Bob Anderson Shines in Frank, The Man, The Music


Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson had an idea. His Musical Director, Vincent Falcone, had been Frank Sinatra’s musical director for years. It seems Frank gave Vinnie,  his arrangements. Frank told him, Keep the music going!

Bob and Vinnie are keeping the promise. They hired an incredibly talented make up artist, Kazu Tsuji. He works on him, for two hours each night, turning him into Frank!.. Kazu is the Oscar-nominated makeup artist who transformed Brad Pitt in the 2008 Film, ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’. (reference


Bob Anderson as Frank!

He does the transformation of Bob to Frank,  in 2 hours, because the 3 hours he needed were too just too much for Bob on a nightly basis!. The face, the hair, amazingly accurate.

Then Bob does the rest, the posture, the walk, the mannerisms, the voice, OH, the Voice!

The show is produced and directed by Stephen Eich of the Steppenwolf theater in Chicago. The lighting and set design by Kevin Rigdon also of the Steppenwolf theater.

The bigger surprise in the show is the 32-piece orchestra. Not just any musicians; many who played with Frank. Along with bassist Bob Sachs, and guitarist Joe Lano, Drummer Tommy Check, the sax section, and many throughout the orchestra have played these charts with the man himself, Frank. .


Musical Director, Vincent Falcone

What great charts they are!  Chills will appear on your body many times during the 90-minute show.  The string section is big and lush.

I have been watching Bob Anderson my entire adult life. I was in the Casino De Paris show at the Dunes Hotel, when Bob performed at the Top Of The Dunes. This was a popular show where you would run into Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence, and Don Rickles in the elevator.

Following his career, I saw him at the Desert Inn, where one night I got pulled onstage and sang with him. He was always my favorite singer and entertainer. Bob moved to town from Detroit as a 22-year old, and worked with Nancy Sinatra, at the Sahara Hotel.  He is very gracious to his fans, always takes pictures with them, and gives them his time. Take note future entertainers, always greet your fans, they are why you are working!

Pre-Show at the Palazzo Theater.

Pre-Show at the Palazzo Theater.

The show is staged at the Palazzo Hotel, in the Palazzo Theatre; originally named The Jersey Boys Theatre. When the Palazzo was built, the showroom was designed to stand in the exact place as its predecessor, the Copa Room at The Sands Hotel.

Frank, The Man, The Music begins with the orchestra playing a medley of Sinatra favorites.

Simultaneously, screen projections on both sides of the theatre stage. You watch Bob finish his character transformation, walk through the hall, talk with a few people, and then enter stage right as if the film-transition is live every night.

The Sands HotelWhen he opens his mouth to sing, it doesn’t take long to forget you are no longer watching and listening to Bob, but Frank Sinatra.

The patter, the stories are fascinating, all done in character; and the party begins. Time stops and you ARE taken back in time.

Old Vegas is back, and you can hear him sing the Bossa Nova, a la Antonio Carlos Jobim. That musical period played flawlessly by guitar legend, Joe Lano!.  Then, you are whisked inside Capitol records for a reenactment of a studio recording session. 

Bob Anderson is a consumnate performer. This is evident, with the easy listening style and goose bump singing. He sings with ease, because he is a natural. I asked him if he warms up? He said, “Very little.” He sings along backstage in the wings and does a few scales. I understand this as a natural singer myself, I hardly ever warm up, and my voice is always  there for me.

frank-the-man-the-musicThis show is here only until the end of 2015, then it moves to New York. Tickets for  Frank: The Man,The Music can be purchased via Ticketmaster online or 702-414-9000. Thank you , Patricia Dockswell, Bobs Production Coordinator.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Bob Anderson Sizzles at the Suncoast

Bob Anderson and the band

Bob Anderson and the band

I have been watching Bob Anderson for decades. Way-back-when, Bob was at the Top of the Dunes, and Lee Greenwood was in a little piano bar, when I was the singing lead in The ‘Casino De Paris Show’ at the Dunes Hotel. Yes, the good ol days!

