Red Around Town: May 16

I can’t begin to tell you how stressful moving is. Carole and I just moved from Deep Cove to downtown Vancouver and Coal Harbour. In the midst of the move we flew to Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of  Fame inductions. Returned home only to fly to Las Vegas for a wedding: Howard Blank, vice-president of media and entertainment for Great Canadian Casinos was married there and it was quite an affair.  In between these exciting adventures it was a series of shows at the Red Robinson Show Theatre with Gavin Rossdale, UB 40 and Paul Anka. Paul put on his usual highly polished show that brought the audience  to their feet many times during his program.  Backstage I noticed that  he had a very red eye. He had popped a blood vessel but like the  trouper he is, he posed for photos anyway.

Gavin Rossdale is a quite laid back man who graced the stage of the theatre with his performance. Gavin is married to Gwen Stefani. UB 40 always plays to a packed house and their music is infectious.  Don’t miss this band next time they come to town.  It is such a large group  they could make up their own audience!

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Warnes for my Wednesday morning Red’s Reunion on Global TV. She was forthcoming, effervescent and warm and friendly. This lady is one of the finest singers in the business and acknowledged for her talent by others such as Leonard Cohen, Buffy St. Marie and Ian Tyson.

Her wonderful duets with Joe Cocker and Bill Medley stand out as two of the biggest film hits of all time. Up Where We Belong from An Officer and a Gentleman with Joe and (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, with Bill Medley are Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe award winners. She is sought out by musicians and record producers all the time. Jennifer was born in Seattle and yet this was her first performance ever in our city. A true lady and a true legend.

This photo with Johnny Mathis went to Wink Martindale in Hollywood. Johnny, Carole and I are sending a personal message to Wink and his wife Sandy. We met Johnny at the unveiling of Wink’s star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame a year and a half ago. I asked Johnny at the time, “when are you coming back to Vancouver?” He responded, “whenever someone invites me.” His two shows, one at the River Rock and the other at the Red Robinson Show Theatre were outstanding. Johnny has not lost his magic touch and his voice is as good as ever.  Johnny Mathis’ Greatest Hits rode the Billboard Magazine charts for almost 10 years. His songs are timeless and the audience was taken back to a simpler time when balladeers like Mathis ruled the airwaves. It was truly a classic evening to remember… especially for Wendy Alden:

“Red, just a quick note to let you know that despite my futile attempts before the Johnny Mathis concert at your theatre on Friday, thanks to the letter/sketch for Johnny that I gave to a long-time staff member of Johnny’s entourage early in the afternoon, plus inquiring after the show, I was added to the ‘meet and greet’ list. It was such a delight for me to actually have the opportunity to speak with him and as an added treat have a professional photographer there taking individual photos with Johnny. I asked if it was possible for me to also have my picture taken with him and the organizer said, ‘You’re next!’ So, that little wish of mine turned into a better reality than I envisioned!

It was amazing to hear Johnny thank me for the letter and sketch. I’d hand written a letter for him Friday morning, explaining that he was my very first concert and that I’d had the ‘bar’ set very high. I also mentioned that I’d not seen him in a show since the mid-80’s and was so looking forward to the evening show.

I don’t know if you were able to see his show either there or at River Rock, but it’s amazing to me to listen to his perfection of lyrical command and musicality that seems virtually unchanged since I first heard him 47 years ago! The only difference is a little change in octave range with the arrangements taking care of that without a loss of feeling of the songs.

The 25 piece orchestra playing on stage with him was an added treat and sure did add to the true sophistication of the entire show, encompassing so many songs, I would guess at near 40 songs in the show.

Truly a magical evening for myself and everyone there.

Who knows if I’ll ever have the opportunity to see him in his show again, but the evening was unforgettable in so many ways. I like to think that perhaps he took my letter and sketch home with him and the sketch is now up on his refrigerator! Seeing as he was such a young man when I copied it from a program from a show in the 1960’s.

Anyway, dreams come true, and another one of mine did on Friday evening.”

Pat O’Day from KJR/Seattle is one of the truly great deejays and programmers in America. We have remained friends over the  decades. He is as much a part of Seattle as the Space Needle. He’ll be a Grand Marshal at Seattle’s Seafair, along with former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren. And you can be sure he’ll be calling the Chevrolet Cup hydroplane races Saturday July 31 on KIRO-TV!

Another broadcast legend passes.  I worked with Bill Hutton when he was news director at CKWX years ago (back when Judy LaMarsh worked a talk show). He was from the old school of journalistic excellence. He was a true broadcaster in every sense. He achieved so much during his career. He will be missed.

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