Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Judy Collins, Don McLean

October 19, 2017

Audio posted posted below

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Judy Collins is appearing at The Smith Center on  Oct. 21 with Stephen Stills.  The Award-winning singer-songwriter Collins’ rendition of Joni Mitchell’s, “Both Sides Now” from her landmark 1967 album, “Wildflowers,” has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Her version of “Send in the Clowns,” a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical “A Little Night Music,” won “Song of the Year” at the 1975 Grammy Awards.

In 2008, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Arlo Gutherie, Joan Baez and Leonard Cohen honored her legacy with the album “Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins.” For more go to http://judycollins.com/index1.php

Dated: 21/10/2012 Keith Perry exclusive images of Don McLean, one of America's most enduring singer-songwriters who is forever associated with his classic hits "American Pie" and "Vincent," pictured performing at The Sage Gateshead

Legendary artist Don McLean guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

In 1969, McLean recorded his first album “Tapestry” in Berkeley, Calif. Student riots were going on outside the studio as Don was singing “And I Love You So” inside. The album was first released by Mediarts and achieved commercial success.

His transition to international stardom began with the release of “American Pie” in 1971. A month later, McLean’s song first played on New York’s WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM to mark the closing of The Fillmore East, the famous New York concert hall. Thirty years later, the song was voted # 5 in a poll of the “365 Songs of the Century” compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 2004, McLean was inducted into The Songwriters Hall of Fame and has charted 40 gold and platinum records during his career.  For more go to http://www.don-mclean.com/

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Jarrett & Raja, Steve March Torme

April 13, 2017

Audio will be posted below

Jarrett & Raja, and Steve March Torme, guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

World renowned illusionists Jarrett & Raja would return to talk about the exciting new first magic dinner/entertainment show JARRETT AND RAJA MAGICIAN VS. MAESTRO in the Jarrett & Raja Showroom at Hooters Casino Hotel. The magicians have been seen on ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank” where the idea of a Vegas Show was created. Great story! They recently performed on several episodes of CW’s “Masters of Illusion” and were semi-finalists on “America’s Got Talent.”

 The family friendly show runs indefinitely Thursday’s through Monday’s and is dark Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s. Dinner begins at 6pm and the show begins at 7pm. Locals and Military with ID receive 50% off VIP tickets.

Raja is a classically trained pianist from Juilliard and will perform music with a “magic” twist throughout the evening and debut a very unique Beethoven composition with a latin twist. Jarrett, who was trained by Harry Blackstone Jr. will entertain audiences with incredible magic right in front of your eyes!

 Singer JR Phelps who has performed at “Showtime at The Apollo and worldwide has two solos and is weaved throughout the show.

Steve March Torme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve March Torme returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show to promote his weekend at The Smith Center April 14 & 15 at 7pm.

Steve delivers Our Songs, an evening of music audience’s love from Ray Charles, Cole Porter, Lennon/McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Rodgers & Hart, Aretha Franklin, Harry Warren, and so many more. With that voice, these songs, and a virtuoso quartet, this is an exhilarating show, made even more captivating by Steve’s charisma, ease and humor.
     Sample selections include “Until You Come Back to Me, “You Don’t Know Me,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “Blue Moon,” “We Can Work It Out,” “Overjoyed”, “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” and more.

     Steve’s extraordinary voice has electrified audiences in venues from the Detroit Jazz Festival to the McCallum Performing Arts Center in Palm Desert, CA, to the Smith Center in Las Vegas, and worldwide from London to Japan, Australia to Brazil and Canada. It might seem an obvious choice that Steve would enter the family business, but he discovered his love for music almost by accident. Steve was born in New York City to the multi-talented Mel Tormé and the former model/actress, Candy Tockstein. They were divorced when Steve was young, and Candy married Hal March, an actor/comedian best known as the host of NBC-TV’s The $64,000 Question Show, but who also starred on Broadway in Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn.

 

 

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Ray Romano, Al Jardine

April. 28, 2016

Audio of interviews are posted below… except on Internet Explorer

Ray & LaFong

Ray Romano, and original Beach Boy Al Jardine, guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Ray Romano, the star from one of the most respected comedy sitcoms in television history, Everybody Loves Raymond, teams up with David Spade, the wise-cracking, power-hungry assistant from Just Shoot Me, for an evening of hilarious banter as they share our stage together.

 

Al Jardine- The original Beach Boys

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Al Jardine, returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong

Al Jardine joined Brian Wilson on the road for Brian’s ‘No Pier Pressure’ Summer 2015 Tour.   It Started at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA and hit sixteen more cities in the US and eight in the UK, Brian performed songs from his Capitol album, No Pier Pressure, as well as top hits and fan favorites spanning his 50-year career with The Beach Boys and as a solo artist.  The Beach Boys will be at The Smith Center on April 30.

