1999-2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lewis Bailey saw Gene Watson last night

Tabloid Baby pal Lewis Bailey writes from Bailey Mountain:

"Just saw Gene Watson
at The Georgia Mountain Fair. 9 pm show.

Tore the damn doors off the building.
Wow.
Have you ever heard him live?
He is the real thing.
Country lives!
I am going to have some greens and cornbread."

And how about that Rhonda Vincent?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Zooma zooma! Louis Prima gets his star


Two of Louis Prima's kids-- singer Lena and punk rocker-turned-Prima tribute artist Louis Prima Jr., were on hand this morning to unveil the New Orleans artist, master showman and Las Vegas giant's long-overdue star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Montalban Theatre on Vine Street.


December 7th will mark Prima's 100th birthday.

Louis Prima gets his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today; Keely Smith got her star in 1998



KEELY SMITH ON THE WALK OF FAME
Category: Recording
Unveiled: 22 September 1998
Star rank: 1473
Address: 7072 Hollywood Blvd
Position: 3 tiles from the curb, facing east
(south side between Marshfield and Sycamore
GPS location: 34.101414, -118.344281


Friday, July 23, 2010

The Prima torch is passed to Art Vargas


Louis Prima gets his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Sunday and Art Vargas will be at the Rampart Casino August 20, 21 and 22. Bookers for showrooms on the Strip, from the Imperial Palace to the Tropicana, and lounge stages from Cleo's Barge to La Cabaret, should be on hand to book this Vegas veteran with a show that mixes vintage Vegas swing with modern hipster cachet.


Louis Prima with Keely Smith & Sam Butera & The Witnesses

Louis Prima is finally getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame


Legendary musician and showman Louis Prima would have turned 100 this year, and to celebrate he'll receive the 2,413th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Sunday. The ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Montalban Theatre. His Louis Prima Jr. and daughter Lena will be on hand to accept the long-overdue honor. Louis Prima recorded many of his great sides at the Capitol Records building at Hollywood and Vine. He died 32 years ago. His sax player and Tabloid Baby pal, the equally legendary Sam Butera, who kept the tradition alive for decades, died last year.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beatles songs for Schmucks


Patrick Goldstein writes a heartwarming story in The Los Angeles Times about how director Jay Roach got permission to use the Beatles song "Fool On The Hill" in his movie, Dinner for Schmucks.

We've condensed the inspirational piece to the crucial lines:

How did Jay Roach get a Beatles song
for 'Dinner for Schmucks'?


"...Jay Roach did what filmmakers do best. He wrote a long letter to Paul McCartney, making it clear that there was no possible substitute for having 'Fool on the Hill.'

"...Roach sent McCartney footage of the opening sequence, with the song playing over it, and--voila--permission was granted."

Punchline:

"Paramount/DreamWorks reportedly paid $1.5 million for its usage."

Burt Reynolds on Cloud 9 with Burn Notice


At 74 and months after quintuple bypass surgery, Hollywood superstar Burt Reynolds was putting in 17- and 18-hour days as a guest star on the hit TV show “Burn Notice.” The episode airs tonight at 8 pm on the USA Network. Reynolds tells TCPalm he was glad to reunite with old pals on the set, like veteran stuntman Glenn Wilder-- whom he knocked through a window while performing his own stunts.




Reynolds performed-- and directed-- his fight scene with Wilder's son, Scott Wilder, in the 2006 beach volleyball comedy smash, Cloud 9, which was written and produced by our pals Burt Kearns and Brett Hudson from Frozen Pictures, along with their Academy-Award®-winning (The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby) producer pal, Albert S. Ruddy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Marie Little, humanitarian


The late Marie Marotta Little, wife of legendary impersonator Rich Little, was a star in her own right, honored on Las Vegas Boulevard on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.


Funeral services took place this morning.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Private services for Rich Little's wife


Funeral services will be private tomorrow for Marie Marotta, the third wife of legendary impersonator Rich Little, who apparently took her own life last week, days after a two-pronged attack on Little's politics and work by Las Vegas blogger, New York Times stringer, Gay Vegas author, concert promoter and comp queen Steve Friess.

Marotta, recently wracked with crippling migraines, married Little in Hawaii in October 2003. Her humanitarian work earned her a place on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars®, in front of the Flamingo Hilton.

Marie on Rich Little's USO tour in Germany,
buying holiday gifts for orphans


Lindsay Lohan's latest picture

A Lohan picture worth a thousand words


Lindsay Lohan's loving mother Dina followed Lindsay into court this morning on the talented but troubled actress' way to jail. Think mama has issues?

Lindsay Lohan goes back to jail

Her father's prayers were not enough.


