This week, Ira spoke with Norm Clarke, “. To listen to the interview click below.
Norm Clarke’s popular “Vegas Confidential” column is featured four days a week in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He regularly breaks news about celebrities or personalities that are reported around the world.
Clarke is a Montana native, whose background includes more than 15 years in Denver as a baseball writer, sports journalist, and man-about-town columnist.
He had a 12-year stint with the Associated Press (with stops in Cincinnati, San Diego and Los Angeles) and has written two books, “1,000 Naked Truths” and “Sinsational Celebrity Tales.”
Clarke will be presenting his quarterly “Conversations With Norm” in Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center on Sunday, June 29th at 2 p.m., this time sitting down with comedian Rita Rudner.
This week, Ira spoke with Rita Coolidge. To listen to the interview click below.
Two-time Grammy® Award winner Rita Coolidge, who will perform many of her top hits at the Suncoast Showroom June 21-22, began her career as a backing vocalist in Memphis in the 1960s.
Shortly thereafter, she relocated to Los Angeles and became the first call background singer for performers like Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson and The Temptations. After establishing her dominance as a backing vocalist, Coolidge was asked to join the ensemble band Delaney and Bonnie, and toured with Joe Cocker and Leon Russell on the “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour in 1970.
Following the tour, Coolidge worked with high profile rock artists, including tours and recordings with Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell and Stephen Stills.
Later, Coolidge began her solo career with her self-titled debut album in 1971. Since then, she has released 15 albums and charted several hit songs, including “Fever,” “We’re All Alone,” “One Fine Day,” “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher & Higher,” “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “All Time High” and “Superstar.”
Coolidge has appeared in numerous movies, including “A Star Is Born,” “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid,” “Vanishing Point” and “Christmas in the Clouds.”
This week, Ira spoke with Lavell Crawford. To listen to the interview click below.
Lavell Crawford, performing at the Suncoast Showroom June 14-15, is an award-winning comic, actor, writer and producer.
Crawford’s career took off after his national exposure on NBC’s hit reality series “Last Comic Standing,” and he has been quickly climbing the comedic ranks ever since. The rising comedy star has repeatedly guest-hosted the “Steve Harvey Radio Show” and has regular appearances on “Chelsea Lately,” “Tosh.0” and “Workaholics.”
On television, Crawford is best known for playing Saul Goodman’s bodyguard, “Huell Babineaux” on AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” Additional well known appearances include “Shaquille O’Neal Presents: All Star Comedy Jam,” “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam” on HBO, “Showtime at the Apollo,” “Martin Lawrence Presents 1st Amendment,” “Comic’s Unleashed with Byron Allen,” “Steve Harvey’s Big Time” “Comedy Central’s Premium Blend,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Motown Live, ” Adult Swim’s “Squidbillies” and BET’s “Comic View.”
Crawford has also held roles in numerous films including, “Baby’s Mama Drama,” “Beverlyhood” and “Ghetto South Problems.” In the near future, Crawford will hit the big screen alongside popular film stars Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, and Uma Thurman in “American Ultra” for Lionsgate.
Crawford’s other recent projects include a series regular role on Adult Swim’s new series, “Sperm Whale” as well as his on-going recurring roles on “The Crazy Ones,” “Super Fun Night,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
Crawford’s second one-hour special “Lavell Crawford: Can A Brother Get Some Love” recently premiered on Comedy Central.
This week, Ira spoke with Fielding West. To listen to the interview click below.
Fielding West, performing at the Laugh Factory through June 8 at 8:30 and 10:30, along with Mike Pace and KT Tatara, was introduced to magic by his grandfather who was an amateur magician. After high school, Fielding put himself through college, paying for his degree by performing in a band as a drummer and doing magic shows for children.
In 1973 while selling cars and going to graduate school at night in Tallahassee, Florida, he met an unknown comedy magician named Steve Martin. After seeing Martin perform, he knew that he wanted to be in show business for the rest of his life. The concept of a comedy act began.
Three years later West moved to Jacksonville, Florida and started his own Saturday morning children’s show on television with a Post/Newsweek station, WJXT. The show. “Magic Gang,” was the highest rated kids show in its time slot for two years. Not being satisfied with entertaining only children, Fielding pursued a nightclub act.
A year and a half after leaving television, he put together a successful touring show called the Amazing Fielding And Company, which included illusions and hypnosis. The act, after two years, led him to Las Vegas. There West met Liberace, who helped him get his first break by showcasing his act at the Sahara Hotel. Since then he has been working all over the world as a featured star in large production shows and as an opening act for major stars.
Fielding’s career has now come full circle. He has appeared on a multitude of comedy specials and popular sitcoms. He is also a successful comedy writer for other magicians and comedians. West is well-known in the corporate market and for a course he created, called Stagecraft 101; he manages speaking seminars for young performers that teach how to speak more effectively.