In this interview, Morris reflects upon his career and the wide range of influential artists he has worked with, as a drummer, musical director and talent manager. Stories include playing with Louis Prima, live and on albums; serving as Elvis? musical director; filling in for Frank Sinatra?s drummer; entertaining Howard Hughes; and playing at President John F. Kennedy?s inauguration, to name a few. He also talks about his agency, attributing its success to the strong relationships he built with casino management.
Bobby Morris oral history interview, 2016 March 24. OH-02638. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d1x63f71f
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AN INTERVIEW WITH BOBBY MORRIS An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ?Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV ? University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader?s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE In 1937, at the age of ten, Bobby Morris (born Boruch Moishe Stempelman) immigrated from Wilno, Poland to Brooklyn, New York. His passion for drumming was ignited soon after, and he began shining shoes to pay for drumming lessons from Henry Adler. When he was thirteen years old, Morris got his first gig playing at the Musicians Union in the Catskill Mountains, which lasted several summers. His career blossomed and he was soon playing jazz around New York City with different artists while simultaneously studying at the Manhattan School of Music. Seeking a different?and warmer?scenery, Morris moved to Las Vegas in 1950 to play in the Last Frontier Hotel and Casino?s orchestra, working with artists like Liberace and Ronald ?Ronnie? Reagan. Over the next several years, he had an exciting and distinguished career as a jazz musician, playing in lounges, on studio albums and even at a presidential inauguration, with artists like Louis Prima and Keely Smith, Judy Garland, Eddie Fisher, and eventually with Elvis Presley as his musical director. In addition, Morris started his own agency ? the Bobby Morris Agency ? and managed acts like Robert Goulet and Keely Smith. In this interview, Morris reflects upon his career and the wide range of influential artists he has worked with, as a drummer, musical director and talent manager. Stories include playing with Louis Prima, live and on albums; serving as Elvis? musical director; filling in for Frank Sinatra?s drummer; entertaining Howard Hughes; and playing at President John F. Kennedy?s inauguration, to name a few. He also talks about his agency, attributing its success to the strong relationships he built with casino management. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Bobby Morris on March 24, 2016 by Barbara Tabach in Las Vegas, Nevada Preface?????????????????????????????????..?..iv Reminisces about conducting Elvis Presley?s show at The International; getting married in Mexico with Eddie Fisher and mob boss Sam Giancana as best men. Mentions many other stars he played for. Talks about emigrating from Poland with his family; how he became passionate about drumming; finding a teacher, Henry Adler; first jobs playing shows in Catskill Mountains during summers. Gets introduced to Perry Como; playing at Nevele Country Club???..?1-4 Talks about getting into jazz during Bebop era; playing around New York City, including with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Sammy Kaye. Moves to Las Vegas for gig at Last Frontier Hotel and Casino; plays with Liberace. Mentions working with and befriending Ronald ?Ronnie? Regan. Talks then having his jazz quartet; playing at Black Magic after hours; being approached by Sam Butera to speak to Louis Prima about recording album??????...?5-9 Discusses his unique drumming style; recording tracks for various artists with Capitol Records. Continues talking about working with Louis Prima and Keely Smith and related stories, including playing for President Kennedy at his inauguration and Louis and Keely?s breakup. Talks about becoming musical director of The International and working with Elvis; starting his own booking agency and becoming manager people like Keely Smith, Robert Goulet??..10-14 Continues talking about the success of his agency; specifics of his working relationship with Robert Goulet, and its demise. Mentions wife Joan helping him write his biography. Shares story of Elvis? opening night as the musical director; working with Bobby Darwin in Miami, serendipitously leading to gig with Frank Sinatra. Explains the importance of the drum as an instrument. Shares story