When Sinatra took him with her for a performance on the “The Merv Griffin Show,” Griffin discovered his ability to recreate the voices of others, a skill that made him a regular on nearly every talk and variety show in the country. Anderson went on to have his own showroom in Las Vegas for more than a decade and in 2002 was inducted into The Casino Legends Hall of Fame.

Bobby Slayton, “The Pitbull of Comedy”

Slayton4Bobby Slayton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comedian Bobby Slayton, “The Pitbull of Comedy,” returns to Vegas on Jan. 30 & 31 at The South Point Showroom with Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling, and John Melendez, “Stuttering John.”
Audiences around the country may recognize Bobby from his many scene stealing roles in movies such as “Get Shorty”, “Ed Wood”, “Wayne’s World 2″, “Bandits”, and “Dreamgirls.” He’s appeared on dozens of television programs including “The Tonight Show”, “Home Improvement”, and his own Comedy Specials on both Showtime and HBO. He was a series regular on the HBO series “Mind of the Married Man” and played Joey Bishop opposite Ray Liotta and Joe Mantegna in the critically acclaimed film, “The Rat Pack”.  Slayton’s distinct gravelly voice has often been heard on dozens of radio commercials and animated shows like “Dr. Katz” and “Family Guy”, and welcomed over the years on hundreds of syndicated and local radio shows with everyone from Howard Stern to Larry King.  The NY Daily News called Slayton “armed and dangerous” and the Las Vegas Review Journal pointed out that “Slayton’s refusal to compromise his art has always made him worth a special trip.”

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Don Brewer, Al Bernstein…

Jan. 1 & 3, 2015  6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web 

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Grand Funk Railroad

Grand Funk Railroad --on-Stairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.
Grand Funk Railroad is appearing at Orleans Showroom Jan. 10 & 11

Kevin Downey Jr.

Kevin Downey1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comedian Kevin Downey Jr. guests on LVBST radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Kevin has headlined clubs everywhere in the U.S., and can be heard regularly on “The Bob and Tom Show”, as well as, Sirius and XM Satellite radio.  He is also a proud member of Armed Forces Entertainment and he travels the world performing for the troops. Some of the bases he’s been to include Pearl Harbor, Guam, Roi-Namur, Kwajalein Atoll, Singapore, Diego Garcia.

Kevin has also appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, “Comedy Central”, “What Not to Wear” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Kevin appears at the Trop’s “Comedy Stop” in Las Vegas at least four times a year. He truly appreciates his ever-growing fan base. Kevin authors a column called, Drinking on $11 a Night, which can be read in “Bachelor Pad Magazine” and “GC” magazine, and online at usedwigs.com. Kevin’s song, “Secret Garden of Dirty Little Whores (who think they’re better than me)”, can be heard on college and traditional radio stations throughout the country. His nationally-released DVD called, “I’m not Gay, but Don’t Stop” can be found on both Amazon.com and Netflix.

Legendary “Voice of Boxing” Al Bernstein

2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Al Bernstein returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM KLAV in Las Vegas, and The Web.

For just over 30 years, Al Bernstein has been one of the most recognizable and respected sportscasters in America. In those three decades, the “voice of boxing” reported the funny, poignant, and bizarre events that helped shape sports television, ESPN, boxing, Las Vegas, and Showtime. With an eclectic cast of characters that includes every big name in boxing, including Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, as well as such names in the entertainment world as Rodney Dangerfield, Sylvester Stallone, Russell Crowe, and Jerry Lewis, Bernstein’s memoir will have you in stitches.

Al Bernstein has written a new book, “30 Years, 30 Undeniable Truths about Boxing, Sports and TV,” and has already received a great reception. People from the sports, entertainment and media world are talking about this book.

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Jan. LV Backstage Talk column

By Michele LaFong

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(click on article to enlarge)

Jan. Las Vegas Backstage Talk column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.

