Jan. 16, 2004
legend Bernie Allen opened at the Sands Hotel on September 15, 1966,
thanks to a chance meeting with superstar Frank Sinatra. Detailed in
his autobiography, "Have A Clown On Me," he describes that special
evening at comedian Joe E. Lewis' Friar's Roast in New York City's
famed Waldorf Astoria. Bobby Gordon, Lewis' road manager, spotted
Allen and asked him to get up and perform his now famous routine as Dr.
Hans Vollstriner, Germany's foremost nuclear scientist. Sinatra,
sitting with Jack Entratter, owner of the Sands in '66, became an instant
fan, gave "the word" to Entratter to book Allen in Vegas and the rest, as
the cliché goes, is show-biz history. Allen says "If it wasn't for
Frank Sinatra, I wouldn't have been performing in Las Vegas for the
last three decades. God rest his soul. My life is filled with
lost his Bronx restaurant, Bernie's Luncheonette, due to racetrack
gambling, had to rely on driving cabs for
an income to support his wife and three kids. Always a jokester,
one night Allen picked up boxing legend Rocky Grazino, who was on his way
to a "Sugar Ray Robinson/Carmen Basilio" fight. "En route, to fill the
silence, I began making jokes about my recent adversities. Rocky
laughed hysterically during the ride. We spent the night at the
fight and hit some nightspots, where Grazinao said, I'm going to get you
in show business. He inspired me to try my hand at comedy."
More miracles...more history. His peers in this glittery world of
late night entertainment included comedians Shecky Greene, Alan King, Redd
Foxx, Louis Prima, Keely Smith and Della Reese. He has also appeared
in many motion pictures and television shows too numerous to mention.
In the world of show-biz comedy for more than 50 years, Allen is an
important part of the history of entertainment lounges in "Old Las Vegas."
Frankie "DEE" DeMatto
True Las Vegas Legend
A man who loves the
world of showbiz! Frankie 'Dee' DeMatto, was the host of KUNV 91.5's
Celebrity Show since 1981. He had the opportunity to interview
everyone from Bob Anderson to Louis Prima and the Witnesses to B. B. King,
and many other great performers of our city. He captured the
attention of his radio audience with the warmth and energy he put
into his shows! Today, he is eighty-eight years young, yet as
vibrant as a man thirty. Frankie is retired from doing his celebrity
show, but those in the showbiz world all know Frankie and his love of the
business.. He continues to help and inspire young and old, give his time
and talents to charities and organizations and isn't slowing down a bit.
He has a warm smile and
greeting for everyone. People just love him from the moment they
meet him. He enjoys giving
back to the business that was so good to him (because he was good for it).
He is, what is called "a class act." Starting at age 13, as a tap dancer,
Frankie enjoyed life and entertaining people. Later at age 17, he
was the youngest known emcee for Big Band Ballroom Dance, also he was a
sports announcer for the Jersey City Giants pro football team, with Dennis
James. Frankie's dream came true later in life as a Famous Radio
Personality. Like we said before, he hosted an hour long radio show
on KUNV-91.5FM, for more than fourteen years. His guests included
some of the biggest names in show business. He is a radio
interviewer and media personality who loves the world of show business.
Recently, at The CAST
Inc. January 20th, 2003 Luncheon at Nick's on the strip, Frankie "Dee" and
Charo reminisced on their meeting at Tony Sacca's Annual Christmas Charity
Party December the 17th, 2002.
King is a legend among his show business friends, who
include almost every legendary entertainer to perform in Las Vegas in
the '50s through the '80s.
He and Dean Martin were roommates when they were starting out in
show business -- often boxing each other in their hotel room and
charging admission to raise money. King is credited with introducing Martin and Jerry Lewis, who
teamed up to become one of the most popular comedy duos in the nation
from 1949 to 1959. Martin's daughter, Deana, has invited King to her home in Branson,
Mo., to recuperate when he is released from the hospital. Deana and
King have always been close. "She calls him Uncle Sonny," Peggy King said. King was an ex-officio member of the Rat Pack -- close friends with
Martin, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis Jr. -- but never
identified as a member of the group by the media. King, who arrived in Las Vegas in 1955, eventually became Jimmy
Durante's opening act and spent 28 years with the comedian.
passed away February 17, 2007