about Howard Hughes?????????????????.15-23 Talks more about his agency; building business based on trust with hotel?s entertainment directors; changes in his business as those directors left positions. Mentions a huge show almost booked; attending Temple Beth Sholom for High Holidays; friendship with Eddie Fisher. More about family?s immigration to United States, escaping Nazi Germany; parents attending his show with Eddie Fisher in New York City??????????????????????24-31 Chats about his current work; his wife writing his biography. More reflections on accompanying various artists, including Elvis, Judy Garland, Frankie Laine, Kay Starr, Tony Martin, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones, Connie Stevens and Robert Goulet???????????...32-34 Index........................................................................................................................................35-37 1 Today is March 24, 2016. This is Barbara Tabach. I am sitting with Bobby Morris in his office on East Sahara. As you're looking through the transcript that was done in 2004, do you find it interesting? Yes. Maybe, as you're glancing at that, you can tell me a little bit about how...You said you were born in Poland? Yes. Let me take you outside for a second. [Pause in recording. Looking at picture gallery, ?The Wall of Fame.?] You could take pictures of anything you want there. Yes, I think it might be good to have our photographer come back and take a nice portrait of you. This is me with Elvis Presley. I'm giving a plaque...Kirk Kerkorian, the owner, asked me to give it to him for breaking all the records at the International. I was his conductor. And Barbra Streisand, my band backed her. Here's me and Elvis. How was it to work with Elvis? It was interesting. This is Don Ho, Eddie Fisher?he was my best man at one of my weddings. Was that wedding here in Vegas? No. It was in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Abbe Lane, Billy Eckstine. This is The Witnesses, Louis Prima. Here's Billy MacComber with Sam Butera and myself, Amato Rodriquez and Little Red. That was the name of the group, The Witnesses? Louis Prima?well, Keely Smith and Sam Butera and The Witnesses. 2 This is in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Eddie Fisher was my best man and he introduced me to this man as Dr. Goldberg. For four weeks I'm calling him Dr. Goldberg. Eddie said, "I want to be your best man." Dr. Goldberg says, "I'll be your best man, too." They each gave me a thousand-dollar bill. So we got married. Dr. Goldberg said, "I want you to be my guest at my villa." We went to his villa outside of Mexico City. He was cooking this Italian food, wonderful food. But as we drove in, there were men with machine guns on the roof. I said, "Dr. Goldberg," I said, "Excuse me for asking, but there's men with machine guns on your roof." He said, "Well, Bobby, some people don't like me. But now I'm your best man, my name isn't Dr. Goldberg." I said, "Well, what is it?" He said, "Sam Giancana." The head of the Mafia. This was the picture. Norm Clarke just printed it?I'll show you?just did a story on that in the Review-Journal. This is Rodney Dangerfield, Pat Boone, Donald O'Connor, Tony Bennett, Wayne Newton. That's an all-star cast. I was with everybody. I traveled with Bobby Darin. I brought this tune "Suspicious Minds" to Elvis. You brought it to him, oh. Yes. This is me with Elvis; Bobby Morris Orchestra. Here I'm presenting him with the plaque. How many musicians would be in an orchestra at one time, with Elvis? There was about forty-five. It was a complete string section, full brass section, reed section. How did you get interested in music? I came to this country when I was ten from Wilno, Poland, fortunately. My whole family got taken out with the Holocaust. I came with my father and my brother Joe and my sister Pearl on the boat 3 called the Pileudski. A year later, 1938, my mother came over with my brother Artie. That was wonderful. It was in Brooklyn, Coney Island, New York. I was walking on the street. I was eleven years old. I learned English very quickly. I spoke four or five languages, but not English. I was walking on Broadway. I went in to see Benny Goodman band, orchestra, and Gene Krupa was playing drums. I got infatuated with drumming. After the show I walked on Broadway. I passed Wurlitzer and there was this drummer playing and he sounded very good. I shined shoes to...It was a nickel for the subway train. So I heard this drummer. I said, "Who's your teacher?" He said, "Henry Adler at the