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copa
Wonderful b&w picture and caption book chronicling the history of the famous New York hot spot. Being a Copa Girl was like being an American Idol! This was a lot of fun to read.

 

Poor old Johnnie Ray. I don't know of many performers who were so huge in their heyday and so forgotten today. America's first bisexual superstar, some consider johnnie rayhim jonny rayto be the missing link between Sinatra and Elvis. He even broke Martin and Lewis's attendance record at the Copacabana. A friend and proponent of, and early acknowledged influence on Elvis Presley, Johnnie is virtually ignored by the nostalgic radio staions of today.

Historians often refer to Buddy Holly and Elvis as being the guys who broke the colour barrier by sounding black but Johnnie Ray was the first prominent artist to enter the charts under that guise. His historic arrests for solicitation at a time when it made front page news make him arguably the most notorious of all R&B performers. He claimed that Frank Sinatra helped orchestrate his capture, in some of the instances of his arrests, because of his romantic affiliation with Sinatra nemesis Dorothy Kilgallen, a powerful New York columnist.

Johnnie died quietly and with no fanfare, in a hospital room in 1990 of complications of liver disease. Tips on Tables - Robert W. Dana - February 23, 1953

Ray's Audience Swells Flood Of His Tears

It may be difficult to imagine a revival meeting taking place at Jules Podell's Copacabana, but, that's exactly what's going on there, these nights with Johnnie (Mr. Weeper) Ray as star of the show. While cry boy delivers his lachrymose songs, the on-lookers stamp and clap, weep and groan,, and by the time Mr. Ray completes his whining, stammering performance and indescribable hypnotic spell seems to have been cast over the johnny rayentire audience. Mr. Ray's opening number a peppy tune called "You Go Your Way, I Gotta Go Mine" offered little, Indication of what was to come. Gradually he became sadder and sadder with renditions of "The Touch of God's Hand" and "The Little White Cloud."

Wasted Handkerchief No sooner did he sing the opening notes of "Cry" than a girl sitting at the ringside burst. into tears. The gallant Mr. Ray handed her his handkerchief, but that only made the girl weep harder out of sheer joy, no doubt. His interpretation of "Walk and Talk With The Lord" was accompanied by vigorous clapping from the audience , and then, Mr. Ray, his face wet with perspiration, panting from exhaustion, walked off amid a thunderous ovation. A nice. contrast, to Mr. Ray's frenetic shenanigans Is the likable, vivacious comedy team of Betty and Jane Kean.

The sisters have been held over from the last show and they have retained jonnie raysome of the material from their previous engagement. But that should deter no one from seeing them again. For the Keans offer a delightful, boisterous act that includes dancing, singing, and hilarious caricatures of Marilyn Monroe, Frankie Laine, Bette, Davis, Christine Jorgensen and among other, The Gabor Sisters.Others on Bill

Rounding out the bill are The Nicholas Brothers, who give forth with some breathtaking dance steps; Helene Dimone, a singer who bears remarkable resemblance to Margaret Phelan: Romona Lang and Jack Purcell, who contributed to the dancing portion of the how, and Ted Martin, curly haired singer with a pleasant song delivery. Michael Durso's Orchestra provided music, good musical accompaniment for the show.

THE REVIEWS
Andrews Sisters - Latin Quarter 1957
Desi Arnaz - w/Diosa Costello 1948
Count Basie - Lincoln 1943
Tony Bennett - Copacabana 1958
Milton Berle - Latin Quarter 1948
Joey Bishop - w/Andy Williams 1959
Ray Bolger - Wizard of Oz Scarecrow, Empire Room 1956
Cab Calloway - Greenwich Inn 1949
Diahann Carroll - Persian Room 1961
Betty Clooney - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Nat King Cole - Copacabana 1958
Perry Como - Versailles 1944
Copacabana - famous night club restaurant is reviewed 1953
Crosby Brothers - Latin Quarter 1961
Xavier Cugat - Waldorf Astoria 1951
Vic Damone - Riviera 1953
Billy Daniels - Copacabana 1952
Sammy Davis Jr. - Copacabana 1959
Phyllis Diller - w/Bobby Short 1958
Nancy Donovan - Copacabana 1952
Jimmy Durante - Copacabana 1951
Billy Eckstine - Copacabana 1951
Duke Ellington - Basin St. East 1961
Eddie Fisher - Empire Room 1959
Judy Garland -Town & Country 1958
Jackie Gleason - La Vie en Rose 1953
Benny Goodman - Empire Room 1956
Dolores Gray - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Buddy Hackett - Copacabana 1956
Connie Haines - Terrace Room 1951
Dick Haymes - Versailles 1956
Horace Heidt - 30th Anniversary 1954
Florence Henderson w/Bill Hayes 1958
Hildegarde - Pierre 1953
Celeste Holm - Plaza 1958
Eddy Howard - Roosevelt 1955
Burl Ives w/Wally Cox - Persian Room
Lisa Kirk - Persion Room 1958
Frankie Laine - Latin Quarter 1955
Julius La Rosa - Romanian 1958
Peggy Lee - Copacabana 1958
Jerry Lewis - Town & Country 1957
Joe E. Lewis - Copacabana 1945
Ted Lewis - Latin Quarter 1953
Liberace - Persian Room 1947
Guy Lombardo - Roosevelt 1957
Vincent Lopez - Grill Room 1954
Tony Martin - Riviera 1953
Martin and Lewis - Copacabana 1950
Ray McKinley - Glenn Miller Band 1957
Mills Brothers - Latin Quarter 1956
Vaughn Monroe - Astor 1955
Constance Moore - St. Regis 1958
Johnnie Ray - Copacabana 1953
Della Reese - Copacabana 1961
Sugar Ray Robinson - French Casino
Dorothy Shay - St. Regis 1961
Frank Sinatra - Wedgewood 1943
Danny Thomas - Copacabana 1949
Sophie Tucker - Latin Quarter 1950
Mae West - Latin Quarter 1956
Julie Wilson - Persian Room 1954
EDITORIALS
Dean Martin - thoughts on Mr. Sauve
Peter Lawford - retrospective
Rise & Fall of the big bands
INTERVIEWS
K Baggelaar- Copacabana author
Denny Farrell - big band disc jockey
Hal Turner - Performer/Conductor
B Zickafoose - played in WWII Europe
ASSORTED
Bernie Bierman bio
Sammy Kaye - Roosevelt 1957
Dinah Shore - press release and autograph from the 50's
A Letter about a WWII song
Harbers & Dale - Dance Team
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