Paul Anka: He’s still got it!


 

Paul Anka at the Palace Theater in Columbus, Ohio.

Paul Anka at the Palace Theater in Columbus, Ohio.

What does the name Paul Anka mean to you? If you were running around in the 50’s and early 60’s he was a teen idol. Songs he wrote and popularized include “Puppy Love,” and “Lay your head on my shoulder.”

You also might know him as a popular songwriter. He wrote for various artists including Tom Jones, ” She’s a Lady.” He wrote “My Way” for Frank Sinatra in about 5 hours. It was so successful that it brought Sinatra out of retirement.

Anka appeared at The Palace on October 13, and gave a memorable show.

He surprised the audience by making his entrance from the back of the theater. By the time he got on the stage, it was crystal clear that he still had the voice, energy, and charm. His full piece orchestra situated on the stage was first class.

He kept saying he did the gig because he had a passion for entertaining Luckily, the audience benefited from his spirited performance. He also told funny jokes throughout the show. He danced with a woman in the first row. He shook hands with the audience.

It just wasn’t a former teen idol singing his hits like “Puppy Love” and “Put your head on my shoulder.”  Anka is the real deal, an accomplished musician, and songwriter. He did let the audience reminisce with him by singing along at the beginning and end of the show.

There was a movie screen that came down and showed excerpts of Anka with a lot of famous people including members of the “Rat Pack:, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra. Dick Clark, the perennial teenager from American Bandstand, momentarily appeared in the montage.

There was acknowledgement of the great Sammy Davis Jr. In a filmed segment, Sammy was singing one of Anka’s songs and smoking a cigarette for artistic effect. (Prophetic, considering Davis died from throat cancer at 64.)

Midway through the show Anka, sat on the stage and played the guitar in tribute to Buddy Holly.

Near the end of the show, he energetically performed,” My Way.” The orchestra also did a tribute to Prince by weaving in “Purple Rain.” I’m not sure the audience got the connection.

There was a group of ladies waiting for him at the stage door. They had that look of idol worship on their faces.

If you get a chance to catch Anka on his upcoming tour, go. He’s one of the best.

Going to Myrtle Beach? Don’t miss “One” at The Alabama Theatre


If you’re vacationing at Myrtle Beach and want to see some first-class entertainment, do I have a show for you!

It’s called “One”, and it’s showcased at the beautiful “Alabama Theater”. The theater was opened by the famous  country group, Alabama. It’s a beautiful theatre.

I would suggest buying tickets on the main floor. Although you can see from the balcony, the main floor makes it more intimate.

Flag of City of Myrtle Beach

Flag of City of Myrtle Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not that much of a country music fan, and I picked this venue because it promised a little bit of everything, and it delivered. There was: country, Broadway, Motown, a smidgen of gospel, and a little Rock-n-roll.

I wasn’t expecting the great entertainment featured there. I didn’t know all the performers had terrific resumes. Greg Rowles, the musical emcee, was a Star Search winner, and has gotten national recreation. I guess singing at the Vatican, and repeatedly starring at the Grand Ole Opry qualifies him.

There are 25 members of the cast, they are all  mega-talented. The band was fantastic!  Everyone sang and danced expertly.

It started out with a comedian, Grant Turner, who I thought was going to be a 0 when he started. Guess what? He was a 10. He made me laugh aloud. It was g-rated humor too. How refreshing is that?

My highlights: A scene from “Wicked”. I’ve seen the actual musical several times, and the people starring in this were just as good if not better. The witch even flew!

A song from “Les Miserable” by Steven Michael Gannon who actually did the part for 4 years. “Bring Him Home” brought tears to my eyes.

The singer, Gail Bliss, did “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. (It’s one of my husband’s favorites, so I was familiar with it.) She did an excellent job. I guess this is one of her specialties. She was super-talented and did other numbers throughout the show!

They did a tribute to Frank Sinatra, and it was good. Although I’m too young to really have been much of a Sinatra fan, I knew all the songs. It was enjoyable.

I really enjoyed the Motown tribute. I am plenty old enough to know every song they sang. There was a super dance tribute to Michael Jackson.

The costumes, and the sets were just amazing. They projected great stuff on huge screens behind the cast members when they were performing.

The ending was quite patriotic. It was a little schmaltzy,  but I enjoyed it anyway. I liked the patriotic songs they picked to sing!

