This week, Ira spoke with Laura Carroll and Adam Kealoha Causey. To listen to the interview click below.
Laura Carroll and Adam Kealoha Causey are authors of “100 Things To Do In Las Vegas Before You Die,” an insider’s guide to Las Vegas published by Reedy Press.
Carroll is a native Las Vegan. She worked in the media for nine years, most recently at Nevada’s largest news organization, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, as a tourism and retail reporter before transitioning into a career in public relations. As a public relations professional, Laura primarily handles corporate and political communications.
Causey is an award-winning journalist who transplanted to Las Vegas to work at the Review-Journal. There he reported on and later edited news about crime and courts, health and medicine and government. He has appeared on KNPR and also written for The Florida Times-Union and The Times (at Shreveport, Louisiana). Adam now edits news from states west of the Rockies for the Associated Press.
This week, Ira spoke with Shirley Alston Reeves. To listen to the interview click below.
Shirley Alston Reeves (original lead singer of the Shirelles) and The Chiffons will bring doo wop classics of the 50’s and 60’s to the Suncoast Showroom June 25-26.
New Jersey native Reeves made her debut in 1958 with the Shirelles, the first female pop/rock ‘n’ roll group credited with the girl group sound. During the height of their fame in the 60’s, the Shirelles became best-known for their huge hits, including “I Met Him on a Sunday,” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “Mama Said” and “Soldier Boy.”
Reeves left the group in 1975 to work on a solo career where she started performing under the name “Lady Rose.” That same year, she recorded the album “With a Little Help From My Friends,” which featured members of The Flamingos, The Drifters, Shep & the Limelites, and other notable groups.
Reeves was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Shirelles in 1996 and the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2014.
This week, Ira spoke with Martha Reeves. To listen to the interview click below.
Martha Reeves, who, along with the Vandellas, are performing in The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards June 17 at The Golden Nugget Las Vegas as part of its 52 Fridays Concert Series.
It was 1962 that Motown’s Artist and Repertoire Director William “Mickey” Stevenson first heard the voice that would become synonymous with “the sound of young America.” A young jazz/blues singer with the unlikely name of “Martha Lavaille” was bringing audiences to their feet at Detroit’s famed 20 Grand Nightclub singing songs made popular by singers the likes of Gloria Lynne and Della Reese. He invited her to audition at the new Motown Records headquarters, “Hitsville, USA.”
Though the audition never happened, within a year, Martha had taken the reigns of the company’s A&R department. She saw that musicians showed up on time and got paid. She watched, learned, and whenever opportunity presented itself, she sang. And when she did, everyone took notice. When Mary Wells couldn’t make a session, Reeves was called to the mic. With her group, the Del Phi’s, she recorded “I’ll Have to Let Him Go,” and Martha and the Vandellas was born.
The song was rather forgettable, but Reeves’ sound wasn’t. While waiting for her first hit, Reeves (along with Rosalind Ashford and Annette Beard) backed Marvin Gaye on his first three releases and sang with him on stage. Soon, however, they emerged from the shadows with “Come and Get These Memories,” followed by an enviable string of hits: “Heat Wave,” “Quicksand,” “In My Lonely Room,” “Nowhere to Run,” “My Baby Loves Me,”, “Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things,” “I’m Ready For Love,” “Jimmy Mack,” and, of course, the Motown anthem, “Dancing In The Street.”
After leaving Motown in 1972, Reeves continued to expand her musical horizons, establishing herself as a singer-songwriter incorporating rock, jazz, country, gospel, blues and classical. Her singing companions included everyone from the Godfather, James Brown and the Boss, Bruce Springsteen to opera diva Beverly Sills and gospel king Rance Allen. Reeves headlined a national touring company of the musical “Ain’t Misbehaving,” and for three years toured the UK in the musical revue “Dancing In The Street.”
This week, Ira spoke with Murray SawChuck. To listen to the interview click below.
Murray Sawchuck, who headlines at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in “Murray: The Celebrity Magician,” also performs for the third year in a row on several episodes of CW’s popular “Masters of Illusion.”