Hotel Whitby." So I went over to see Henry Adler and I said, "What do you charge for a lesson?" He says, "Three dollars." I said, "Well, can I be your student?" He says, "Yeah, if you've got three dollars." I didn't have three dollars, but I shined shoes at a nickel a shine so I could make three dollars. I started studying with Henry Adler, who is a world-renowned teacher. Then I got my first job at the Musicians Union; it was in the Catskill Mountains, the Borscht circuit, making fifteen dollars a week with room and board. How old were you when that happened? Thirteen. I didn't have drums, but my father sponsored me for a set of drums, for a hundred and fifty dollars. I told him, "I'll pay you back." I was making fifteen a week and it was a ten-week engagement. So I played there for ten weeks and I saved up the hundred and fifty dollars. I gave him his money back, but now I owned a set of drums. The next year I got a job making twenty-five dollars a week, which was unbelievable. That's a lot of money, yes, especially for a teenager. With room and board. I learned how to play acts, to play for shows. The experience was 4 unbelievable that I was getting. So I went there and spent a whole summer playing for acts. But the summer before this a comic, whenever he would bomb, he would blame it on me. The comics in those days, they didn't like to bomb, so they had to pick on somebody. I was an easy prey. I took it from him the first year. But the second year I worked out with strength exercises; I got very strong. Before we started, the same comic came up. I said, "If you ever pick on me again, I'll push you through this wall." He didn't pick on me anymore. This went on; I did the summer and I had saved two hundred fifty dollars, which was a fortune. One thing led to another and I wound up at the Nevele Country Club for the Slutskys, Ben and Phil Slutsky. There was the Grossinger's, Concord, and Nevele?the three biggest in the Catskills. It was the Borscht circuit, the Jewish Alps they call it. I was eighteen now. I was making fifty dollars a week. Buddy Hackett was my roommate. All the stars were coming up. I was playing with a Latin band, Dee Cameo. So it was a fantastic year. I was taking vibraphone lessons by this teacher who was the percussionist for the Perry Como Show, Terry Snyder. He introduced me to Perry Como. Every week I would come up. I would be in the rehearsal and Perry Como was there. He was a very, very nice man. I was learning how to play vibraphone because that would make me well-rounded percussion-wise, timpani vibes, drums, classical, everything, jazz. At the Nevele Country Club, the musical director, Art Kahn, picked on me quite a bit because I would practice the vibes all the time and he didn't want me to practice. So he put me into the cellar. It was noisy. The air-conditioning turbines would go on. I took this from him for a year. He would really badger me. Finally it was New Year's Eve or something. There was a party and I decided to leave. I went over to him; I had half a grapefruit and squeezed it on his head. He said, "You're fired." I said, "I quit." 5 I left the Nevele Country Club and started playing jazz around. Jazz was my main thing. It was the Bebop era in New York. I was playing jazz on 52nd Street with different groups. I was with Chuck Wayne, Gene DiNovi, and Joe Mondragon. Right next door was the Three Deuces. Then here comes Charlie Parker?Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet; Charlie Parker on alto; Max Roach on drums; Curley Russell, bass; Bud Powell on piano; and J.J. Johnson on trombone. We're playing next door and we kept hearing about this new form of jazz coming in. So we went over. I'm sitting with Kai Winding, who is the trombone player for Stan Kenton's band. We hear the opening, the trombone playing like a trumpet, [voicing sound], just articulating like a trumpet. Kai Winding is walking and I said, "Where are you going?" He said, "I'm going to take my trombone and I'm going to put it in the middle of the street and I'm going to let a cab run over it." It was unbelievable. So I played on the street, jazz. Eventually, I sat and played with Dizzy and Charlie Parker. I played with all of them?Coleman Hawkins?different jazz people at the time. Did you know at the time the company that you were keeping; that they were on such the cutting edge of music at the time? I knew that it was the biggest happening in music at the time; that it was going to be historic. It was the Bebop era. It changed music completely into more syncopation. It was a whole different feel and I got with it; I got with the feel. Anyhow, I'm hanging out at the Musicians Union. Meanwhile in all this, before that I'm traveling with Sammy?remember, "Swing and sway with Sammy Kaye?" Yes. Sammy Kaye's drummer, Tony Rongo, was leaving and he said, "Bobby, he's looking for a drummer. He's going to be auditioning." He told me exactly how to play for that style. He says, 6 "Don't play anything fancy, just play very...