(Michael Lohan has issued a statement through his attorney: "Michael spent the morning praying for his daughter. He's devastated she's going to jail. He loves her very much and he'll pray for her."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Steve Friess attacked Rich Little twice the weekend before Little's wife committed suicide


In a stunningly unfortunate case of bad timing, it turns out that Las Vegas blogger, New York Times stringer, Gay Vegas author, concert promoter and comp queen Steve Friess published a pair of vicious, politically-motivated attacks on the legendary comic impersonator Rich Little, just days before Little's wife committed suicide.

"The Friesster," who has exerted an influence on Vegas entertainment scene through his many media connections and outlets (not to mention his relationships with Vegas moguls like Steve Wynn), slammed the 71-year-old Little on his Vegas blogsite on Saturday, July 10th, for allegedly referring to gay Congressman Barney Frank as a "queen" in a punchline during a comedy routine the previous evening at the Nevada Republican Party's annual convention.

"It seems like Little wants to make himself
relevant again
by stealing material,
resorting to incredibly simplistic
homophobic humor
and polarizing audiences."

--Steve Friess

The next day, Friess hit again, publishing an accusation from a "reader" who supposedly "attended Rich Little's stand-up performance at The Cannery in North Las Vegas on Saturday night," that Little had "introduced a woman in the audience who he said was the best female impersonator besides for Barney Frank."

Friess also repeated the accusation from the "reader" that "Little's best impression was of Andy Rooney but that the jokes themselves were lifted verbatim from Steven Wright." Despite his reputation for cadging free show tickets, Friess did not attend either performance.


In the Sunday attack, the activist Friesster revealed that his problems with Little may have less to do with the use of a "slur" than with Little's conservative political leanings and contributions to Sean Hannity events.

"Rich Little is an interesting figure because he was called upon in 2007 to perform at the White House Correspondents Dinner the year after Steven Colbert's scorcher embarrassed President Bush. The reviews were brutal but he didn't do much current-event political humor then.

"I'm not one to write off someone just because they're old or they've been out of the public eye for a while... But it seems like Little wants to make himself relevant again by stealing material, resorting to incredibly simplistic homophobic humor and polarizing audiences who aren't expecting to be polarized."

Four days after the broadsides, Little's wife Marie Marotta was found dead in an apparent suicide.


Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday quoted "a friend" saying that Marie's health issues were compounded by "a tough year" for the couple, including "a dropoff in his headliner bookings in the last decade."

While there is no evidence that Friess' screed contributed to the tragedy on Thursday, the postings, which are widely read among Las Vegas' business class, would certainly add to Rich Little's difficulties obtaining future headlining bookings in the city.

As of this posting, Friess has not commented on Rich Little's tragedy.

(Leaving aside a comedian's license to offend-- what of the word "Queen"? In a rare case in which a negative comment on Friess's site has not been censored and removed, a commenter to Friess's posts challenged the activist for holding the "old" Little to the political-correctness expected of young performers. He also questioned Friess' hypocrisy: "In 'Gay Vegas', you say 'there is nothing queer about the Four Queens, except its name'. This makes me see 'Queen' as not being insulting, yet your post about the Barney Frank joke makes me think it may be an insult. So, now I am wondering when it is OK to use 'Queen' and when it is an insult? I am especially afraid that it is never OK to use 'Queen' if the user is not gay."

(Friess responded: "The use of terms/slurs by people who are part of the community or friendly to it is different.")


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pete Rose in Hell


The disgraced Major League Baseball great sold autographs this weekend at the Forum Shops mall at Caesars Palace casino in Las Vegas, wearing a cap that camouflaged his Cincinnati Reds glory with a coating of gamblers' dust.


Rich Little's tragic wife: "Never give up"


"Never give up."

That was the advice from legendary celebrity impersonator Rich Little and his wife Marie Marrota Little in November 2008. The couple were among the Vegas A-list who turned out for the Las Vegas Women's Chamber of Commerce's Athena Awards, honoring women business owners. Tragically, Marotta was found dead in the couple's Las Vegas home on Thursday, allegedly a suicide at 45.

Rich Little's wife an apparent suicide


Rich Little says he found a suicide note along with the body of his wife in the bedroom of their dreamhouse in the Lake Sahara section of Las Vegas on Thursday. Marie Marotta apparently ended her life with an overdose of sleeping pills.

The report comes out of the 71-year-old impersonator's hometown, Ottawa, Canada, where his longtime friend, retired broadcaster Gord Atkinson, says that Marotta suffered from severe migraine headaches that sometimes "knocked her out for days.

"She left him a loving note and said that she couldn't go on."

Marotta was 45. She became Little's third wife when she married him in Hawaii in 2003. She was active in many humanitarian efforts, including working with the homeless, children in need and abused animals, and this year was inducted into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.


