Las Vegas Backstage Talk

kevin Cronin, Little Anthony

June 22, 2017

 Audio of interviews are posted below (Scroll down)

REO-Speedwagon-2013 copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iconic Lead Singer of REO Speedwagon Kevin Cronin guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

“Keep On Loving You” rockers REO Speedwagon brought back nearly 40 years of hits at Junefest at Sunset Station last Saturday.

Loosely formed in 1967 playing frat parties at the University of Illinois, REO Speedwagon signed with Epic Records in 1971. The band released nine albums throughout the ‘70s, culminating with the twice-platinum “You Can Tune a Piano but You Can’t Tuna Fish” in 1978.

REO Speedwagon exploded to the top of the charts, setting the bar for other rock bands with their 1980 release “Hi Infidelity.” The colossal hit spent 15 weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling more than 10 million copies. The group’s most commercially successful album, it remained on the charts for 65 weeks and spawned the #1 single “Keep On Loving You” as well as hits “Take It on the Run,” “In Your Letter” and “Don’t Let Him Go.”

The band continued releasing hit albums into the ‘80s, including 1984’s “Wheels Are Turnin’ and its #1 single “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” REO Speedwagon released “Find Your Own Way Home,” their 15th studio album, in 2007. Two years later, they teamed up with fellow Midwestern rockers Styx for the single “Can’t Stop Rockin’,” which became the title track for the groups’ hit summer tour with .38 Special.

The current lineup includes founding member Neal Doughty, iconic lead singer Kevin Cronin, longtime bass player Bruce Hall, former Ted Nugent guitarist Dave Amato and former Wang Chung drummer Bryan Hitt.

Little Anthony & The Imperials

little-anthony-and-the-imperials[1]2013-08-03 15.08.23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Anthony guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Little Anthony and The Imperials are appearing at The Orleans Showroom on June 24, at 8pm.

They were one of the finest vocal groups to emerge from the talent-rich New York scene. Moreover, they enjoyed unusual longevity for an act of that type, having hits in both the Doo-Wop Fifties and the soul-music Sixties. They outlasted their peers by virtue of “Little Anthony” Gourdine’s powerful, beseeching vocals and the consummate professionalism of the Imperials, who mastered a broad range of material and knew how to work a stage.

“Tears on My Pillow,” their first single as the Imperials, was released on End Records. This classic vocal-group ballad was one of the biggest hits of 1958, reaching #2 on the R&B chart and #4 on the pop chart. Little Anthony and the Imperials were suddenly stars. The story might have ended there, with “Tears On My Pillow” fondly recalled as a vocal-group classic from one of the many one-hit wonders from that era. In fact, some of their followup singles did flop, strong as they were. But the group rebounded with an uptempo number, “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko Bop,” that capitalized on a dance craze.

Other hits include “Hurt So Bad,” and “Going Out of my Head.”

They received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and have been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. In 2008, Little Anthony and the Imperials released You’ll Never Know, an album of new songs and rerecorded oldies to celebrate their 50th anniversary as a group.

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Kathy Griffin, Little Anthony

April 16, 2015

Audio of interviews posted below

Kathy Griffin, LaFong Margaret Cho

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Griffin guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM KLAV in Las Vegas, and The Web.

Kathy first made a name for herself on Bravo’s two-time Emmy Award Winning Reality Series, “My Life on the D List,” and recently had her own talk show “Kathy” on Bravo, has broken the record for having the “Most Comedy Specials, Male or Female,” with her latest Special called “Calm down Gurrl,”. She is appearing at The Mirage, April 18, at 10pm

Little Anthony & The Imperials

little-anthony-and-the-imperials[1]2013-08-03 15.08.23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Anthony guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM in Las Vegas and The Web.

Little Anthony and the Imperials were one of the finest vocal groups to emerge from the talent-rich New York scene. Moreover, they enjoyed unusual longevity for an act of that type, having hits in both the doo-wop Fifties and the soul-music Sixties. They outlasted their peers by virtue of “Little Anthony” Gourdine’s powerful, beseeching vocals and the consummate professionalism of the Imperials, who mastered a broad range of material and knew how to work a stage.

