oldies

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Mike Moat: Eternally Elvis at Redd’s, Carlstadt, NJ

Published March 20, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9793Mike Moat (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Mike Moat “Eternally Elvis” put on another great show last night at Redd’s Carlstadt, New Jersey.

I’ve been a fan of Mike Moat since the 1980s and last year was the first time I saw him perform since then (blog about performance, January 2015: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/mike-moat-golden-reflections-eternally-elvis-show-paramus-nj/). After the show ended, Mike Moat and I joked that we’d see each other again in 25 years when we’re in our 70s. And he actually remembered that conversation from last year — I was shocked when I approached him and he said, “It’s not twenty-five years yet!” And that’s the best part of going to see a Mike Moat show — he, his wife Debbie and daughter Michelle treat their fans like family. They are such warm, wonderful people and great talents.

My favorite songs from last night’s Elvis show were “Suspicious Minds,” “How Great Thou Art,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” and “You Gave Me a Mountain.” I’m all about the Elvis power ballads. He also did the Elvis standards, “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Me Tender,” and “Teddy Bear.”

Mike Moat changed costumes twice, wearing gorgeous replicas of the outfits Presley wore during his Las Vegas years. And once again, his back-up band was incredible.

He ended the Elvis show with “An American Trilogy.”

After the Elvis show, Mike Moat changed customs and returned to the stage, dressed down in black, wearing a newsies caps and the band, Golden Reflections, played hits from the 1950s through the 1980s. Michelle Moat opened the show with a killer version of Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” And Debbie Moat performed a gorgeous version of Ronnie Spector’s “Be My Baby.”

SAM_9789Michelle Moat (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

There were many other great songs throughout the show; my husband and I danced to a few also. But my absolute favorite part of the evening was hearing, live, “Don’t Pull Your Love” by Hamilton, Frank, & Reynolds — one of my favorite 1970s songs, ever! To listen to a song you love so much, done to perfection, wow, what an unexpected thrill!

For more information on Mike Moat: Eternally Elvis and Golden Reflections, visit their website at: http://www.mikemoat.com/

SAM_9778From left, me, Mike Moat, and my beautiful sister Kim

SAM_9767Loving the show with my husband Dennis

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an international author. Her fiction book “The Gypsy Smiled” features a character who is an Elvis impersonator, available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1545447470

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Publishing Contract For “The Gypsy Smiled” With Your Vote!

Published November 18, 2015 by Maryanne

IMG_4772Model Ashley, for possible book cover idea

Hey gang, my third book “The Gypsy Smiled” is ready for publication and if I can get 1000 votes, Something Or Other will give me a publishing contract!

Please vote and share! http://soopllc.com/blog/book-ideas/gypsy-smiled-maryanne-christiano-mistretta/

“The Gypsy Smiled” is the story of Lucretia “Lucy” Christiansen, a singer/guitarist in her mid-20s, trying to make it in the music business in the late 1980s. Because she’s working two jobs to support herself, she can never make it to band practice on time. Therefore, the leader of her all-girl goth outfit, Daughters of Darkness, kicks her out of the band. The creepy thing is — Lucy was warned that this would happen. An eccentric psychic named Gypsy told her so. Lucy is now feeling like a failure and drowning her sorrows by record store hopping. Though she loves gothic music, she’s also a big fan of “oldies” artists like Lou Christie, who she dreams of working with, creatively. During her record shopping trip, a young fellow goth named Dionysus develops a crush on her and starts following her around like a puppy dog. Lucy fails to take him seriously, especially when she finds out he still lives at home. Plus she’s more focused on revving up her musical career than romance. But Dionysus, real name Scott, turns out to be a killer guitarist and wants Lucy to sing in his band. His father is a famous Elvis impersonator, so Scott knows people “in the biz.” Lucy agrees to be in his band, but Scott has more on his mind than being “just friends.” Knowing how career-focused Lucy is, Scott puts his feelings at bay and they work their musical magic together.

Things are going beautifully until Lucy’s former band mates instigate a fight between her and Scott, causing him to wonder if Lucy is just using him as a vehicle to launch her career as a singing sensation.

