Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Bobby Vinton, Deana Martin

June 15, 2017

Audio is posted below












Bobby Vinton guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

The last time I saw Bobby Vinton, was many years ago when I was opening for him in Mystic Lake Casino, in Minnesota.  I remember being “blown away” with his super high energy performance.  He was dancing on tables, and just gave 1000%!

Bobby Vinton. A multi-talented musician, singer and actor, Bobby Vinton has sold more than 75 million albums during his career. In this full-stage musical gala, the “Total Entertainer” pulls out all the stops. Vinton is joined by an orchestra, and family members to sing all his most beloved hits and many more favorites. It’s a dazzling concert event that showcases one of music’s most beloved artists.

Bobby Vinton. Treat yourself to a magical night with Bobby Vinton. “Blue Velvet,” “Roses are Red” and “Mr. Lonely” are just a few of the songs that has Billboard Magazine calling Bobby, the all-time most successful love singer of the “rock era.”

The “Total Entertainer” pulls out all the stops in this full-stage musical gala. It’s a dazzling concert event that showcases one of music’s most beloved artists.

 For more about Bobby:

 Singer/Entertainer/Deana Martin













Deana Martin fans will love this special show honoring her father, the King of Cool Dean Martin on the anniversary of his 100th birthday. Martin will be performing two spectacular shows as part of her acclaimed Deana Sings Dino concert series, with special guests, The Golddiggers and … who knows who will walk through the “Surprise Guest Door.”  Show dates are June 23rd and June 24th in the Showroom at South Point Casino, with show times set for 7:30 p.m.

From the moment she walks on stage, Deana Martin takes her audience on a musical journey with her non-stop dynamic energy celebrating her legendary father Dean Martin and other great performers who shaped American music and popular culture for over four decades. Deana Sings Dino is a totally engaging, classy and contemporary presentation of the most beloved songs of all time, capturing the swinging sophistication associated with her Dad and the Rat Pack. In this electrifying musical revue, Deana sings hot new arrangements of enduring hits like, That’s Amore, Volare, That’s Life, Everybody Loves Somebody, Memories Are Made Of This – songs treasured worldwide by her fans and those of her father, “Uncle Frank” Sinatra and “Uncle Sammy” Davis Jr.

These special shows have all the essentials of classic concert entertainment: the world’s best music, personal and often hilarious recollections from Deana’s life and career, interaction with her audience, plus her innate musicianship. Deana Martin is undeniably authentic­­­ – a living connection to the greatest era in entertainment. As an internationally acclaimed entertainer, Deana Martin has become an instantly recognizable voice and figure in the pantheon of The Great American Songbook. Her 2006 debut CD release, Memories Are Made of This, stayed in the top ten for 40 consecutive weeks.  Her follow-up CD, 2009’s, Volare, debuted in the top ten of the Billboard charts, followed by 2011’s seasonal evergreen, White Christmas, 2013’s critically acclaimed, Destination Moon, and her latest, 2016’s Swing Street, has garnered airplay on top Jazz, Standards, and Country radio stations, emphasizing her prominent status as a hit recording artist. As a celebrated author, Deana found herself on the New York Times coveted Best Seller list with her 2004 memoir, “Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughters Eyes.”  In it, Deana delights in sharing wonderful, never-before-told stories about her father and his Pallies. To her they were known as, Uncle Frank (Sinatra) and Uncle Sammy (Davis, Jr) – to the world, they were known as the Rat Pack.





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“It’s the Norm” reviews Comedian Michele LaFong & Bobby Rydell at The Suncoast

IT’S THE NORM (Review)

Bobby Rydell and Michele LaFong at Suncoast Hotel & Casino

By: Norm Johnson | January 16th, 2013

Norm Johnson’s review site “It’s the Norm” here—>

Bobby Rydell and Michele LaFong at Suncoast Hotel & Casino

Went to the Suncoast Hotel & Casino Sunday evening to see an entertainer I hadn’t seen in years, but one I remembered from the ‘60s, when I first reviewed his show at the old Sahara Hotel & Casino. At the time, he was a hot number among the teenage crowd, and, that particular evening, he was the opening act for the great George Burns. Oh, his name? Why it’s Bobby Rydell.

Like I said, I haven’t watched this senior citizen perform in years—and that’s no body’s fault but this writer. My friend, Michele LaFong, had invited me as her guest, so off we went to the Suncoast.  And, gang, am I honestly glad that I had the opportunity—it was a most amazing night!

First things first. LaFong, who has a weekly radio show on KLAV radio, is a comedian, impressionist, and a ventriloquist. She was Rydell’s opening act for the three evenings at the Suncoast. I had heard of her comedic skills, but had never seen her actually perform. So, I was going to see two acts of whom I had little first-hand


Michele LaFong and Puppets

knowledge. I must say, Michele, is a damn good ventriloquist. After all, she should be—having been a protégé of the late, great Senor Wences, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 103.

Wences was one of many stars who became world famous by appearing on the Ed Sullivan “Toast of the Town” television show. The ventriloquist appeared on Sullivan’s show 43 times during its 23 year run on television.  When LaFong appeared on stage, we noticed some props which looked vaguely familiar—they should, they were the same props given to her by Senor Wences before he died. She immediately began throwing her voice all over the showroom, which in itself is an amazing act. After a few minutes, she began to prepare her hand for the emergence of the most famous hand puppet in the world, Johnny.  Michele was perfect, in my opinion (I watched the Sullivan Show every Sunday evening like millions of other viewers did). She also had the famous suitcase where a weird, little puppet named Pedro lived. It is a mystery to me why this lady, Michele LaFong, is not working full-time on a Las Vegas stage. I think Terry Fator is great, but I believe LaFong is unique, wonderful, and her act belongs to the millions who adored Senor Wences.

Her 25-minutes over, the 10-piece band struck up a familiar tune, as a screen came down, and a film began showing a few highlights of the teenage rock and roll idol’s career during the ‘60s. The film over, out walked an older, gray-haired, dapper Rydell. Bobby had aged nicely I thought to myself, as he began his “remember me” show. Wow, I was really surprised just how strong his voice was, and my mind began a trip back in time, when I was a lot younger, and was dancing in nightclubs, and in a few movies in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s in Hollywood.


Bobby Rydell

Rydell, who was born in Philadelphia 70 years ago, and grew up in a section of Philly that created a number of teenage sensations—Frankie Avalon, Freddie Bell, James Darren, Fabian, Mario Lanza, Chubby Checker, Eddie Fisher and Al Martino. During his 60 minutes on stage, between such songs as “We Got Love,” and “Sway,” Bobby tells little stories about his famous friends. One of my personal favorite show segments was Rydell’s tribute to a fellow teenage sensation, who died far too soon at age 37, Bobby Darin. Included in the tribute medley was “Splish-Splash,” “Beyond the Sea,” and, of course, “Mack the Knife.”

Rydell closed the show to a SRO crowd with perhaps his best known hit, “Volare,” and he was off the stage. We visited briefly with him and Michele backstage. Having had very serious surgery in July—a double transplant of a kidney and liver, Bobby was somewhat exhausted. I reminded him of a review I wrote when he opened for George Burns at the old Sahara. “Yeah, wow, those were wonderful days in Vegas, weren’t they?” And, of course, I told him I thought he was better today than he was as a teenage idol. I meant it too. His voice is clear, strong and his pronunciation is perfect. And, gang, he may have gray hair, but he looks like a man just approaching 60. So, do yourself a favor the next time you see, or hear that Rydell, will be appearing in a showroom near you—go get your tickets right away, because you do not want to miss seeing a great entertainer do what he does best–sing beautiful songs!


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