Monthly Archives: April 2017

Now for something completely different….!

BackStage is a raucously funny, compilation of stories, tales, and gems from the Golden Era of entertainment circa 1960 – 1980. The stories are told by the bass trombonist who played in the Tommy Dorsey band, with Frank Sinatra and later toured with Elvis’ Orchestra into the Rock & Roll era and to his end. Marty Harrell was also the best friend and roommate of Frank Sinatra Jr. through their Tommy Dorsey years. The book is filled with tales of the brightest stars of the greatest era of music entertainment during the nascent days of television and new media, and provides a personal perspective of this behind the scenes character – who unknowingly bears witness to the most beloved of the era. These great little gems that have never been told before, range from when Dean Martin called the police on his own party, and when Marty stuffed a potato into the exhaust pipe of Liberace’s mini-Rolls Royce on live television. Another favorite is the story of when Elvis kicked a girl out of his hotel room during a Winter storm. This band member also tells stories of the raw talent that could only be appreciated up close and personal, like when Frank Sinatra sight read and sang the song “My Kind of Town Chicago is” perfectly, without ever hearing the melody, or when Elvis, on his last tour, surprised the band by sitting at the piano, and belting out the most amazing performance of “Unchained Melody” without ever rehearsing it with the band. The narrative non-fiction highlights the innocence and nostalgia of the time, while providing a glimpse behind the curtains, and giving personal perspectives of these truly talented and beloved entertainers and how they interacted with the crowds and their talented backup.

 

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