Acts and Performers
Mel Carter, the man responsible for giving the song “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me,” a place in pop history, began his career in Cincinnati at the age of four when his grandmother held him up to the microphone in a penny arcade recording booth. As it turned out, it was 25 cents well-spent; the unpolished performance had an unmistakable element of raw talent etched into those crude grooves. From that point on, music proved to be Mel’s destiny, as his career produced one hit single after another. Even to this day, Mel’s version of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” has lost only 2% of its playing ability since its release 50 years ago and you can still hear this timeless classic played on the radio at least once a day somewhere around the world.
The now legendary Quincy Jones first discovered Mel and signed him to record his debut pop session on Mercury Records, which expertly showcased Mel’s passionate vocals and immediately began turning heads in the recording industry. But it was not until Sam Cooke signed Mel to Derby Records that he had his first hit single, “When A Boy Falls In Love,” which climbed the charts in England as well as in the United States and reached the number one position on the West Coast. A string of other hit songs including of course, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” soon followed, which led to an offer to tour with the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars. Mel shared the bill with other up and coming performers of the day, including Sonny and Cher, Tom Jones and other popular English and American recording artists.
As further proof of his immense versatility, Mel also enjoyed success as a stage performer. A highlight in his career was playing Sportin’ Life in a concert of “Porgy and Bess” accompanied by the late perfectionist (and seven-time Academy Award winner) John Green, who conducted the San Diego Symphony Orchestra with an 80-voice choir. Mel received four standing ovations for his performance.
Continually expanding his horizons, Mel co-produced his 1985 album, “Willing,” which won him a Grammy nomination for “Best Male Gospel Performance. That same year brought him brilliant reviews and awards including “L.A. Weekly’s” La Wee and an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Performance in a Musical as a result of his starring role in “Glitter Palace.”
Mel continued to nourish his love for appearing before a live audience, starting the 90’s off with a series of successful tours. Standing room only engagements at Trump Castle, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Taj Mahal and Merv Griffin’s Resort Casino Hotel in Atlantic City as well as a tour-de-force performance in “Fly Blackbird Revisited” proved that Mel’s appeal was both timeless and universal. In addition to his singing career, Mel Carter is also known and respected as an accomplished actor, with a long list of film and television credits.
Mel Carter has established himself as a modern day renaissance man who has proven that real and genuine talent will always find an audience, regardless of the current trends, radio formats or fashions. Throughout the course of his career, Mel has re-defined the term “multi-talented” and truly established himself as a legend in pop music.
The Flamingos featuring Terry Johnson
The Flamingos – loved by fans, revered by fellow singers and enshrined forever into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as eternal proof of it all. From the time he wrote and sang lead on “Lovers Never Say Goodbye”, Terry Johnson, knew he had created something transcendent. With the release of Terry’s arrangement of “I Only Have Eyes for You” a year later, The Flamingos’ reputation was cemented as the pre-eminent vocal group of their era. Rolling Stone Magazine even called them, “one of the, if not the, best” of the time. Billboard Magazine states “The Flamingos are hailed as one of the finest and most influential vocal groups in music history.” The singles and the albums – totaling 9 national smash hits – all musically and vocally produced and some authored by Terry Johnson, just kept on coming, and even though the original group splintered when Terry left in 1962, The Flamingos live on today with Johnson’s new spotlight companions, Starling Newsome, Stan Prinston and Theresa Trigg. “Nobody Loves Me Like You”, “Besame Mucho”, “I’ll Be Home”, “Mio Amore”, “Begin The Beguine”, and songs like”Ebb Tide” and “I Who Have Nothing” from their Diamond Anniversary CD are on the menu for this feast of timeless music and style. But the variety of their show is what is most outstanding. Songs from Barry White, contemporary songs like “Happy”, tribute to our troops and latin numbers that leave them dancing in the isles is what the following review reflects. ” This has been viewed as one of the best shows we have ever offered our guests.” by Tom Ducey, Asst. Director of Marketing, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Reno, NV.
Class personified, voices of champagne, ambassadors for romance – welcome The Flamingos to the Highlander Auditorium on Saturday August 5th.
Chris Montez, born in Los Angeles, grew up in the middle-class area of Hawthorne influenced by his Hispanic culture and the rock ‘n roll success of Ritchie Valens. Music was an integral part of his family life and Chris began singing rancheras with his older brothers when he was a kid. They taught him to play the guitar and he sang the high parts. In his junior year at Hawthorne High ignited by the spark of musical ambition, Chris formed a band and recorded his own original songs that gained the interest of Monogram Records. “All You Had To Do Was Tell Me” became a local hit.
Chris’ single, “Let’s Dance,” hit the top l0 and he was on his way. In 1963, he toured the UK with Tommy Roe, his opening act was a new English group, The Beatles! In l965, with 3 years on the road behind him, Chris came home to complete his education and join a new label, A & M. Herb Alpert dropped in on one of Chris’ first sessions and suggested that he try a soft ballad sound. It was a more conservative style than Chris would have preferred, but Alpert’s instincts were good and the hits “The More I See You,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” “Call Me” and “Time After Time” followed in quick succession.
While the British and psychedelic rock were invading the U.S., Chris left A & M, signed with CBS International and amassed a string of hits outside the U.S. that has firmly established him as an international recording star. He has recorded songs in both English and in Spanish that have become hits in such countries as Japan, Austria, Germany, Holland, France, Mexico and the U.S.
Through the years, in between tours to Britain and South America, Chris has continued to grow as an artist and to concentrate on his own compositions. His confidence in his music gives him the freedom to integrate the unique influence of his Hispanic culture and rich rhythm and blues style into his own personal hit making musical interpretations.
He tours internationally and recently starred in “The Original Stars of American Bandstand” at the new Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre in Branson, MO. A documentary feature film, “The Chris Montez Story” was released in 2010. He lives in Simi Valley, California with his wife, Chaz, a prominent local D.J. and their daughter, Ryan.
The Legendary Sam Cooke is about music, religion, romance, and history. Carla Cooke is the youngest daughter of the Legendary Sam Cooke. Carla’s future mirrors the image of her father. Carla crafted her sound in the church similar to her dad and never sought to use her father’s name but to build her own reputation as many do. Now the younger Cooke knows her father’s roots are so deep that Carla has become her own person and connects with her roots through her father’s music.