Plus:Frankie Randall, Pete Barbutti, Sammy Shore and more...
For the second year, The Las Vegas Motor Speedway, along with Fox 5 TV and Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, are staging an open audition called “Speedway Superstar,” to find a singer to perform the national anthem prior to the Feb. 27 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the speedway. The Nationwide race is sponsored by Sam’s Town.
The initial audition will be conducted Saturday, Jan. 30, at Sam’s Town, with all performers singing the anthem a cappella. Auditions will begin at 10 a.m., and registration will open at 9 a.m. The first 150 will be guaranteed a spot in the audition line up. A total of 25 singers will be selected to advance to the next round of competition on Saturday, Feb. 13, where the winner will be announced.
The first winner was Kyra White, a 14-year-old native of Las Vegas and a student at Liberty High School, who had been singing at local sporting events for several years, “but winning the ‘Speedway Superstar’ contest topped everything previously,” the young singer said following her performance at the speedway.
Just as Kyra discovered last year, singing the anthem at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a very distinct honor. Not only will the winner be singing for more than 75,000 race fans, but will also be seen by a national television audience on Fox TV.
Over a span of many years, Frank Sinatra met and befriended hundreds of entertainers, and one of those he really enjoyed sharing time and space with was Frankie Randall.
The two met when Randall, in his early 20s, was playing the piano and singing at one of Sinatra’s favorite hangouts in New York City, “Jilly’s.” Randall had been there for about four weeks, when Sinatra stopped in for a late night visit. After the Sinatra entourage had finished their dinner, Jilly introduced the two entertainers. They hit it off right away and remained close friends until “The Man” passed away.
Randall and Pete Barbutti will be recreating some of those moments spent at Jilly’s, when they appear at the Rampart Resort this weekend, Jan 22, 23 and 24th. The two men will present, “An Evening With Frankie Randall and Pete Barbutti,” which will utilize many of the songs made famous by their mutual friend, Sinatra. Showtimes will be 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 4 p.m. show Sunday.
“It’ll be a throwback to my roots at Jilly’s,” Randall explained. “I recently performed a similar type show at ‘Feinstein’s at Loews Regency,’ in New York and it was very well received.”
The show at the Rampart will consist of some of “The Chairman of the Board’s” music, the way it would have been presented, had he lived. It will also, of course, have Randall singing a number of songs from the “Great American Songbook,” along with Barbutti’s humorous storiessome could even possibly involve the two Franks. Who knows what Pete will do on stage? This is the type of show Sinatra loved. Randall may even sing an original song he wrote titled “I Can’t Believe It’s All Over!”
For a night to remember, don’t miss this evening with Frankie Randall and Pete Barbutti at the Rampart Resort in Summerlin. I guarantee you a night you’ll not forget.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
Rob Garrett, who very possibly is the number one Neil Diamond impressionist in the country, will perform a one-night-only concert in The Club at the Cannery Hotel & Casino in North Las Vegas tomorrow night (Saturday, Jan. 23) at 8 p.m. The Neil Diamond Tribute Concert includes just about all the great hits produced by the chart buster. Tickets are $5.00 at the door.
The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will perform in the Henderson Convention Center on Feb. 18, beginning at 8:00 p.m. The band is well known for its wonderful presentation of military music, as well as special selections from the Great American Songbook. Admission is free.
The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino is doing it again. They are installing a new thrill atop the hotel called, “Sky Jump Las Vegas.” This latest addition to the various thrill rides, jutting out from the top of the hotel, will be what is best described as a controlled free fall at 40 mph, with a person plummeting 855 feet to the landing. It’s like jumping off a bridge on a bungee cord or skydiving. This could very well become the hardest ticket to get once it opens in April.
I remember as a youngster growing up in Los Angeles, California, and going with my parents to the Long Beach pier, where there was a parachute jump. My dad took me up on the tower (I believe there were like four parachutes) and we were buckled into a chair and suddenly we were falling towards the ground. I’ll never forget that first jump.
Sammy Shore, who this writer considers one of the best of the old stand-up comedians still working today (along with my friend Shecky Greene), will lend his support to a very just cause on Sunday, Jan. 31. A fund raiser called “Funny Bones,” benefiting local dog rescue organizations, will be staged at the Palms Casino Resort beginning at 3 p.m. The benefit has a stellar line-up of talent with Shore (who founded the famous Las Angeles Comedy Store) acting as emcee and host. Among those confirmed to appear are George Wallace, Bobby Slayton, Pauly Shore (Sammy’s son) and Comedy Stop headliner, Manny Oliveira. Tickets are priced at $35.00 and can be purchased at the Palms box office.
Well, gang, that’s about it for this week.
I’m outa here!