22 October 2007
The next few years after appearing as the Anyone Can Host contest runner up, I would go to Europe in the spring and summer until the money ran out. After my debut as a singing telegram messenger in Miami and subsequent return to France, I moved to Las Vegas, initially staying with my sister and her fiancé, Sonny King.
Sonny introduced Jerry Lewis to Dean Martin, his roommate with whom they would have boxing matches in their hotel room and charge admission to make ends meet. Sonny held the record for the longest contract extension at the Sands, longer than Sinatra or Sammy Davis Jr. He was Jimmy Durante's partner for over twenty five years. He pulled in the high rollers at the peak of Las Vegas' golden years. While there are many talented entertainers working there today, back then was the magic time that built the Vegas aura.
You wonder why some entertainers get more famous then others. This could depend on who you kiss up to or piss off. During a commercial break on the Tonight Show, Johnny asked him to make fun of his ex wife, Jacqueline, who was a former Miss France and lead dancer at the Follies Berger. Sonny refused, saying that he had no desire to malign the mother of his child. On youtube you can see her in a video he did called "I cried for you". with the song lyrics on her clothing and anatomy.
He told me that the entertainment business is something he wouldn't wish on his worst enemy. That there were people who would steal your eyes in order to get ahead. What he was really telling me was, that if I wanted to be an entertainer, I had to be willing to do so in spite of what anyone said. Did you always want to be a writer? Did you ever intend to do more as an entertainer? Ever wonder how the business got to be so top heavy, feeding on itself? What sort of marketing synchronisation comes into play when it comes to selection of your host or musical guest? Who has what say?
How can performer explain the need to perform. It's a special room inside of each one of us. For some an endless suite, others never find the key.
Give my regards to Broadway,