Lucy desperately seeks help from psychic Gypsy.

Gypsy has the answers but Lucy lacks the trust. Fed up, Gypsy sends Lucy to an all expense paid new age vacation spa in the mountains; where Lucy could find her own answers.

❤ Thanks for your support!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X) and “Love Cats” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513)

Guest Hosting WRAT’s Electric Ballroom with Keith Roth

Published November 10, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8643With Keith Roth, September 2015

THIS Sunday, November 15, 8 p.m. New Jersey friends and family can listen! I’m co-hosting The Electric Ballroom, WRAT 95.9 FM with Keith Roth!

From Keith Roth: Electric Ballroom ,11-15-15, This Sunday, 8:00 PM Eastern,Co-Host,Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta,She returns to the Ballroom, with the Release of Her Book (Love Cats),will discuss The Book,as well as Her upcoming Books,The 80’s and More,Also Giveaway’s of The New Rolling Stones,From The Vaults ,Tokyo 1990, CD/DVD!!! we came up with a Great Playlist that Includes The Clash,The Monkees,Lou Reed,David Bowie, Lou Christie,Joey Ramone,Tom Jones,The Smiths,NY Dolls,T-Rex,The Sweet,Rolling Stones,Alice Cooper, Ramones,Tommy James,New Dictators NYC,Love & Rockets,Pretenders,Bauhaus,The Cure,The Damned, Rocket From The Tombs,Lords Of The New Church and More!!! Come On Now ,What A Show,What A Show!!!!! NJ/NY WRAT 95.9 FM, wrat.com click on listen live!

“Love Cats” is available on Amazon in paperback or kindle versions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

My first book “On the Guest List” is also on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Bethel, N.Y., July 25, 2015

Published July 26, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8059Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

It was such a perfect, summer evening to see an outdoor concert in Bethel, N.Y. — on the same grounds hippies graced at the famous Woodstock the summer of 1969.

My husband surprised me with tickets because I love Lady Gaga. Now, mind you, I am not qualified to call myself a “Little Monster” as I do not have any of her CDs. BUT I won’t turn her off when she’s on the radio. And from day one I just liked her for her unique style and sincere personality. (It was always great watching her on talk shows).  “Poker Face” is one of my favorite pop hits ever, as she sings in the same range as Cher and I’ve adored Cher since I was 7.

I figured a Lady Gaga show with Tony Bennett would be more my speed than a regular Lady Gaga concert, so when I heard about this, I hinted heavily that I wanted to go! But note, I don’t own any Tony Bennett records either. Still, it was thrilling to go see a man 88-years-old, that I was aware of since I was a little girl. The only older performer I ever saw was Les Paul who was in his 90s when I saw him perform.

So … going in not knowing what to expect except for the videos I saw on You Tube. I must say I was “wowed.” The show was phenomenal. The Bennett/Gaga duo was a perfect musical marriage. They did over 30 jazz hits together and solo. And during Tony Bennett’s solos, Lady Gaga went backstage for at least 10 costume changes. It was a fun show, kind of like a Las Vegas-y, burlesque, old school variety show. Their chemistry was fabulous, and I loved how Tony Bennett endearingly referred to her as “Lady” (instead of “Gaga” as her fans call her).

I had three favorite highlights of the evening:

1. When Lady Gaga sang La Vie En Rose (by Edith Piaf). It was moved to tears and gave her my own personal standing ovation for that one. What a voice!

2. When Tony Bennett sang his hit, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” He got a standing ovation from me on that one. And what a voice on this one too!

3. When they ended the show with “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing” and Tony Bennett brought out his little dog! Then Lady Gaga seemed to be personally thanking their back-up band, which was so heart-warming to see. Moments like that go to show the true personalities behind the stage persona.

When I saw the set list from one of the other shows, I was saddened to see that this go ’round Tony Bennett didn’t do “Fly Me to the Moon” which is one of the few Frank Sinatra songs I like.