“Tears on My Pillow,” their first single as the Imperials, was released on End Records. This classic vocal-group ballad was one of the biggest hits of 1958, reaching #2 on the R&B chart and #4 on the pop chart. Little Anthony and the Imperials were suddenly stars. The story might have ended there, with “Tears On My Pillow” fondly recalled as a vocal-group classic from one of the many one-hit wonders from that era. In fact, some of their followup singles did flop, strong as they were. But the group rebounded with an uptempo number, “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko Bop,” that capitalized on a dance craze.

Other hits include “Hurt So Bad,” and “Going Out of my Head.”

They received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and have been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. In 2008, Little Anthony and the Imperials released You’ll Never Know, an album of new songs and rerecorded oldies to celebrate their 50th anniversary as a group.

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk column-Casino Player Magazine by Michele LaFong

Sept. edition 

Online version: http://digitaleditions.walsworthprintgroup.com/publication/?i=172620

Casino Player-Las Vegas Backstage Talk

2013-08-03 15.08.23What a great summer this has been for entertainment in Las Vegas!  Last weekend I did a backstage interview at The Eastside Cannery with Little Anthony.  What fun!  We both played The Catskill circuit for years, and one time were even billed together on a show.  I thought only comedians had “nightmare stories” about their first experiences playing to that tough “seen it all,” aloof, Catskill crowd, but according to Little Anthony, he was not at all spared!  “It took some getting used to…” but all pros find a way to adapt, and luckily Little Anthony Gourdine was no exception.  Having learned about comedy timing from his good friend Comedian Redd Foxx, he had no trouble adding a little “shtick” together with Jewish songs which he learned phonetically, and sandwiched them between his hits, “Tears on my Pillow,” “Hurt So Bad,” “Going out of my Head,” and “Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop.”  Can you imagine a sprinkle of Halvah Nah Gila in that mix?  What’s really scary is I’m sure it seemed very normal to me at the time!

Now, at 73, this Vocal Group Hall of Fame inductee sells out in casinos nationally.  I never expected to enjoy their music as much as I did!  Their contemporary musical arrangements and great choice of covers keep the show relevant. (Edited portions of our backstage interview will be posted on casinocenter.com.)

Starship Live ! 033Rock Vault! 144Mickey Thomas, legendary singer from Starship, known for hits including “We Built this City,” “Jane” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” was another fun guest on my radio show.  He was promoting his stint as “special guest performer,” in RAIDING THE ROCK VAULT, at The LVH. Following the interview, I went to see the show, and I’m really glad I did.  It was impressive with an all-star lineup, consisting of original members of various known bands, they featured classics from The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Eagles, Queen, Van Halen, AC/DC, Journey, Free, Bryan Adams, Supertramp, Toto, Deep Purple, and more.  This show had great energy, but the only problem was it was too loud; however it was still a terrific presentation none the less and had a really entertaining storyline. Mickey Thomas, added even more excitement and authenticity to the show.  Singer Stephanie Calvert joined him on-stage.  It was simply fantastic!  Mickey will also be at The Silverton on Sept. 13.

pablo-franciscoI went to see YouTube Sensation, Comedian Pablo Francisco’s sold-out show, at The South Point Showroom, and I must say, The South point Casino seems to be successfully drawing a younger crowd.  I’ve never seen so many loyal fans, lined-up to buy things following a headliner’s performance at The South Point Casino!  Not bad for a comedian that many people are still not familiar with.  Yet, he is a popular ticket especially with young people in the casino circuit.   His brand of comedy consists mostly of high energy, characters, impressions, and sound effects.  He’s like a wind-up toy that never stops!   Having a serious conversation with Pablo during my interview proved to be almost impossible, but funny… as he seems to be one of those performers that are always on!  If he doesn’t have ADD…he should!  However he was entertaining, and a really nice guy.