I had known him earlier when he and my sister were in a relationship, so we have a lot of history. Bob had his start very fast, with appearances on Johnny Carson, and performances with George Burns…  too many to mention, here.

He is not only an impeccable singer, but a superb impressionist.  The art and style of the cabaret singer is a gift, and completely natural. This rings true when you see Bob’s show. He is at ease, and has a beautiful audience rapport.

I could listen to him sing standards all night, however, his loyal fans expect the impressions Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr;, and Tony Bennett among others.

When you witness a true talent such as Bob, it takes you back to the time in Las Vegas, when headliners dominated.  When the lounges were percolating 24 hours a day, with great bands. I feel badly for the younger people who come here, and find a new Disneyland of mostly mediocre lounge bands, and too few of them.

Bob Anderson Suncoast

Bob Anderson & Jessica Marciel

In the days of true Vegas Glam, you could find, Keely Smith, Kenny Rogers, Lou Rawls and Sam Butera in the lounges, Yes, the lounges. They had cover charges, dress codes, and little round tables with , yes, you guessed it, SERVICEWhat? Service, in glass , not plastic cups. Now how much money do you think is saved by using plastic cups, instead of glass?

In the audience at the ‘Suncoast‘ Friday night, was Pia Zadora, Monti Rock III, Steve Rossi, and even Joe Williams widow, Jill.  I was there with two great singers, we could have been 10 if we had gotten the word out faster. next time we will.   If you haven’t heard Bob sing ‘Guess Who I Saw Today? ‘ , ‘Midnight Sun’ or ‘Angel Eyes’, you haven’t lived.

Besides Bob’s talent and superb backing musicians, the more subtle elements that lift his show include:

  • Designing a show set that includes standards and less familiar songs, that all hit the mark.
  • His recognition of important performers attending the show, never leaving the feeling that he is ‘name-dropping’.
  • Band interaction, particularly with Musical Director, Vincent Falcone, is familiar and comfortable, allowing Bob to change-up a song choice, on the fly, without missing a beat.
  • Embracing his fans, through relaxed banter from the stage, plus lingering after the show to pose for photographs.

So, next time you read about Bob Anderson, appearing anywhere, do yourself a favor, and go see a real pro, a consummate entertainer, with a band, that included legends, like guitarist, Joe Lano, bass, Bob Sachs, Musical Director Piano, Vince Falcone, and drummer, Mike Meechem. 

You can thank me later:) See you there.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training


Michael Bublé with Ease!

Michael Bublé is consistent.  This man could sing while juggling and playing hop scotch. In this video of  him singing Home’, you can feel his ease and his natural ability to connect with his audience. He draws you in, with home-style comfort, as if in his living room.

His television specials are solid. He always has an interesting guest artist; someone interesting and different from himself.  He makes eye-contact with an audience member, smiles, yet never loses his way in the lyric or emotion of the song.

There are just a handful of singers as pure as this, when you are in their presence. It makes you feel a part of the show, and you can’t wait to see them again… like visiting a friend.

When I worked with Bobby Vinton he had loyal fans  who followed him everywhere!  I never knew how anyone could afford to do that!  They attended shows in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, New York, and had expensive front row seats, to boot!  I would bet anything that Bublé has these kind of loyal fans too.  Only a warm and sincere performer has that kind of attraction. People know when you are not comfortable up there, and it is contagious.

If you get a chance  to see him, get there! It’s a feel-good show, and he is never out of sorts. I have seen just a few of performers with this type of mindset, disposition, and entertainment value. Natalie Cole is one, Sammy Davis Jr. was another.

“Going out to hear live music has its health benefits. It keeps you happy, smiling and younger!”

Jessica Marciel

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Singing Backup Documentary, “Twenty Feet From Stardom” is Heaven

singing backup documentaryAs a back-up singer, lounge singer, showroom singer, studio singer, and singer in a Broadway show, I knew I would love this documentary. And like the women showcased in this film, you probably wouldn’t remember my face or name from singing backup.

