Talking With Benjamin D. Hale – January 29, 2015

FotoFlexer_Photo Benjamin Hale

This week, Ira spoke with Benjamin D. Hale. To listen to the interview click below.

Benjamin D. Hale, who is currently starring as Johnny Cash in “Million Dollar Quartet,” will be presenting a “Night of Cosmic American Music” in Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center on Saturday, January 31st at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Classically trained and well-practiced, Benjamin D. Hale is known for his unique ability to create music that blends a wide range of influences into one powerful voice. A lifelong career of onstage music has provided Hale with opportunities to be in multiple bands.

Previously, Hale covered the role of Raoul, the romantic lead, in “Phantom the Las Vegas Spectacular” for six years. The show brought him to Las Vegas. He is originally from Orem, Utah where his parents own and operate The Hale Center Theater, a community theater in the round. Hale’s theater is one of a few that where originally started by his grandparents, Ruth and Nathan Hale, whose theater in Burbank, California owns the title of the longest running community theater in the round in the United States.

Hale has two performing sides to him, the musical theater side and the rock’n’roll side. His dad was a rock’n’roll singer before he began to run the theater in Orem, Utah. From a very young age, Hale was exposed to both the theater and the rock’n’roll.


Talking With Tommy Roe – January 22, 2015

FotoFlexer_Photo Tommy Roe
Photo by Hub Wilson

This week, Ira spoke with Tommy Roe. To listen to the interview click below.

Singer-songwriter Tommy Roe, who will be performing at the South Point January 23- 25, wrote, co-wrote, and recorded six Top Ten Hits between 1962 and 1969, more than any other single artist/songwriter during this period. “Shelia” and “Dizzy” topped the Billboard chart at #1

Roe had a total of eleven records reach the Billboard Top forty, and 23 Billboard Top 100 chart records. With similar chart success in England, and throughout Europe, Asia, and Australia, Tommy is considered one of the early pioneers of American pop culture.

Born in Atlanta, Roe started singing and writing songs at the age of 14. In high school, he and two friends, Mike Clark and Bobby West, formed a band called The Satins. In addition to neighborhood gigs, Tommy and The Satins played high school dances, and fraternity parties at Georgia Tech, and the University of Georgia. It was during this time that he met Felton Jarvis, who would soon become his producer.

In February of 1962, Roe, along with Felton Jarvis, and his new manager, Bill Lowery, drove from Atlanta to Nashville, and recorded two songs – “Save Your Kisses,” and “Shelia.” The single “Shelia” was released and soon became the number one hit around the world. Little did Roe know that this would be the beginning of a career that would propel him into the spotlight for life.

In 1986, Roe was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. He is also a Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee and a member of The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Association Hall of Fame.


Talking With Sommelier Kirk Peterson – January 15, 2015

FotoFlexer_Photo Kirk Peterson

This week, Ira spoke with Sommelier Kirk Peterson. To listen to the interview click below.

Kirk Peterson grew up in a small town in Northern Nevada before eventually making his way to Las Vegas to attend film school. After working in the entertainment industry from Los Angeles to Australia, he returned to Las Vegas to make his favorite hobby and true passion a career: wine and spirits.
After joining the opening team of Carnevino in 2008 as a sommelier, Peterson now serves as beverage director for B&B Ristorante, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, Otto Pizzeria e Enoteca, and B&B Burger & Beer.


Talking With Diane Schuur – January 8, 2015

FotoFlexer_Photo Diane Schuur

This week, Ira spoke with Diane Schuur. To listen to the interview click below.

Diane Schuur (nicknamed “Deedles”), long regarded as one of contemporary jazz’s leading vocalists, is appearing in Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center through January 9.

Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1953, Schuur was blind from birth; but she was gifted with perfect pitch and initially taught herself piano by ear.

With a distinguished career that includes two Grammy awards (“Timeless” and “Diane Schuur and The Count Basie Orchestra: on GRP Records), Schuur has explored almost every corner of the 20th Century musical landscape. Her musical collaborations include those with Barry Manilow, B.B. King, Ray Charles, and Jose Feliciano, among countless others. These collaborations have resulted in numerous #1 Billboard Chart recordings, including “Pure Schuur” and “Heart to Heart” with B.B. King.

Schuur has appeared on PBS and many other television specials…as well as a very special visit to “Sesame Street.” She has been invited to perform at The White House on multiple occasions, and was one of the select musical guests invited to perform for Stevie Wonder at the Kennedy Center Honors when he received his prestigious award. Schuur continues to tour and perform extensively at major concert halls and venues around the world.

Schuur’s latest critically acclaimed recording, an homage to two of her very important mentors, Frank Sinatra and Stan Getz is “I Remember You (With Love to Stan and Frank),” released on June 10, 2014 The recording features all new arrangements by Alan Broadbent, and in addition to Mr. Broadbent on piano, it includes an All-Star Band of Ben Wolfe, Ulysses Owens Jr., Romero Lubambo, Roni Ben Hur, and Joel Frahm.


Talking With Toni Wine – January 1, 2015

FotoFlexer_Photo Toni Wine

This week, Ira spoke with Toni Wine. To listen to the interview click below.

Singer-songwriter-musician Toni Wine has been touring and performing with Tony Orlando throughout the country, including his Las Vegas appearances at the South Point.

Wine was born and raised in New York City where she was a child prodigy who studied classical piano at the Julliard School of Music. She went to work at Screen-Gems Publishing, where she initially collaborated with a series of writers including Gerry Goffin, Howie Greenfield and Steve Venet. Her first recorded song was the Cookies’ “Only to Other People,” but she hit her stride as a composer when she began a three-year collaboration with Carole Bayer; the first fruits of their partnership, the Mindbenders’ “A Groovy Kind of Love,” topped the U.S. pop charts in March of 1965.

By this time Wine was also recording as a solo act, releasing a handful of singles for Colpix. In 1969, she joined with Ron Dante, Ellie Greenwich and Andy Kim to record as the fictional cartoon group the Archies, contributing vocals to the blockbuster “Sugar, Sugar”; she also reunited with her long-time friend Tony Orlando to lend vocals to her song “Candida.”

Wine married famed producer Chips Moman and relocated to Memphis, where she released material for Atco and Monument in addition to a busy career as a writer and session vocalist.