Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Charlie Daniels

Dec. 7, 2017

Audio of interviews will be posted below

Charlie Daniels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Daniels guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

The Charlie Daniels Band will bring their unique blend of country, southern rock and Christian music to The Golden Nugget Showroom on December 10.

His signature song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” topped both country and pop charts and brought him international recognition. The single was certified platinum, earned three CMA awards, became a cornerstone of the soundtrack for the movie “Urban Cowboy” and propelled Daniels’ “Million Mile Reflections” album to triple-platinum levels.

 

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Charlie Daniels, Cowboy Bill Martin

Dec. 10, 2015

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Charlie Daniels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Daniels, and Comedian Cowboy Bill Martin, guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

The Charlie Daniels Band will bring their unique blend of country, southern rock and Christian music to The Orleans Showroom, December 11 and 12, as part of Boyd Gaming’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo entertainment line-up.

His signature song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” topped both country and pop charts and brought him international recognition. The single was certified platinum, earned three CMA awards, became a cornerstone of the soundtrack for the movie “Urban Cowboy” and propelled Daniels’ “Million Mile Reflections” album to triple-platinum levels.

In September, Daniels released “It Don’t Get No Better Than That,” a track dedicated to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) in Las Vegas and its contestants. Proceeds from the song benefit the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, an organization that provides financial assistance to athletes injured through their participation in professional rodeo.

Cowboy Bill Martin

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Comedian Cowboy Bill Martin guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.
Bill will be playing Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club, December 7th – 13th and the DVD of his first one-hour TV Comedy Special on CMT  comes out on December 21st.

Martin has toured over the years with George Strait, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Jones and the famed Blue Collar Tour. He’s also had the privilege of entertaining our soldiers in the Middle East. But, the comedy veteran credits his rise in popularity to his last five years working tirelessly with Carnival Cruise Lines’ Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez. “Because of Carnival, I knew the show was ready. After all, each week I’m doing 2 ½ hours of material in front of 2500 people,” “The next logical step was to make a move to TV. I’ve watched other comedians shoot their own specials, and I thought; why can’t we do the same thing?” said Martin

In his spare time, Martin is the Founder and CEO of the non-profit organization “Cowboys Who Care Foundation” which provides Free Resistol cowboy and cowgirl hats to kids with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, delivering more than 4,100 hats to kids across the country since 2012.

For more information, please visit: www.cowboybill.com

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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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Charlie Daniels, Ventriloquist Jay Johnson

Dec. 11, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Charlie Daniels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Daniels and Ventriloquist Jay Johnson guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

The Charlie Daniels Band will bring their unique blend of country, southern rock and Christian music to The Orleans Showroom, December 12 and 13, as part of Boyd Gaming’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo entertainment line-up.

During the course of Charlie Daniels’ 50-plus year career, he has scored hits on the rock, country, pop and Christian charts and has received numerous awards from the Country Music Association (CMA), Academy of Country Music (ACM), TNN/Music City News Awards and the Gospel Music Association (GMA). Daniels was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.

Born in Wilmington, N.C., Daniels was raised on a variety of music that included Pentecostal gospel, local bluegrass bands, rhythm & blues and country.

His signature song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” topped both country and pop charts, bringing him international recognition. The single was certified platinum, earned three CMA awards, became a cornerstone of the soundtrack for the movie “Urban Cowboy” and propelled Daniels’ “Million Mile Reflections” album to triple platinum sales levels.

CHARLIE DANIELS: PLAYING “THE LEGEND” FORWARD WITH NEW TRIBUTE CD — OFF THE GRID – DOIN’ IT DYLAN

His first new album project release since 2007, Off The Grid is Dylan the Daniels way and the result is sheer musical genius.
Ventriloquist Jay Johnson

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Ventriloquist Jay Johnson releases his Tony Award-winning show The Two & Only!  The DVD can still be ordered in time for Christmas!

Jay Johnson made his Broadway debut at the Helen Hayes Theatre starring in the show he wrote and performed entitled “Jay Johnson: The Two and Only”. It won him the 2007 Tony Award for Best Special theatrical Event. Four months before the Broadway opening “Jay Johnson: The Two and Only” played the Colony Theatre were 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.

Jay is a writer, comic, ventriloquist, poet, magician and puppeteer. 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 that 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. But he is best remembered for his role as the schizophrenic ventriloquist “Chuck and Bob” on the classic ABC television comedy “Soap”.

Jay and his wife, dancer Sandi Asbury, have been married for more than 38 years. They met while performing together at a theme park in Houston, Texas. Jay describes Sandi as the muse of his artistic life. They have two amazing sons, Brandon and Taylor. Although neither son pursued a career in ventriloquism, one teaches and studies languages in Berlin and the other is completing a degree in Linguistics at UCLA.

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