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A night of stories and songs

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George Bugatti and John O'Hurley together at the Cabaret Jazz.

By Norm Clarke

VSiN.com columnist

John O’Hurley quit singing for years after a childhood pal told him he had “the worst voice.”

But O’Hurley got the last laugh.

O’Hurley told the story on Sunday while performing in the debut of “George Bugatti’s Piano Bar” at the Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz.

“I grew up singing,” O’Hurley told the audience. Then, one day his friend, “Martin the Italian,” delivered the putdown.

“He made me self conscious for the first time in my life,” said O’Hurley.

At college he fell back in love with singing when Frank Sinatra came out with his “Ol Blue Eyes is Back” album in 1973.

“He was a swish of testosterone,” said O’Hurley.

He got into acting in the 1980s, bouncing around on TV’s soap circuit.

One day out of the blue he got an invitation to the Frank Sinatra’s celebrity golf tournament in Palm Springs.

The festivities included guests getting the opportunity to sing at the big party hosted by Sinatra and his wife Barbara.

O’Hurley said, “I did one of the stupidest things – I sang Sinatra.”

He sang “You Will be My Music,” from Sinatra’s “Ol Blues Eyes is Back.”

Afterward, Sinatra filled O’Hurley in on the history of the song. “He said ‘Joe Raposo wrote it for me to sing to Barbara.

“Were you singing that for my wife?” said Sinatra.

Then Sinatra said the words O’Hurley’s never forgotten.

“He said, ‘you sang it good.’”

O’Hurley sang it to an enthralled Cabaret Jazz crowd.

In March, the multi-talented O’Hurley takes his powerful voice and exquisite storytelling to New York City’s Café Carlyle, one of the world’s coolest hotel bars.

“Martin the Italian” has no doubt lived to regret his words.

O’Hurley went on to star in 1,500 shows as the sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn in “Chicago,” including three stints on Broadway.

Beloved for his role as J. Peterman in “Seinfeld,” O’Hurley was settling into Las Vegas 10 years ago for a 16-month run as King Arthur in “Spamalot” at Wynn Las Vegas.

David Cassidy says he's done

Former teen heartthrob and Las Vegas headliner David Cassidy told People magazine he’s quitting show business due to the onset of dementia.

The announcement came after Cassidy, 66, struggled through a concert in Agoura Hills, Calif. He had difficulty remembering the words to songs and appeared to fall off the stage at one point.

Cassidy performed at the Golden Nugget on Feb. 17.

He has battled an alcohol dependency for years.

Best known for starring in the TV series, “The Partridge Family,” Cassidy performed in “EFX” at the MGM Grand in 1996 and co-starred with Sheena Easton at the Rio in “At the Copa” in 2000.

The tribute show, “The Rat Pack is Back,” was co-created and co-produced by Cassidy.

He had a meltdown at the South Point in 2012 during his tribute to Davy Jones.

About 50-60 people walked out when he kept rambling on, repeating the same thing over and over. At one point he told the audience it’s job was to “just clap” and he sarcastically demonstrated how to clap.”  

Sports update

With all the professional sports developments swirling in Las Vegas these days, I’ve decided to add a sports dimension to this column.

To kick it off, I asked an old friend from my Denver days, Adrian Dater of the Bleacher Report, to comment on just how lucky the Vegas Golden Knights could get in the NHL entry draft, scheduled for June 23-24.

His response:

“Las Vegas could draft as high as first and as low as sixth.

"Based on the rules the league has set forth, the Golden Knights will have the same odds of winning the first overall pick as the team that finishes with the third-fewest point in this, still ongoing season.

"The chance of winning the lottery as the ‘third place team’ will be 11.5%. The second-place team will have a 13.5% chance and the worst team a 20% chance.

"Entering Monday, that third-fewest-points team was the Dallas Stars. So Vegas would have the same odds as the Stars.

"Vegas will pick third in rounds 2-7.

"This is NOT considered a great draft, at least not according to the top scouts. Center Nolan Patrick is considered the top prospect, but he’s not considered a ‘generational player’ like Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby were.” 

On this day . . . 

 February 21, 1956: “Meet Me in Las Vegas,” a corny musical comedy about a cowboy (Dan Dailey) whose gambling luck improves when he holds the hand of a pretty dancer (Cyd Charisse), has its world premiere in Las Vegas. It’s best remembered today as a window into how the city looked in the mid-1950s.

February 22, 2008: Rita Rudner, one of Las Vegas’ most successful comedians, records her 2,000th Vegas show at Harrah’s for a PBS pledge drive special and comedy DVD. She began her Las Vegas run in 2000, moving to the city and rarely leaving to perform elsewhere. At Elton

Sightings

At Elton John’s show (Caesars Palace) on Monday: Comedian George Lopez, model Georgia May Jagger, the spawn of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, designer Kenneth Cole and Reba McEntire, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn…

Testing his golf skills, actor Will Arnett, the voice of “The Lego Batman Movie,” at Topgolf (MGM Grand) on Monday….

Four Season frontman Frankie Valli, taking in Elton John’s show (Caesars Palace) on Sunday before dining at N9ne Steakhouse for the second night in a row…

Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block, meeting the cast of the Blue Man Group (Venetian) on Sunday. McIntyre was with his wife Barrett and their three children…

Ben McLemore of the Sacramento Kings, with friends at the Halfway to EDC party at Marquee Dayclub Dome at The Cosmopolitan on Sunday…

Comedy warhorse Marty Allen and his wife Karon Kate Blackwell, at the Bugatti-O’Hurley performance. Allen will celebrate his 95th birthday on March 23 at the South Point Showroom. The hilarity begins at 7:30 p.m…

Elton John, on hand for Diana Ross’ show at The Venetian Theatre on Friday.

The punch line

“There were marches in Philadelphia and Austin, Washington. Here in L.A. with no immigrants – we have a lot of immigrants here in L.A. – people were forced to babysit their own children. Arnold Schwarzenegger had to impregnate a meter maid today. It was awful.” – Late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel

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