This production equals anything I’ve seen on Broadway or Las Vegas.

It’s a bargain for the $ 30.00 to $40.00 tickets.

There website is http://www.alabama-theatre.com.

Dancing With the Stars Motown night is a winner!


Smokey Robinson and The Temptations were featured guests. They brought me back to the good old days. They alternated singing their famous songs while couples danced. They both sounded just the way I remember them. I felt 16. How about you?

Gladys Knight did a competent job. She has real class, and this is the best she’s done. You could tell she was remembering that she is a star!

I thought Roshon Fegan did a classy job, but the judges didn’t agree. What do they want? Geez!

Maria Menounos She’s a terrific dancer and lived up to her other dances tonight. The judges liked her too.

Katherine Jenkins  did an expert job. Almost a triple score. She looked perfect. I’m starting to be so jealous of her. Beauty and grace. It’s just not fair. Oh, and she’s an opera singer too.

Don Driver Don kept his shirt on this week. Surprise! This guy looks great when he dances. Len gave him a big compliment. He told him he “exploded.” Len sees him as becoming a great dancer. Apparently, he doesn’t follow football, and doesn’t know he already picked a career. Don is frustrated because Len hasn’t given him a 10 yet!

Melissa Gilbert did a  Viennese Waltz. Half-pint looked glamorous and beautiful in her green gown. I thought she danced beautifully. She looks like she’s got a thing for Maks. Bruno thought she has a thing for Maks too. Who wouldn’t? They gave her 8’s. One of them should’ve given them a 9. Give me a break.

Jaleel White  did a Cha Cha Jaleel and was in his element. He reminded me of the old Erkel. He was sharp and precise. He showed what a great dancer he is. I hardly noticed Kim this time, and she’s a terrific dancer. Len said, “You’re back.” Bruno “Biggest sizzler of the season” Carrie Ann” A Game. Jaleel’s mom was all excited.

William levy  Smoky Robinson sang. Levy did a Rhumba. OMG this guy looks fabulous just standing still. He did a lot of shaking and gyrating. Not the best dance moves.

Carrie Ann said, ” On Behalf of all the women, thank you, but not enough dancing” Len said, “ On the raunchy side.” All right! I agree with Len and Carrie Ann.I suspect Bruno is a little in love with Levy. Who can blame him? 

Smokin' (Smokey Robinson album)

Smokin' (Smokey Robinson album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia

Smoky Robinson sang “Tears of a Clown.” Two pros did a great dance to it.

All the dancers did a Cha-Cha Motown dance marathon They were all very entertaining in their colorful costumes, and sexy moves. Gladys and Tristan were the first to go! Boo, age discrimination. William Levy came in next to last. He moved his feet this time, and even slid across the floor! Katherine and Mark won.  They earned 10 points.

Dancing With the Stars is the most entertaining show on TV. Agree or disagree. I’d appreciate your comments.

A Baby Boomer’s Reflections on Davy Jones’ Death


The TV Show,”The Monkees”  became popular in 1966. I was 16 years old, and thought I was too old for the show. It was silly. These guys, not exactly cute, sang a little and engaged in funny skits. The singers portrayed a band that just couldn’t make it in the music world.

When I found out that one of the actors, Micky Dolenz, had been “Circus Boy,” a show I watched on Saturday morning as a child. I became more interested in watching  “The Monkees.”

Davy Jones was cute but very short. He was definitely the Monkee with the most sparkling personality.  I started watching once in a while. It was mildly entertaining.  I enjoyed some of their songs.

Dolenz was on “Good Morning America” today.  Dolenz and Jones stayed together touring up to last year. They both lasted longer together than they did with their ex wives. Last year, they toured the USA.  It’s a nice story about friendship.

I cannot believe how much publicity this has gotten. I suppose people feel badly because Jones’ death reminds them of themselves as teenagers. You can look back and see yourself enjoying the TV show, and listening to the music.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21:  (L-R) Peter To...

The Monkees stayed together for years! 

It just shows how much we identify and admire  people on television. They become our friends and role models.

Nevertheless, I am sorry Davy Jones died a sudden death at too early an age.

I wonder what life was like before television. Did people take the time and trouble to make more real friends? Were role models different? Are we too disconnected from each other and reality?

What do you think?

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