to Michael Gaughan's The Orleans and its fabulous showroom the other evening to
see a showman, an entertainer and one heck of a singer, plus just a plain nice
guy. Tony Orlando was holding forth as only he could, and can, with a deep
unending love for what he does. And, luckily for us a permanent love affair
with an audience.
way back with the man who became an entertainer by accident. By all rights he
should still be sitting behind a desk discovering new songs for a list of
singers under his control. But, instead, he came out from behind the desk in
1971 and made a demo record of a song he believed could be a hit. "Candida" was
the song and the rest is musical history. The record became his first hit (well
not really he had one as a youngster which brought some fame), and was followed
by another titled "Knock Three Times." Tony would never have to sit behind that
desk again (unless he chose to).
reviewed this wonderful man many times and will continue to do so every time he
is appearing anywhere near. What makes it so enjoyable to attend a Tony Orlando
Show is that it's never the same. Unlike a lot of the new generation of
entertainers (and even some of the older ones too) who have a show list set in
cement, and can not, nor will not, stray from that list if their life depended
on it, Orlando has a start song (usually Tie a Yellow Ribbon), a middle song
and an ending song. What comes between those songs and for the next 90 plus
minutes depends a lot on audience reaction. The particular evening we were
there he decided to celebrate New Year's Eve in July. Where in the old days
when he was a trifle bit slimmer (like all of us his weight has a tendency to
go up and down) he would run around a showroom as he sang, jump up and down on
the backs of booths, etc. He still goes into the audience, but is definitely
slightly more conservative. The spirit to excite is there and before long the
audience is participating and singing along with their man.
an emotional person (after all he's a mix of Puerto Rican and Greek) and he
carries that emotion on his sleeve both off and on stage. He has a passion for
helping everyone and especially those charities that help children. I could fill
this column with the charities he supports with his presence. Let it be said he
does not have the word "no" in his vocabulary.
who has moved back to Las Vegas with his family, will be appearing at The
Orleans a number of times during the years ahead. I just hope you make plans to
see him the next time and the next time after that. Like I have said so often,
this is an entertainer every young man or lady climbing the magic ladder to
stardom should take a moment to see and study. You will see a man who really
loves what he does!
That's it for this week. I'm outa here!
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