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Being a lounge act at an Atlantic City gambling casino is not what it's cracked up to
be. We were one of the first three acts in town when they first got gambling, and in
our casino they were using play money for the first week, until the license came through.
The entertainment is way down on the list of what's important to casino operators. In
fact, it's a necessary annoyance. They don't like you if you're too good because people
will be paying attention to you instead of losing their money.
We heard there was a good band across the street at Bally's. We went to have a look, and
there were no signs anywhere telling you who the band was. The employees didn't even
know. After listening for a few minutes we realized it was Jonah Jones, the great trumpet
player with a string of hit records.
We worked in the casino for a couple of months and didn't get to know one employee. The
day after we closed, we went back to get something we'd forgotten, and nobody knew who
There were no signs or ads for us either.
After we'd been playing there about ten days, a workman came over from the other side of
the huge room where there was still some construction going on. He looked like Schneider
from One Day At A Time, with the tool belt slung low like a gunfighter, and a cigarette
pack rolled up in the sleeve of his tee shirt.
He stood in front of us and waited until we finished the song we were doing, and then he
said this to me:
"I been listenin' to you guys for a couple weeks now an' I got a question. How come you
do so much Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan material?"
Copyright © January 21, 2001 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.