But other favorites of the evening were: Lady performing,”Bang Bang, My Baby Shot Me Down,” (a Cher song!); Tony Bennett doing, “Smile Though Your Heart is Aching,” (a Charlie Chaplin song); and the two doing, “The Lady is a Tramp.”

After the show, my husband and I has our own little late night picnic on the grounds after getting the most amazing vegetarian spring rolls at “Hungry Hungry Hippies.”

SAM_8086Best vegetarian spring rolls ever!

SAM_8045Enjoying the show!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon in paperback version only: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Lou Christie at Italian Festival, East Windsor, NJ – 9-27-14

Published September 28, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_6107

Lou Christie

SAM_6109Lightning Lou!

It was a most gorgeous summer night and for, I think the fifth time, my husband Dennis and I ventured out to see Lou Christie. But this show was extra special because it was more than an oldies tribute show with several acts — this time Lou was the major act. So we got to see him perform some songs we never heard him do live before like “Love is a Many Splendid Thing” and “Theme from a Summer Place.” It was really special. Plus, my husband and I were able to score a seat near the front. When Lou sang, “Never My Love,” Dennis and I got up to slow dance and had a moment — it felt like Lou was singing especially to us.

SAM_6081Me and Dennis enjoying the show!

Other songs included: “The Heart of Saturday Night,” “I’m Gonna Make You Mine” (my favorite), “Beyond the Blue Horizon,” “The Gypsy Cried,” “Two Faces Have I,” “Rhapsody in the Rain,” “Lightning Strikes,” and quite a few more.

The sound was a little off, but since I knew all the songs, it didn’t matter much. I just love the guy, he’s so fun and animated. And if anyone knows the name of the bass player — please come forward. He was from New Jersey and off the hook amazing!

Since this was a longer show, Lou introduced the band and all the members had their spot light to do their thing. That’s always a great part of any show, and again, how I favored the bassist! If the stage wasn’t so high we could have gotten better pictures, but I’m sure someone has.

Now, the coolest thing — after the Lou Christie show earlier this summer at PNC Bank Arts Center, I met a fantastic friend named Louise on a Lou Christie Face Book community page. Louise and I kept in touch over the summer and were looking forward to this show and meeting each other in person. Well, we did! She told me what she’d be wearing and I was able to spot her before the show! She told me she gave Lou a bottle of Italian wine and he acknowledged her from the stage! How cools is that?

SAM_6110Me and fellow Lou fan and very good friend, Louise!

After the show, we all got to meet Lou Christie! I’m always dumbstruck if I meet a famous musician and it’s not in a professional setting (like when I used to work as a music journalist). I never know what to say. It was just so cute watching all the women swoon over Lou. They were all asking Dennis to take pictures with their cameras. And of course since it wasn’t Dennis’s camera he didn’t know how to use it. At one point, Lou said to Dennis, “Take the fucking picture” and we all laughed.

When I finally got up to Lou, I jokingly said, ‘Are you grouchy tonight?'”

He said, “No, do you want me to be grouchy?”

I said, “No!” and laughed so hard.

I just love people that anything they say comes out funny. Lou is great that way! He also held my hand as I spoke with him, as if I was family. Lou truly cares about his fans, which always makes his shows a great time! God bless to a fellow Italian!

SAM_6101Meeting a music idol!

SAM_6108Louise and Lou!

Tommy James/Gary Puckett Double Bill at PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

Published September 20, 2014 by Maryanne

Tommy James Gary PuckettTwo legends! Tommy James & Gary Puckett

(I swiped this from Gary Puckett’s Face Book page — hope it’s okay!)

Last night was phenomenal! Very rare do you get to see two legendary acts in one night. My husband Dennis and I were waiting for this night all summer!

It was a perfect late summer night, a bit chilly, but nothing a hoodie and blanket couldn’t cure. The show was hosted by the legendary Cousin Brucie.

Gary Puckett hit the stage around 8:30 or so and played a very long time. He did all of his hits “Over You,” “Woman, Woman,” “Young Girl,” and “This Girl is a Woman Now.” Plus he did a medley of hits from bands he toured with in recent years like Three Dog Night and The Turtles. He also did a tribute to the veterans and at the end of his show thanked God for the glory.

