Talking With King Errisson – January 26, 2017

This week, Ira spoke with King Errisson. To listen to the interview click below.

Legendary conga drummer King Errisson, who has played on Neil Diamond’s tours and recordings since l976, also has been busy with a new CD, “My Secret Life” and a new book, “My Life, My Loves.”

Errisson received his first “big break” at the age of 23 when his talent with the congas was prominently displayed in a memorable night club scene in the James Bond movie, “Thunderball.” He left Nassau for drama studies in Canada, formed a jazz band in New York City, and spent a year performing in a Bermuda club where he met Redd Foxx. The comedian invited Errisson to appear at his place in Los Angeles. Sammy Davis Jr. asked him to appear on “The Hollywood Palace,” and Cannonball Adderly became his mentor in the recording studio.

As a session musician, Errisson has worked with a very diverse group of artists representing a wide variety of musical styles. He has been praised as “the unsung hero behind Motown” by Ray Singleton in her book, “Berry, Me, and Motown” as well as by Berry Gordy in his book, “To Be Loved” for his work with artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, the Jackson Five, and many others.

He has also worked with Herb Alpert, John Klemmer, Doc Severinsen, Ringo Starr, Blood Sweat & Tears, Jim Stafford, Swamp Dogg, Barbra Streisand, David Cassidy, Bobby Darin, Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mathis, OC Smith, Lou Rawles, Hodges James and Smith, Mickey Stevenson, Barry White and The Carpenters. Errisson was a featured member of the Incredible Bongo Band and has been a member of Neil Diamond’s touring band since 1976.
As a solo artist and composer, Errisson is best known as a master of funky disco with lots of congas. His early albums are prized by “breakbeat hounds.” His more recent solo albums can be classified as jazz with a Caribbean flavor. Errisson’s songs have appeared on albums by Neil Diamond, Eddie Kendricks, Flora Purim, The Temptations, and in the soundtrack of the movie, “Ted” and “Venus.”

As an actor, Errisson has appeared in the movies “Uptown Saturday Night” (with Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier) and on television in Abe Vigoda’s “Fish” series and “The Watcher,” the 1980 remake of “The Jazz Singer” with Neil Diamond, and “Thunderball” with Sean Connery.


Talking With Florence LaRue – January 19, 2017

This week, Ira spoke with Florence LaRue. To listen to the interview click below.

Florence LaRue, appearing with The 5th Dimension at the Cannery Casino Hotel January 21, is an original member and lead vocalist of the group.

Their classic songs include: “Up, Up, and Away,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” “Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep At All,” “Wedding Bell blues,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” and the iconic “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In.”
THE 5th Dimension’s resume includes memorable performances on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, including the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, the Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theatre, Radio City Music Hall and multiple stages in casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Canada.

The group also boasts many television appearances over the past decades, including the Ed Sullivan Show, PBS performances, Good Morning America, The Grammy Awards show, and the Frank Sinatra Special (after a European tour with Mr. Sinatra).

The 5th Dimension has received many accolades for their performances, including induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, citations from cities across the nation, induction of “Up, Up and Way” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Talking With Jon Ralston – January 12, 2017

This week, Ira spoke with Jon Ralston. To listen to the interview click below.

Jon Ralston, who has been covering politics in Nevada for 30 years, and is recognized as the foremost expert in the state, is the editor of The Nevada Independent, a new online, nonprofit news source launching in January 2017.

He also has hosted several TV programs, including “Ralston Live” and “Ralston Reports.”

Ralston distributes an email newsletter called “Flash” that sets the political agenda for the day, breaks news and contains analysis. He is a contributing editor at Politico Magazine. He also regularly appears on national television, including programs on MSNBC, FOX and PBS. Ralston also has appeared on “Meet the Press.”

He is originally from Buffalo, New York, and has a B.A. in English from Cornell University and a M.A. in journalism from University of Michigan. Ralston came to Las Vegas in 1984 as the night police reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, later covering general assignment and county government before becoming a political reporter in 1986.

Ralston wrote for the Las Vegas Review-Journal for 15 years, the last seven as a freelance columnist. In 1999, the Greenspun Media Group purchased his political newsletter, “The Ralston Report,” and he worked for that company, publishing columns in the Las Vegas Sun, until September 2012.

His awards include Nevada State Press Association’s Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year in 1986; Best Columnist of the Year in 1991 and 1992; and Best Non-Staff Columnist in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015. In 2009, Ralston won the Associated Press News Executive Council award for best local column.


Talking With Heidi Knapp Rinella – January 5, 2017

This week, Ira spoke with Heidi Knapp Rinella . To listen to the interview click below.

Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant critic Heidi Knapp Rinella (who dines incognito) reviews restaurants on Friday in the R-J’s Neon and her columns, “Taste of the Town,” and “Kitchen Confidante” appear on Wednesday in the Taste section.

Rinella has worked for newspapers in Ohio, Florida and Nevada and has published a number of Las Vegas and Nevada travel books including “Personal Favorites: The Chefs of Las Vegas” and “The Stardust of Yesterday: Reflections On A Las Vegas Legend.”