[voicing musical beat]...just time. There were twenty-six drummers auditioning. He lent me his tuxedo and I combed my hair. I was a cute kid, I guess, at the time. He liked clean-cut boys. I got the job. I was making a hundred and fifty dollars a week. It was from about six in the evening to about nine or so; we played the Hotel Edison. "Ladies and gentlemen, direct from the Hotel Edison in New York City, we bring you swing and sway with Sammy Kaye." So here I am a Bebop jazz drummer playing the corniest music, but making money. Then I would go to the street?as soon as we finished, I would run to 52nd Street and I play jazz. I made fifty dollars a week from that, from nine at night until three in the morning, forty-five minutes on, fifteen off. It was a joy. I am living in New York and going to the Manhattan School of Music, studying percussion in the daytime, working with Sammy Kaye, working jazz at night and just running back and forth. This went on for a while. Then I traveled all over the country with him and different bands. I came back and we?re in Detroit playing at the Statler Hotel. I asked his saxophone player, George Soares?it was like ten or fifteen below zero and it was very, very cold?I said, "There must be a place in the world that's a little warmer, nicer than here." He said, "Well, there's a little place out in the West called Las Vegas. It's a little bitty place." I said, "Oh, all right, I'll keep it in mind." When we came back, I am at a bar called Charlie's Tavern, where all the musicians would hang out there. In comes Garwood Van, an orchestra leader. He said, "I'm looking for a drummer to go to Las Vegas." Boy, my ears went up. I said, "I'll go." I asked, "What does it pay?" "Eighty-seven dollars a week." I said, "I'll take it." What year was this? 7 About 1950. I went up with him to Las Vegas. We opened up at the Last Frontier. The first act was piano player Liberace. We're making eighty-seven dollars. I think Liberace, the star of the show, was making maybe a thousand. There were only five hotels in Las Vegas. There was the Last Frontier; the Desert Inn; the Thunderbird; the Flamingo; and the El Rancho. The tallest hotel was two stories high. There were thirty thousand people all told in the city of Las Vegas, [including] North Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City. I worked at the Frontier with Liberace. Liberace was getting a television show. He offered me to go with him. I said, "Well, what does it pay, Lee?" He says, "Forty-three dollars; that's the scale for the show." I said, "Well, Lee, I'm making eighty-seven. I can't leave an eighty-seven dollar job for forty-three." He said [speaking with accent], "But it'll get better, Bobby, it'll get better." A couple of years later, the Riviera Hotel opened and he came in as the star of the show for fifty thousand a week. I'm jumping the gun a little bit because I'm still at the Frontier and a couple of acts came in a little bit later. One of the entertainers was named ?Ronnie.? He said, "Just call me Ronnie." I said, "What would you like?" He said, "Well, I do a little soft shoe." [Voicing musical beat] "And then I sing with girls and I tell a few jokes." I said, "That's great, Ronnie. Hey, listen, I'd like to take you to breakfast tomorrow morning at the Silver Slipper. It's forty-nine-cent breakfast, everything, ham and eggs, whatever you want." So we would each take each other to breakfast at the Silver Slipper for the next couple of weeks and we became good friends. That Ronnie turned out to be Ronald Reagan. But don't forget he didn't start off as Ronald Reagan; he started off as Ronnie and movie actor, B movie actor, no big star; he was just a movie 8 actor. He was a broadcaster, too, before that. Yes. Whatever he was, he was just Ronnie to me. But he became Ronald Reagan. What kind of personality did he have back then? Just a sweetheart. I'm talking to him like I talk to you. We're friends. We're having breakfast. Nothing special. Now it sounds like, my God, Ronald Reagan. But he wasn't Ronald Reagan; he was just Ronnie. Did you stay acquainted and stay friends as he became a