Puckett’s voice is still amazing and he can also pull off hits of other artists. And he looks just as good — at 71 he could easily pass for late 40s. After the show my husband and I went to meet him at the merchandise table and he was very down to earth.

This was another one of many times my husband and I went to see Tommy James perform. Once again, he did not disappoint. He did all his great tunes, including my favorites “Crystal Blue Persuasion” and “Crimson and Clover.” He did “I Think We’re Alone Now” twice — acoustic and electric.

He also spoke about the upcoming movie based on his life and his journey with Roulette Records. Can’t wait!

We didn’t stick around to meet Tommy because it was getting very late and I had to present a lecture this morning. We met Tommy a few times before, plus I once had the honor to interview him. I’m sure we’ll meet Tommy again someday though.

Thanks for a fabulous show, Tommy James and Gary Puckett! For songs that gave me chills when I was a little girl and too young to know what you’re singing about. But, boy, I was feeling it!

The stadium was packed with over 17,000 people! And out of all those people, we were lucky to spot our friends Mair and Paul!

SAM_6054Mair and me!

Here’s a little magic for you all!

GARY PUCKETT

TOMMY JAMES

And one of my favorite songs Tommy never does (at least not when I’ve seen him). If you are reading this, Tommy, please do “I Love You Love Me!”

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals at Jenks Club in Point Pleasant, NJ, July 15, 2014

Published July 16, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5313Me with Felix Cavaliere

It was a stormy night at the Jersey Shore, but my husband Dennis and I braved the storm to check out Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals at Jenk’s Club.

We had the time of our lives. We got a sweet seat at the bar and had a super cool bartender named David who thought he was unfamiliar with the music, but turned out he really liked all the songs and kept asking my husband which songs were Felix’s. The three of us were in such awe. I couldn’t help but cry during, “It’s a Beautiful Morning” and “Groovin’.” Other favorites were “How Could I Be Sure,” “Good Love,” “You Better Run” (later recorded by Pat Benatar), and “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” (which was co-written by my friend Lori Burton who I knew since I was 15), sung by the drummer.

Felix also did songs by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Sly and the Family Stone.

A really great time! I’m ecstatic!

SAM_5294Storm outside

SAM_5314Felix Cavaliere on the marque!

July 4th Music Extravaganza! (Toys/1910 Fruitgum Co./Buckinghams)

Published July 5, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5143Me and Barbara Harris

My husband and I had an amazing July 4th!

The town next to ours, Springfield, New Jersey, hosts a wonderful music program every July 4th — featuring Barbara Harris and The Toys, and 1910 Fruitgum Company. It’s been a tradition for us, for the past five years, to go see them and get a spot right in front!

Prior to the show, Barbara Harris actually recognized me (from going to all the shows!) She gave me a big, warm hello and we chatted. That truly made my night. Her hit “A Lover’s Concerto” is one of my favorite love songs of all time. Though it was a hit in the 1960s, I first discovered the song, around 1981, when I was working my first job and I’d hear it on the way to work on AM radio.

And of course it’s always the highlight of their shows when they perform “A Lover’s Concerto” (also known as “How Gentle is the Rain.”) They also did “Open Arms” by Journey, “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner, their other Top 10 hit, “Attack” and a medley of hits from girl groups of the 1960s.

When Barbara Harris was introduced, the announcer said she was “the nicest lady in the world.” I totally agree! Barbara is just full of light and love — a total inspiration! And boy, that lady can dance! According to Wikipedia, she was born 1945 — you’d never know it! She has the energy of a 20-something and is gorgeous too!

Next up was 1910 Fruitgum Company, another band I loved when I was a little girl. They did a string of hits of their own, plus hits by others such as the Beach Boys and the Turtles. My favorite Fruitgum hits are “1-2-3 Red Light” and of course, “Simon Says” which always gets me dancing!