For all the confirmed dates and venues: http://www.aljardine.com

 


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Mary Wilson, Julie Budd

April 14, 2016 

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Mary WilsonMary Wilson

Mary Wilson, founder of The Supremes,  guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

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.  She will be appearing at The Smith Center April 15.

JULIE BUDD’s latest CD, entitled…“Remembering Mr. Sinatra” is both a tribute & valentine to Mr. Sinatra, who
personally invited Julie to be his guest artist at Caesar’s Palace, when she was just 16 years old.  Julie says that “Remembering … Mr. Sinatra” is her most personal & authentic work to date. “It includes selections that are reminiscent of those incredible bights onstage there! It allows me to share some of my most memorable moments with the audience, as well as bring some of the greatest songs ever written to a new one! While this CD preserves these for all of time, I’d like to present them as my gift to new generations, as they were once presented to me.

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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Carlos Mencia, Esteban

Feb. 18, 2016

Audio posted below except on Internet Explorer

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Comedian Carlos Mencia returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong.  In a candid  “comic to comic” videotaped interview at Treasure Island, following Mencia’s phone interview on our radio show, Carlos reveals the true story behind his lack of popularity amongst his comic peers, since his success on “Mind of Mencia” on Comedy Central.

On the road with his “C 4 URself” Tour, comedic superstar Carlos Mencia. Mencia has appearances on television shows including “In Living Color” and “An Evening at the Improv.” In 2000, he released a comedy album called “Take a Joke, America” that showcased his brand of confrontational humor. In 2002, he received a CableACE Award nomination for “Best Stand-Up Comedy Special” for his HBO special, and was featured on “Comedy Central Presents” later that year. In early 2005, “Mind of Mencia” debuted on Comedy Central, which drew an average of 1.5 million viewers. His most recent Comedy Central special, “New Territory,” debuted in December 2011.

His acting credits include starring opposite Ben Stiller and Michelle Monaghan in 2007’s “The Heartbreak Kid,” and in 2010 he starred in “Our Family Wedding” with Forrest Whittaker and America Ferrara.

For more about Carlos Mencia, click here–>

Reservations

Musician “Man in Black” – Esteban

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Esteban & Teresa Joy- live in-studio on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

The magical artistry of “Esteban,” and his guitar, will make its debut at The Smith Center, Thursday, Sept. 13, and Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. A Las Vegas resident, “Esteban,” will perform along with his daughter, violinist Teresa Joy, and his band of outstanding musicians. Show times are set for 7 p.m.

After a relentless pursuit in Los Angeles, Segovia finally permitted Esteban to play for him in 1974. When Segovia heard Esteban play, he invited him to Santiago de Compostela, in northern Spain, for master classes. After these classes, Segovia invited Esteban to Madrid to study privately with the maestro in Segovia’s famous 4th floor studio. For four years, Esteban studied with the master in Spain and in the U.S. In 1978, Segovia gave Esteban his endorsement. Esteban returned to the U.S. and began touring.

Since then, Esteban has topped the Billboard charts many times with his numerous albums, videos and DVDs, and has had first-time music history successes never before accomplished by any guitarist. He has been on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for his famous appearances and record-setting album sales on Home Shopping Network.

More about Esteban here–>

You can catch Esteban at The Smith Center, Cabaret Jazz Theater – Feb, 21
Reservations

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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Sept. LV Backstage Talk column

By Michele LaFong

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong-

monthly syndicated column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.

Coming off the heels of guesting on LVBST just two weeks earlier to discuss the exciting details of his new recording deal, Emmy Award winner Clint Holmes returned to LVBST to announce that Aug 1-3, would be his last weekend performing at his monthly resident weekend engagement at The Cabaret Room in The Smith Center before taking a hiatus in order to make time for his new gig… to star in GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles – at The Venetian Theatre this fall. Clint explained; “When the producer, Larry Rosen first asked me to do the show I said “you know…I don’t sound like Ray Charles, I don’t even sing like Ray Charles…Larry said “that’s not what we’re looking for. We want artists that do their interpretations of his songs. Co-Stars 10-time Grammy award-winning vocal group TAKE 6, six-time Grammy nominee and Downbeat Vocalist of the Year Nnenna Freelon, and Stella Gospel Award and Grammy award-winning saxophone star Kirk Whalum also do not sound like Ray Charles.” The show introduces the Las Vegas Mass Choir, under the direction of James R. Smith and Edie Aikels, and features the Las Vegas All-Star Big Band, under the direction of pianist and conductor, David Loeb. GEORGIA ON MY MIND, will be in the Venetian Theatre September 18 through October 29, 2014. Clint will return to The Smith Center in time to present his Christmas show.