He made his mark as a household name when he exploded onto the entertainment scene after his successful run as a semi-finalist on NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent.” The #1 network summer series was viewed by more than 22 million fans nationwide. SawChuck produced a Ferrari from thin air, transforming a girl locked in a cage into a 450 pound tiger and did the largest trick ever on “AGT” by vanishing an entire 1918 steam train locomotive in mere seconds. All of these illusions took place before a “live” and national TV audience.
SawChuck has just become one of YouTube’s newest sensations with his first viral video hitting more than 37 million views and all his other videos going over 1 million views. Murray is a regular guest star on History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” as a magic expert. He has also been featured on over 20 reality shows from “America’s Got Talent”, “Pawn Stars,” CW’s “Masters of Illusion,” SYFY’s “Wizard Wars,” VH1’s “Celebracadabra,” and many more.
SawChuck was born in Burnaby, British Columbia – Canada and always had the passion for adventure. At age 3, he began swimming and golfing. He learned how to play the accordion, keyboard and saxophone at 5 years old. At age 7, he began dance lessons that included: ballet, Russian, swing, break dancing, ballroom, etc. He was an avid athlete and enjoyed participating in soccer, baseball, snow skiing, horseback riding, etc.
SawChuck’s parents presented him with a Siegfried and Roy magic kit when he was 7 years old and his uncle and aunt gave him a magic gift that changed his life. SawChuck envisioned himself as an entertainer incorporating magic, music and dance in his routines. He wanted to perform for audiences like his idols Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Danny Kaye and Phyllis Diller.
As a teen, SawChuck had more thanb 21 different jobs from bus boy to fixing bicycles, and lifeguard at local pools. He continued to entertain folks by dancing, playing the accordion and saxophone. He continued his studies and received a degree in Broadcast Communications and Journalism.
When SawChuck was a young man, he met Marvyn and Carol Roy, a.k.a. “Mr. Electric.” The couple had toured worldwide for over 50 years and mentored him while he grew from an accomplished magician to an international star.
SawChuck was the only magician who invented a magic act that included the manipulation of a multitude of compact discs when he began his professional career called “The CD Act.”
He has won more than 32 awards for his performances nationally and internationally and received the title of “World Champion.” Recently he was honored with “The Hollywood FAME Award for contribution to Magic on TV, the LA Comedy Award for BEST COMEDY SHOW, TOP 100 Business Men of Nevada and 100 Most Distinguished Men of Nevada.
This week, Ira spoke with Felix Silla. To listen to the interview click below.
Felix Silla, whose career in show business spans more than 50 years, is author of “The World of Felix Silla.”
Silla was born in a small village outside Rome, Italy. He trained as a circus performer, came to the United States in 1955, and toured with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
His multiple talents as a bareback rider, trapeze artist and tumbler brought him to Hollywood, where he became a stuntman, starting with the Gig Young-Shirley Jones vehicle, “A Ticklish Affair.” A man of many faces and talents, Silla created many now iconic roles, such as Litvak, the maniacal, miniature Hitler who menaces George Segal in “The Black Bird” (his favorite performance); both a “child gorilla” and stunt ape for the original “Planet of the Apes” and “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” films, the adorable “Wunka” the flying Ewok and Cousin Itt on the TV show, “The Addams Family.”
He was also responsible for the performance of the robot Twiki in the TV series “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” In part due to his short stature of 1.19 m (3 ft 11 in), he has often doubled for children in such movies as “The Towering Inferno,” “The Hindenburg,” and “Battlestar Galactica.” Between movies, he frequently appeared in Las Vegas and Reno night clubs with his own musical combo, The Original Harmonica Band”.
Silla’s most famous role is, of course, “Cousin (It” from the original television series “The Addams Family”. His performance of the character made him so popular that Cousin Itt was carried over into various media including both the animated series and the motion picture versions of “The Addams Family.” He also provided the voice of Mortimer Goth from The Sims 2, the best-selling video game of 2005.