As a bonus, last night, Dennis Tufano, of The Buckinghams, performed with Fruitgum Company. He was a phenomenal show man — funny and charismatic — and belted out tunes like he was on fire! Of his songs, my favorite was “Kind of a Drag.” He also did some Bobby Darin tunes and other numbers.

After the show, there was a fireworks display.

My husband, Dennis, got the Buckinghams CD autographed by Dennis Tufano — and joked with him that they were both Italians named “Dennis.”

I got to meet Frank Jeckell, original Fruitgum Co. member. We all took pictures too. His wife was so nice to take a picture of both me and my husband with him.

A very fun evening. Also got to see our friends Bobby (who once ran a very cool place in Montclair, The Soda Pop Shop),  and Art & Wendy (who we met a few weeks ago at the Lou Christie show).

A perfect summer night, that was actually chilly like September!

Richard Nader’s Doo Wop Celebration XXIV, IZOD

Published June 2, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1002Me in front of the IZOD

SAM_1006My husband Dennis and I enjoying the show

SAM_1030Jay Siegel’s Tokens

SAM_1037Me with Deborah Nader

SAM_1048Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler

I am so grateful to Deborah Nader (http://www.richardnader.com/) giving my husband and I comp tickets to last night’s show!

It was a fabulous night to watch all the stars come out: Jay Black, Gene Chandler, John Kuse & The Excellents, Lenny Coco & The Chimes, The Duprees, Jay Siegel’s Tokens, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Tommy Mara & The Crests, Twin Gold and the Whip-Tones (from Whippany, NJ).

I was thrilled to meet Jay Siegel during intermission. The Tokens have a special place in my heart because the year I was born, 1963, their song “The Lion Sleeps Tonite” was a hit, and my favorite hit of that year!

Other highlights of the show were when Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs sang “Little Darling” and an Elvis impersonator, Craig Newell, came out. And when Jay Black, at age 75, hit the high notes of “Cara Mia.” Every single act was excellent!

The show was 3.5 hours long, with a brief intermission.

I’m still on such a high from the show — so many great songs and acts, one right after another!

Jay Black, Tokens, Tommy Mara, and Much More at Izod, Saturday, June 1

Published May 1, 2013 by Maryanne

Jay Black & the AmericansJay Black

Once again, Richard Nader Entertainment, Inc. is presenting a dynamic show of oldies icons on Saturday, June 1, 2013, 7 p.m. at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

This will be a special celebration for Jay Black, as it’s the 50th anniversary of their hit “Only in America.” The iconic song was heard throughout New York during America’s bicentennial celebration in 1976.

Other amazing songs by Jay and the Americans include: “Cara Mia,” “This Magic Moment,” and “Come a Little Bit Closer.” Jay Black’s voice is as powerful today as it was back in the day.

Joining the star-filled extravaganza are Jay Siegel and The Tokens, best known for their 1963 hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonite”; Brooklyn doo wop group, Lenny Cocco and the Chimes doing their hit “Once in Awhile”;  John Kuse and the Excellents, known for “Coney Island Baby”; The Duprees performing their goose-bump inducing hit, “You Belong to Me”; Gene Shandler doing “Duke of Earl”; Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs performing their chart buster hit, “Stay”; Tommy Mara and The Crests, doing “Sixteen Candles”; and Twin Gold.

Come see the artists who have made famous the songs that were known as “music to make love to.” Re-live the golden memories of songs that have forever staying power — for young and old fans alike!

For those who like to get the party started early, as the fun begins when the gates open at 3 p.m. for the classic car display, a tailgate party, and autograph session with the stars!

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or any Ticketmaster outlet.

For information go to richardnader.com or email info@richardnader.com.

Here are some of the songs by the artists:

Jay and the Americans – Only in America

The Tokens – The Lion Sleeps Tonite

Lenny Cocco and the Chimes “Once in Awhile”

 The Excellents – Coney Island Baby

The Duprees – “You Belong to Me”

Gene Chandler “Duke of Earl”

Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs – “Stay”

Tommy Mara and The Crests – “16 Candles”