Last month, after interviewing Charlie Daniels, best known for his No. 1 country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and hearing several songs from his new Off the Grid CD – Doin’ It Dylan, a tribute piece in which the Charlie Daniels Band puts a southern twist on a collection of Bob Dylan’s most classic songs, I felt compelled to check out his show at The Orleans theatre to witness for myself how this country and southern rock legend skilled on guitar, fiddle, and mandolin, manages to stay so relevant at 78 years of age. It was closing night of National Finals Rodeo week. Backstage prior to the show we were chatting it up and I noticed that even his deep speaking voice was resonating with every word. He came across all American as apple pie, and was quite humble and personable both on and off stage. I had no idea what to expect from Charlie’s show but I knew after 50 plus years of creating his own new definitions of music which scored hits on rock, country, pop and Christian charts alike, and winning almost every music award along the way that I would be in for a real treat… and I was!
From the moment Daniels hit the stage, he displayed personality using some theatrics in some jovial interaction with his fellow band members. He really played to his audience when he sang a song about rednecks that clearly won the room over early on. Every type of music was covered from classic Christmas songs to blues and everything in between with Charlie’s signature southern sound and spin in the music’s interpretation. He even played a Johnny Cash tune to play tribute to the star that was so kind to him in Nashville when he was trying to break into the very competitive music business.

Charlie also showed much appreciation of his fellow band members throughout the show and during the introduction of an instrumental entitled Black Ice, an intricate, jamming concert-piece which was designed to showcase the skills of his musicians with solos from each band member which included an 8 minute solo from drummer, Pat McDonald which received a standing ovation in the middle of the show.

I found it interesting that the two Dylan songs that Charlie chose to play were coincidently the same two that I picked to showcase samples of during my interview with him which aired on LVBST. Tangled Up In Blue, and Gotta Serve Somebody, which I absolutely loved! (I noticed when I interviewed Daniels that we had the exact same taste in artists from Gregg Allman to B.B King, when he confessed, “I would love to have the opportunity to record with B.B.) Bob Dylan was the original before the Beatles, and before everyone else.” Charlie declared on stage. He told the story of how he was called to record with Dylan as a one-time fill in because the guitarist that was hired for the series of recording sessions could not make the very first one however after the session was over, Bob insisted that Daniels stay on and finish the project with him because he was the perfect person for the job.
Of course the show closed with the much awaited Devil Down in Georgia, which had the audience on its feet.
What a perfect way to end National Finals Rodeo week! Charlie will be touring the country starting in January, and has several dates in casinos nationally. I highly recommend his show.

The other artist featured on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Daniels was Ventriloquist Jay Johnson, who is mostly remembered for his role as the schizophrenic ventriloquist “Chuck and Bob” on the classic ABC television comedy “Soap”. Jay was on my radio show promoting the new DVD release of his Tony Award-winning Broadway show The Two and Only,” a show which he wrote and performed. Jay Johnson made his Broadway debut at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Four months before the Broadway opening “Jay Johnson: The Two and Only” played the Colony Theatre where it won the Los Angeles Ovation award for Best Solo Show. The show was originally produced Off-Broadway the previous season at Atlantic Theatre company where it earned rave reviews and a Lucille Lortel Award nomimation. He has written and performed in television specials for NBC, CBS, HBO and made hundreds of appearances on variety specials and talk shows like “The Tonight Show” (with Jay Leno and Johnny Carson) and “The David Letterman Show”. He has been featured in more than 30 national commercials. His acting credits include appearances on “CSI”, “That 70’s Show”, “Dave’s World”, “Night Court”, “Broken Badges” and many other shows that have come and gone.
I had the pleasure of working with Jay years ago when we were performing on Senor Wences’ 100th Birthday Tour at The Improv in LA with Paul Winchell, Milton Berle, John Byner, Charles Fleisher, and many more. I hadn’t had the opportunity to speak with Jay since that night’s performance and it was gratifying to hear that his rendition of that very special evening’s dinner with those two ventriloquist legends had matched my exact recollection of events. The full interviews of Charlie Daniels and Ventriloquist Jay Johnson are archived on Lasvegasbackstagetalk.com, as with all our other shows. Please Like us on facebook to be eligible for future show tickets and other offerings. With rodeo week, Christmas, and New Years’ behind us the schedule for headline entertainment in Las Vegas for 2015 is slowly being put together and released.

My Picks: Joe Rogan, the Mirage, January 1-2, January 30- 31, Elton John, Caesar’s Palace, January 16–24, Rob Schneider, South Point, January 16– 17, Styx, Palms, January 18, Santana, Mandalay Bay, January 21-31, Daniel Tosh, Mirage, January 23–24, Tommy Roe, South Point, January 23-25, Rod Stewart, Caesar’s Palace, January 27 – February 15, Bobby Slayton and Kevin Pollock, South Point, January 29-31, Burt Bacharach, Smith Center, Jan. 30, Jackie Evancho, Smith Center, Jan. 31, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Mandalay Bay, Jan. 31, Tim Allen, Mirage, Jan. 31

 

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