Joy Behar may have retired as Co-Host from ABC’s The View…but that’s about all she’s retired from. In my latest interview with Joy she had this to say; “I lost about 18 pounds altogether after getting off The View…That show made me fat! Now that I’m off… it’s so much less stressful. It’s a whole new group over there. Let’s see how fat they all get!” That’s what I always loved about Joy…You never knew what was going to come out of her mouth next! “I’m doing more stand-up again, as well as working on a One Woman Show, which has more of a storyline than stand-up called “Me, My Mouth, and I.”  We’re currently looking for an Off-Broadway Theatre in New York.” When asked about other future goals in the works, she replied, “I’d be open to doing TV again…but it would have to be the right project.” Joy’s interview aired on August 14. A video clip of her and Colin Quinn on HLN, laughing about doing gigs for me back in the ‘80’s is posted on casinoplayer.com, gamingtoday.com, and is posted below.

Another popular, funny and exciting guest returning to LVBST is “the Voice of Boxing” himself, my next door neighbor and friend Al Bernstein. On Sept. 11, Al will be guesting in-studio giving us more backstage stories, celebrity updates and of course his take on the big upcoming Mayweather/Maidana fight at The MGM Grand that he is covering on Sept. 13 on Showtime.

Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe Winner Paul Williams returned on LVBST calling in from Dublin! Between being President of ASCAP, speaking to congress about songwriters getting paid in the digital age, and preparing for his new book release on Sept. 17th on Penguin called “Gratitude and Trust”, and winning another Grammy Award this year…we ran out of time before could hear the rest of what might be next for Paul Williams!

Rudy Ruettiger, whose life-story was the inspiration for the movie “Rudy,” one of the most inspiring movies of our time, guested in-studio together with his producer, Tony Sacca to promote the premiere of his new multi-media one-man show, “Rudy,” starring Rudy Ruettiger at the Troesh Studio Theater in The Smith Center Aug. 9. The show, like the movie is about his life story of how he accomplished his dream of going to Notre Dame and convinced Hollywood to make a movie of his life, which earned him an invitation to the White House. “After seeing Mike Tyson’s one-man show, I knew that I too could do this. The ultimate goal is Broadway.” Why Not?!
Here’s a treat: “End of Summer Bash,” a FREE concert featuring Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Brooklyn Bridge, The Rip Chords, 1910 Fruitgum Company on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 4pm at The Cannery.

Nevada’s 150th birthday is being planned for Monday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center. Proceeds will benefit The Smith Center’s education outreach programs. This variety show is a not-to-be missed event that will feature some of the best entertainers of the Las Vegas Strip as they come together for one night only to celebrate Nevada’s cultural heritage. Proceeds will benefit The Smith Center’s education outreach programs. Tickets are $25 to $100. Some of the names already scheduled to appear include: Bob Anderson, Susan Anton, Cirque du Soleil, Véronic DiCaire, Clint Holmes, Human Nature, Jersey Boys, Robin Leach, Jerry Lewis, Frankie Moreno, Penn& Teller and many more backed by The Lon Bronson All-Star Band and boosted by the Las Vegas Mass Choir.

The Best of Jethro Tull will be played by Legendary prog pioneer Ian Anderson at The Pearl inside The Palms Resort on Sept. 19. My two segment interview with Ian will air on Sept. 18.

Sept. headline entertainment really heats up in September as evidenced by the length and quality of the names in “My Picks” this month. LVBST should have great choices for interviews!

My Picks: Rock of The 80’s-The Romantics, The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw, Tommy Tutone, Eastside Cannery, Sept. 5,
Jerry Seinfeld, Caesars Palace, Sept. 5 & 6, Jim Breuer, South Point, Sept. 5 & 6,Kevin Hart & Friends Comedy All-Stars, The Cosmopolitan, Sept. 5, Susie Essman, The Venetian, Sept. 5 & 6, Deana Carter, Sunset Station, Sept. 6, Neil Sedaka, The Orleans, Sept. 6 & 7, Gabriel Iglesias, The Mirage, Sept. 12-14, Arturo Sandaval, The Smith Center, Sept. 13, Deana Martin, South Point, Sept. 13 & 14, Marc Anthony, Planet Hollywood, Sept. 13, The Guess Who, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 16, Diana Ross, Caesars Palace, Sept. 19, Ray Romano, The Mirage, Sept. 19 & 20, REO Speedwagon, The Orleans, Sept. 19 & 20, Tony Orlando, South Point, Sept. 19-21, Tesla Eastside Cannery, Sept. 20, Joan Osborne, M Resort, Sept. 20, Rod Stewart, Caesars Palace, Sept. 19- Oct. 5,
Gordon Lightfoot, The Smith Center, Sept. 24, Bill Cosby, Treasure Island, Sept. 26, Daniel Tosh, The Mirage, Sept. 26 & 27,
Katy Perry, MGM Grand, Sept. 26, Paula Poundstone, The Orleans, Sept. 26 & 27, Ralphie May, South Point, Sept. 26-28, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Palms, Sept. 27, Jerry Lewis, Smith Center, Sept. 30, Lorde, Hard Rock, Sept. 30.

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