Saturday, March 17, 2007

The first American Idols?

Got one of regular updates from local actor Russ Lorenson, and here's a marketing pitch that warms my American Idol-loving heart!

Before Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini...
before Clay Aiken & Ruben Studdard...
and long before Taylor Hicks and Carrie Underwood were even born -
there were Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett.

Join Jenna Esposito and Russ Lorenson as they pay tribute to these icons of American music in their new show, The First American Idols: The Music of Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett.

Before the world had Simon, Paula and Randy, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, one of the first and most popular TV talent competitions, ran on CBS radio & television from 1946 until 1958. The concept for the show was that Arthur Godfrey had several "talent scouts" who brought their discoveries onto the program to showcase their talents. In February 1948, two new "discoveries" - Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett - competed against one another, with Rosie beating Tony, in what she described as "the only time I ever won anything against Tony Bennett."

That competition sparked a lifelong friendship between the two singers, who were both quickly signed to Columbia Records, starred together on two different television shows in the 1950's, and went on to brilliant solo recording careers. As Tony has said, "At the time Columbia signed us, Rosemary Clooney and I were really the first 'American Idols.'"

I've always been a Bennett fan, having quite a few of his albums, and seeing him live in Colorado a while back (like over a decade back, truth be told.) But I did not know this part of his story. Cool :)

So, here are the details:

WHAT: The First American Idols: The Music of Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett, starring Jenna Esposito and Russ Lorenson
WHEN: Saturday, March 31, 7:30pm and Sunday, April 1, 7:30pm
WHERE: Kelly's of Alameda, 1313 Park Street in Alameda
HOW MUCH: $20 cover, plus $15 food/drink minimum.
HOW TO GET TICKETS: For reservations, please call (510) 769-1011.
SPECIAL DEAL: But wait! You can get $10 off the cover! A very limited number of discount tickets are available via Goldstar Events by clicking here.

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