politician? No. He went on and I went on. Liberace opened up, became fifty thousand dollars a week. I was invited to the top of the Riviera Hotel. It was ten floors. It was major, major, ten floors, oh, my God, in Las Vegas. I went up there and he came over to me. I said, "Oh, Lee, I'm so happy for you, my God." He says [speaking with accent], "You should've come with me, Bobby, I told you it'll get better. I told you it'll get better." So things got better for him and got better for me. Then I had a trio. Then I had a quartet, Jack Prince and the Paupers, at the Sahara Hotel. Louis Prima and Keely Smith came in, but they came in with kind of a trumped-up type of...The big band arrangements that he had with his big band, he made it into a little band, but it didn't sound that good. So I'm playing with Jack Prince and the Paupers; it's my group. It's a jazz group with Dee Dee Lucido on bass, Rudy Eagan on piano, Jimmy Cook on tenor, myself, and Jack Prince, who had been the singer with Harry James at the Flamingo. We were THE jazz group in town. We were the happening jazz group. Then Louis Prima came in and he was a great performer, but nothing was happening 9 musically, I mean rhythm-wise. Then he came back with Sam Butera, Little Red, on trombone; a dear, dear friend of mine, Billy MacCumber on piano; and Amato Rodriguez on bass. Louis played trumpet, whatever, and Dick Johnson on drums. I had jazz going at the Black Magic every night after hours. All the stars in Vegas would come in and I'd play for them. Where was the Black Magic? On the corner of Paradise and Tropicana. It's not there anymore, of course. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis, every star would come in and sit in with us. All the big bands that were in town?Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman?would all come in. All the stars, the best players would sit in with us. We were there for quite a while. Sam Butera came; he would sit in with us, too. He said, "Bobby, I like you. Louis Prima wants to talk to you." I said, "About what?" He said, "I don't know. Talk to him." So I went and talked to him. He said, "We're missing one link. We're going to be recording for Capitol Records. I've got the Frank Sinatra Show, Colgate Comedy Hour, every big show, the Dinah Shore." [Singing] "See the USA." I remember that. He says, "I want you to come on." I said, "Well, Louis, I'm happy here." He says, "What are you making?" I said, "I'm making two hundred dollars a week." Which is foolish; I should have said more. But he says, "I'll give you three hundred a week if you come with me." Man, that was, whoosh, three hundred a week. I was married at the time and had three boys. I had the house next to the Katz?s. Your house was where? Gala Street in Las Vegas. Next to the Katz?s. 10 Next to the Mike Katz, right? Mike and Bea Katz, Bobby Katz and Mel Katz, and Andy and Ann. That's where all these stories come together. Wonderful family. So anyhow, I said, "Okay, I'll come on, but I have an idea of a style, a rhythm style that I want to introduce. Now your drummer is playing shuffle with two hands like this [demonstrating beat]. Of course, I want to do it with one hand [demonstrating beat] against time." I said, "Well, let me work it out with Billy MacCumber and Amato." They were the rhythm section, so we practiced that style. Louis Prima, to make a long story short, flipped out; he just flipped out. He said, "Oh, my God." Anyhow, I joined the group and we flew to Los Angeles to record for Capitol Records. The first album was "The Wildest!" I've got all the albums there. Cool. Complete with a turntable. This is great. I've got not just LPs. It's on CDs, cassettes, everything. We recorded "The Wildest!" and on it was "Just a Gigolo," "I Ain't Got Nobody," "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You," and "When You're Smiling." It was enormously successful and that shuffle thing became the biggest happening in music. [Demonstrating beat] I got it to a point where I was playing very fast tempos with it. The drummers couldn't figure out how I was doing it. I would work very, very hard to get it up to that tempo. We did all the shows and we recorded some big hits. All the groups were copying us, the style, Sam Butera is honking the horn. The rhythm shuffle style, they were all copying that. It became very, very big. That went on for about seven or eight years and we did all the shows. Now, Voyle Gilmore with Capitol Records liked my intensity, so he hired me to do rhythm 11 tracks for rock stars. There was myself, guitar, bass