 

Two comics that I was really excited to finally get on LVBST radio show were Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho, who not surprisingly are friends.  Kathy, who recently had her own talk show, “Kathy,” on Bravo, was promoting her up-coming performances. “I just love Las Vegas,”  “I love everything about it…slots and all!  She was constantly promoting…”If you come see me at The Mirage, you will hear different material than you’ve heard any time before. If you come see me a month later, you’re going to hear different material than last time.”   I let her know that I was a big fan of her reality show “My Life on the D List,” “Thanks,” she replied…but was quick to correct me…  “It’s “Two-time Emmy Award- Winning- My Life on the D List!  I’ve also just broken the record for having the most comedy specials, male or female, with my latest Special called “Calm Down Gurrl.” Boy was she “working it,” and sure knows how.  I just love her.  Kathy will return to The Mirage on Sept.8.   If you missed the interview, the audio is archived on lasvegasbackstagetalk.com

 

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BPG Drop Dead DivaMargaret Cho’s interview was much more low-key and cerebral.  Promoting her Stand-up Tour “Mother,” she had this to say about what can be expected from her Sept. 6 date at The Mirage. It’s different every day.  With stand-up comedy, you really have to change with the audience, and change the way it’s done, taking into consideration the way things are happening in the news.   The “mother” in the title, refers to “I’m like the mother of comedy now…I’m like everybody’s mom.  It’s kind of like achieving mastery in the art form, where you can do a lot…it’s almost like you’re giving birth to it.  Margaret’s full interview will air on Sept. 5.

tony-orlando2Tony Orlando, my friend, as well as one of my favorite performers is returning to The South Point Showroom on Sept 20-22. I never miss his show when he is in town.  Tony is an “old school” showman that simply knows how to entertain, still has great chops, uses killer musicians, and consistently delivers a “feel good,” up-beat, contemporary show.  I also love that he incorporates blues, country, and Led Zeppelin in his repertoire. Believe me… there is a reason his show is always sold out.

Watch for Heather Marianna,  Host of” Beauty Kitchen”-An extremely popular and successful internet show, that specializes in teaching us how to use food combinations that double as Beauty Products.  She has generously donated gift bags made exclusively for our celebrity guests, made from her own Beauty Line of products without the spa prices.   Heather and her products have been extremely well received. Marianna is scheduled to host the Pool Party at The Luxor, on “Gay Day,” on Sept. 6, 10am-6pm.  She is destined for big things!

As always, I look forward to your feedback at Michelelafong@gmail.com

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Kathy Griffin, Little Anthony-LVBST/w Comedian Michele LaFong

August 1, 2013 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV&Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Kathy Griffin, LaFong Margaret Cho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Griffin guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM KLAV in Las Vegas, and The Web.

Kathy first made a name for herself on Bravo’s two-time Emmy Award Winning Reality Series, “My Life on the D List,” and recently had her own talk show “Kathy” on Bravo, has broken the record for having the “Most Comedy Specials, Male or Female,” with her latest Special called “Calm down Gurrl,”. She is appearing at The Mirage August 2, & September 7, at 10pm and her pre-recorded interview will air in full on August 1, on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show at 6pm PST.

Little Anthony & The Imperials

little-anthony-and-the-imperials[1]anthonybio_image[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Anthony guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM in Las Vegas and The Web.

Little Anthony and the Imperials were one of the finest vocal groups to emerge from the talent-rich New York scene. Moreover, they enjoyed unusual longevity for an act of that type, having hits in both the doo-wop Fifties and the soul-music Sixties. They outlasted their peers by virtue of “Little Anthony” Gourdine’s powerful, beseeching vocals and the consummate professionalism of the Imperials, who mastered a broad range of material and knew how to work a stage.

“Tears on My Pillow,” their first single as the Imperials, was released on End Records. This classic vocal-group ballad was one of the biggest hits of 1958, reaching #2 on the R&B chart and #4 on the pop chart. Little Anthony and the Imperials were suddenly stars. The story might have ended there, with “Tears On My Pillow” fondly recalled as a vocal-group classic from one of the many one-hit wonders from that era. In fact, some of their followup singles did flop, strong as they were. But the group rebounded with an uptempo number, “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko Bop,” that capitalized on a dance craze.

Other hits include “Hurt So Bad,” and “Going Out of my Head.”

They received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and have been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. In 2008, Little Anthony and the Imperials released You’ll Never Know, an album of new songs and rerecorded oldies to celebrate their 50th anniversary as a group.

Little Anthony & The Imperials will be appearing at The Eastside Cannery on Aug. 3.

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