Las Vegas gossip Norm Clarke quotes a "friend":

"'They've had a tough year,' alluding to Marotta's medical issues, their purchase of a dream home at the height of the local real estate run-up and a dropoff in his headliner bookings in the last decade."

Atkinson say Rich Little is "absolutely devastated."

Services are set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at Palm Mortuary on Eastern Avenue.

Rich Little made tabloid television history in 1992 when he was sued by his former girlfriend, Vegas magician Melinda Saxe, for allegedly making a secret videotape of them having sex.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hank Cochran wrote a lot of country songs


A Little Unfair
A Way To Survive
Ain't Life Hell
Any Old Arms Won't Do
Are You Ever Coming Home
Baby, That's Cold
Back To Bein' Me
Broken Promises
Can I Sleep In Your Arms
Comeback Kid
Don't Touch Me
Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurtin Me
For Christ's Sake, It's Christmas
Funny Way Of Laughing
Hot Burnin' Flame
I Don't Do Windows
I Fall To Pieces
I Know An Ending When It Comes
I Want To Go With You
I'd Better Write It Down
I'd Fight The World
I'd Never Told On You
I'll Be A Hero When I Strike
If She Could See Me Now
Is It Raining At Your House
It's Not Love But It's Not Bad
It's Not Over Yet
Little Bitty Tear
Loneliness Is Eating Me Alive
Make The World Go Away
Miami My Amy
Montego Bay
Ocean Front Property
Only Girl In The Game
Right In The Wrong Direction
Set Em Up Joe
She's Got You
Shoes
So You Think You're A Cowboy
Summer Was A Bummer
Tanqueray
Tears Broke Out On Me
That's All That Matters
That's Where I Want To Take Our Love
The Chair
There Ain't Nothing Wrong
This Ain't My First Rodeo
Tight As Twin Fiddles
Two Old Sidewinders
Undo The Right
We Never Touch At All
What A Merry Christmas This Could Be
What Would Your Memories Do
When You Need A Laugh
Who Are You Gonna Blame It On This Time
Who Do I Know In Dallas
Why Can't He Be You
Would These Arms Be In Your Way
You Comb Her Hair
You Wouldn't Know Love
You're Stronger Than Me
...etc.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Lindsay Lohan taking same drug that killed Danny Gans


Lindsay Lohan is taking the same drug that killed Danny Gans. The probation report handed to the court in Beverly Hills in advance of the talented and troubled actress’ sentencing on Tuesday reveals that the 24-year-old has prescriptions for and has been gobbling a combination of drugs including the amphetamine Aderall, anti-depressants Zoloft and Trazodone and Nexium, which is used to treat acid reflux.

The most disturbing and dangerous addition to the legal cocktail, however, is the powerful opiate Dilaudid-- also known as hydromorphone or “drugstore heroin."


Dilaudid is the drug that contributed to the untimely death of Las Vegas superstar Danny Gans in June 2009.

Lindsay's father Michael has been saying for weeks that his daughter is addicted to prescription drugs, trying in vain to get someone to listen.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Art Vargas returns to Las Vegas in August


Attention! Art Vargas is returning to Las Vegas.

Showroom bookers, television producers, entertainment critics and gossip column kingmakers, prepare for your chance to return Vegas to its once singular show business glory with an entertainer who is ready to step up and assume the title once given to names like Sinatra, Prima, Newton and Gans.

Alas, Las Vegas is a city in which the local media not only considered its last genius and ambassador of entertainment to something less hip than Montreal-based acrobatic shows, but viewed his untimely death to be unworthy of investigation. And the brilliant entertainer Art Vargas is not beginning a Las Vegas Strip showroom run in August, but a three-night stand at the Rampart Casino in Howard Hughes' Summerlin community-- about a dozen miles from Caesars.


But that's how Vegas rolls these days. Even Jerry Lewis' telethon broadcasts from the South Point. But whether Art Vargas playing the Strip or North Boulder Highway, the vibes will resonate far beyond. And the Vegas establishment is now on notice to take notice.

Be there for Art Vargas' return and see what we mean. Get this man to a showroom!

Art Vargas performs-- with showgirls!-- at the Rampart Casino in Summerlin, Nevada, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 20, 21 and 22. Call 702 507 5900 for ticket information.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Jim Brown was grand marshal of the Pacific Palisades Fourth of July parade


Controversy at the annual Pacific Palisades Fourth of July Parade at the end of Sunset Boulevard? Not this year-- not unless you count the choice of football great, actor and woman abuser Jim Brown as Grand Marshal!


Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa returned solo, while area resident Tom Hanks kept to the sidelines with wife Rita Wilson.