and keyboards just playing. They would give us the keys and the tempos, and then the stars would come in and put their voices to it. I would come in every two weeks for about two or three years?and it was wonderful?at the scale; for every three-hour session at a time, it was three hundred and fifty dollars. I would come in for a day and I would do three sessions, every two weeks. So I would pick up about a thousand, three times three hundred and fifty dollars. There were residual things that were happening, like the television shows paid extra, the recordings paid; I made a lot of money on recordings. Sometimes I would do six recordings. This went on for three years. I don't know who used it, but I'm on probably every rock record star that ever...I don't know who, but we did the tracks; they'd put their voices on it. Did they give you credit? No, we didn't get credit. We were just studio musicians. And the studio was in New York? No, in Los Angeles; Capitol Records, Los Angeles. The story goes on and on. Well, a lot of the story is going to be in there, too, but this helps put it together. There are a lot of things in there, yes. One of the stories that you might enjoy is everywhere we worked with Louis and Keely...They were the biggest. This is probably before your time. You're just a kid. I know who they are and I do know that people loved going to their show. They were the biggest stars in the world. It all happened from the Sahara. Then we went into the Desert Inn and we broke Judy Garland's record. I was doing drum solos and all kinds of stuff. Everywhere we worked?the Chez Paree in Chicago; the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood; the Latin Casino, Philadelphia; the Copacabana in New York?there's Peter Lawford and his brother-in-law, 12 Senator John Kennedy. They invited us for a drink. I said, "Oh, Senator Kennedy, what a pleasure it is to meet you." He says, "Just call me Jack." So everywhere we worked there was Peter and Jack. They were like swingers, liked the boogying. Then we did the show at the inauguration. We were invited. Frank Sinatra was the musical director. Every star in Hollywood, every star on Broadway, every star in recording, everybody was there. It was just unbelievable. So we did the show and we all met on the thirty-second floor; all the stars were invited. I'm playing with a trio, backing Ella and Sarah Vaughan and everybody. Actually, that was Sarah Vaughan's trio; the drummer was Roy Haynes, Joe Mondragon, and Lou Levy on piano; great, great players. Roy didn't show up, so I was asked to play for everybody. Tony Curtis kept bringing me drinks and all that. Anyhow, I'm playing for all the stars?Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald. So here comes President Kennedy and Jacqueline to thank everybody. [It was a] big party, the whole floor was ours. Remember he told me to call him Jack? So he's coming around to thank everybody and he came around to me. I was going to say, "Hey, Jack, I'm proud of you." But now he's the president. So I said, "Mr. President, I can't tell you how happy I am for you, how proud I am. I'm so happy to know you. God bless you. I love you and I wish you the best." I've got a whole book, an album of everybody that was there. I didn't think anything of it, so I would put paint cans on it, like when I'm painting, I needed something...So my wife said, "What are you doing? That's the..." I said, "I'm just..." She said, "Don't you know that that's staining the book. That's the..." Was it like the program of it? The program of the inauguration. She cleaned it off and we put it in a frame and all that. 13 That's good. It was very, very exciting. I left and joined different acts. I left Louis and Keely to join Keely. We were playing at the Latin Casino and there was a line of girls in the show. Every night three of us?John, the piano player, and myself and I think the trombone player. We would all sit in the dark there. We were not happy with Louis Prima; he was not a nice person, but a great entertainer. So here pulls up Louis Prima and one of the girls. Now, he's married to Keely Smith. Lo and behold?we're in the dark?here comes Keely in a sports car and she jumps out. She's pulling on this girl's hair, "How dare you." The girl said, "I didn't start this; he did. It's not my fault that he made a play for me, whatever." That led to the breakup of Louis and Keely. Keely had "I Wish You Love" and some big records. [Voicing a song tune] Big recordings on her own. She was given a contract for two years to play all the places that we