Frankie  Randall

Frankie, Shirley and me…

Sorry for being MIA... ...the last couple of weeks. What started out as a well deserved rest between Christmas and New Year's turned into an extended hiatus with a couple of major infrastructure breakdowns around VS Manor, and an unexpected contractor gig (a good thing, but still unexpected). I continue to dig out of the morass but wanted to send brief birthday shouts out to a couple of my favorite performers that tripped over another year last week. First up... ...the absolute best "Bond … [Read More...]

Patti feature

Godspeed Patti Page…

The New Year was off to such a great start... ...until last night. First, my new exercise regime played the muscle spasms card to let me know that I need to take things slower ... and then came the sad news of Patti Page's passing on New Years … Read More

Dale Corn

Jazz up your holidays with Dale Corn’s ‘Christmas at Our House’…

A couple of weeks back... ...while lamenting the dearth of good holiday releases this year, I mentioned Dale Corn's Christmas at Our House (EP) as one of the exceptions to this season's underwhelming holiday music rollout. At just three tracks, … Read More

photo: John Griffeth

A Holiday Chat with Deana Martin …

I was lucky enough... ...to catch up with Deana Martin for a phone chat the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This was a VS bucket list event for me, and Deana turned out to be every bit as lovely and charming in person as she appears on stage! Deana … Read More

Life is a Gift ... Tony Bennett

VS Holiday Season Stream of Consciousness…

I set out this week... ...to review a "blast from the past" holiday album from one of my favorite artists (NOT Tony Bennett despite the feature photo ... just foreshadowing a bit). I snagged the early 2000's released holiday LP from iTunes and … Read More

VS Reviews…

Natalie Cole

A Spectacular Evening with Natalie Cole

Natalie ... she's kinda sneaky An ad in the paper Friday morning caught my eye. It featured a big photo of Natalie Cole and highlighted her upcoming event with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. I thought, 'cool, I need to get this on my calendar' and … Read More...

Tender is the Night/The Wonderful World of Make Believe - Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis … the remastered Mercury Years

The first re-release... ...of Johnny Mathis' heretofore "lost" Mercury Records recordings was released this week -- the dual-CD compilation Tender Is The Night/Wonderful World of Make-Believe. After carpet bombing the charts with dozens of hit … Read More...

Let's Be Frank - Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall’s Album: LET’S BE FRANK…

~ with a touch of Tommy... Immersing myself in Peter Marshall's wonderful and fun homage to Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey's early 1940's musical run -- Let's Be Frank... With a Touch of Tommy -- turned out to be a very personal experience for … Read More...

Luck be a Lady - book

A Friday Diversion with the Rat Pack Mysteries…

Since we've been talking about Crossover Artists this week, just for fun I am crossing over to the literary side to chat you up on Robert J. Randisi's six-pack of Rat Pack Mystery novels. Fun is definitely the operative word with these books ... … Read More...

More Reviews...

Dining with The Rat Pack…

thin-man

Ringing in 2013 with ‘The Thin Man’…

It's become a tradition... ... around VS Central to ring in the New Year by juxtaposing the consumption of a decadent meal with a midnight viewing of William Powell and Myrna Loy in "The Thin Man". Hey, nobody party's harder than Nick and Nora … Read More...

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Deana Martin goes toe-to-toe with Sophia Loren…

Would you take on Sophia Loren? ...On the proper recipe for Pasta Fagioli no less? Well, Deana Martin did exactly that! While interviewing Ms Martin for the Holiday Chat with Deana Martin article, we had a sidebar discussion about learning to … Read More...

Probably not Patsy's ... but who knows

Sinatra’s first Thanksgiving at Patsy’s Restaurant…

Frank Sinatra... ...had a 30+ year relationship with Patsy's Restaurant and three generations of the Scognamillo family that ran the place. Patsy's became a favorite haunt for Frank -- special to him for far more than just great food -- and that … Read More...

Fennel Crusted Salmon on white beans, fennel and tomatoes

The Fennel-crusted Salmon is great … but oh the white bean pan stew!

Endless summer in Austin... ...sort of has me down. Don't get me wrong, we're way better off than we were last year at this time -- after 2011's vicious wild fires and 70 days over 100 degrees -- but I've been hankering for one of my favorite … Read More...

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