played with Louis and Keely. She said, "Bobby, how much are you making?" I was making, I guess, five hundred a week by then. She said, "I'll give you a thousand and I'll pay all your expenses. We'll go first class. We'll play all the places we played with Louis and Keely." So we did. But it wasn't as good as with Louis and Keely because there was a link missing. It's like Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. If you take Jerry Lewis away, you have...It took Dean Martin quite a while to get established and Jerry Lewis, too. It took Keely awhile to get established. We did the two years. She did well enough, but not that good that they would ask her back. But she started growing as an artist. I did the two years, but then I got an offer from Bobby Darin. Remember Bobby Darin? Absolutely. So I worked with Bobby Darin, Judy Garland, a whole bunch of people. I think this was after 1969; I became musical director at the International. 14 How does one move into that kind of position? I had an agency, Bobby Morris Agency. So you had started the agency somewhere before the late '60s? Yes, about '67. I had the agency going and I had every group. Oh, here is a thing of me with...This was an interview in London on Elvis. That's great. There's about four or five pages. This was in 2001, "Elvis, The Man and His Music." Yes. They called and interviewed me. It's a magazine just about Elvis. Yes, it's an Elvis magazine. I've been all over the world. Then I handled Elvis Junior and they flew me to Holland. He's supposed to be Elvis's son, but I don't know; there's a discrepancy there, Elvis Presley, Jr. It seemed like his mother was a movie actress and his father was...They were traveling in a circus. His mother met Elvis and she was part of the circus. She became a movie star. They got together or whatever and he was born. But there's a discrepancy there. Anyhow, they flew me out to Amsterdam, Holland to be interviewed on station KRO Television. So I'm on television with Elvis Presley, Jr. He said, "Five thousand each and transportation." I said, "I'll go, but ten thousand apiece for the interview." They flew us out to Holland and they had the theaters. I don't know how I got off the subject. But there you're talking about in 2001 for the... All right. So this is my agency and here's some of the acts that I was handling. I had the biggest acts in Las Vegas. I had the biggest lounge acts. The Checkmates, Freddie Bell. I was handling Sam Butera. I wound up handling Keely Smith. I became manager for Robert Goulet and created 15 a two-wall thing for the Dunes Hotel for Morris Shenker. For people who might be listening to this, what does a two-wall mean? A four-wall is when an act comes in and the act pays for everything. They pay for the musicians; they pay for the culinary; they pay for the stagehands and publicity. A two-wall is where the hotel participates. I created the first two-wall at the Dunes with Morris Shenker. Jerry Conte was the entertainment director and the head of marketing. Robert Goulet, who had done five hotels for Summa Corporation?and he was a big star, but he screwed himself up by drinking, so they kind of got rid of him. He was on his fanny, you might say. Sonny King, who I was handling, was with Jimmy Durante at the time. I was at one time the number-one agency in Las Vegas. You're a very busy man at that time. Yes, I was very busy. I had acts going in every hotel. The entertainment directors trusted me to appoint where they would just give me their open dates, say book them, because they knew you're only as good as the last act. They knew I wasn't going to take any chances. I was booking all the hotels; Moe Lewis at the Stardust, Davey Victorson at Caesars Palace; Bill Miller at the Flamingo; Rocky Sennes and Frank Sennes at the Frontier?Las Vegas was growing now?and the Dunes. Can I ask, as the booking person do you get a percentage? How are you compensated? I get fifteen percent. I was making a lot of money. Some big-big names that I would book, I would do a buy and sell. So you're buying for a certain amount, like, how much do you want a week? Twenty-five thousand a week. Then you sell them maybe for fifty thousand a week. That's where the real good money comes in. 16 What's the difference between the two-wall and the four-wall? The four-wall is where the act pays for everything. The two-wall is where the hotel pays for the publicity, the culinary, stagehands and all that. Then you split it; whatever comes in you split fifty-fifty. I created that for Robert Goulet. There's a picture ri