This documentary, Twenty Feet From Stardom, showcases a few, very few, woman in song… back-up singers behind many Stars. The vocalists who ‘Sing the Hook’ … the phrase you hum, incessantly, after you leave the concert.

“Back-up vocalists sing the repeat lines. Without those, half the song is missing!”

Stevie Wonder – Twenty Feet From Stardom

Jessica with Tata Vega at a HAIR cast reunion

Jessica with Tata Vega at a HAIR cast reunion

We meet some great singers. I’ve had the good fortune to work with a few of them. Tata Vega was a fellow cast member in ‘HAIR’ in the late 60’s and early 70’s. She is a tiny thing with a huge voice.

Tata and I reconnected at a HAIR reunion, just a few years ago. She was just as sweet and just as humble as ever. I have been to many of the HAIR reunions, and this is just the second time I’ve seen her.

Why? Because she is constantly working. Tata is one of the most sought after back up singers, currently touring with Elton John.

Her career has a rich history. She sang with her own bands, working with three different record labels.  Her story is both moving and heartbreaking.

Tata Vega

Tata Vega

What we don’t learn about Tata in the film is that she is a mom to a beautiful daughter… whose father  was the love of Tata’s life. Sadly, he died of cancer years ago, and she has had to carry on without him.

Signed to Motown Records at very young age, Tata’s budding career was shelved, largely passed over for other artists, much as I was, at age 14, with Capitol’s World Pacific Jazz label.

We get to meet and hear three women who sang lead with The Rolling Stones, not all at once, but consecutively.

Merry Clayton was the first. She is very famous in musical circles and recorded a string of three solo albums. She comes across pretty confident and cocky, and has the chops to back it up, so her attitude is understandable and easy to forgive.

Following Merry with Mick Jagger was the very sensual, and beautiful, Claudia Lennear, Now in her early sixties, looks like a housewife, or just anyone with a day job,

Claudia Lennear

Claudia Lennear

But back-in-the-day, Claudia was featured in a Playboy Magazine spread. Other than that, she is quite coy about being the sexy one. She didn’t set out to be THAT One. (Oh… she was one of the Ikettes with Ike & Tina Turner)

You may find that hard to believe when you see pics of her, and her album cover pose. It seems that Claudia just didn’t have the ego to become famous. It takes a certain toughness, that Tata and Claudia do not have.

Lisa Fisher

Lisa Fischer

Lisa Fischer is the third singer with Mick, and she simply blew me away.  When I got home from the movie, I ordered a CD of hers from

She was just stunning and sexy as anything. OMG, the tight skin-tight spandex, and make up and hair. An excellent choice to take over for Claudia.  She is only in her early fifties, and is still a killer singer, but looks so different. Lisa has been with the Stones over 20 years and  you are glad that the band has loyalty and has not replaced her!  The business can be so cruel… but not this time.

Lisa sings with David Foster and Chris Botti, and is probably the only one  that didn’t have a family.  She thinks about it, and is not sorry about it.  She chuckles about the fun she has, and no regrets about a family and no kids!

A lot of the film covers Darlene Love, who is probably the most familiar name. But you will be surprised how fleeting fame can be, and how she struggled. She is 70, now, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only recently, in 2011.

At times, Twenty Feet From Stardom was painful for me to watch. I have been in their shows, so at times it is highly personal.  I have had highs and lows, and survived to still be a working for singers. This film gives us an inside look at the business side of Show, and the unsung heroes of the stage.

You will hear great music, you will hear from thoughtful musical wisdom from mouths of Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Mick, and a contractor for singers Bill Maxwell

They all agree with me, these woman are worth a lot more than the attention they get.    

‘Twenty Feet from Stardom’ is a 90-minute musical history lesson disguised as a movie. Entertaining, touching, thoughtful. It will give you fresh appreciation for the singers you see and hear, and a clearer understanding of their craft and careers.

This movie is so good… you might even thank me!

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Nick Hissom celebrates single release event on July 4th

July 4th is Nick Hissom’s birthday. It was also the release party of his new single, “If I Die Young,”

“It’s a party anthem, but it’s also a bit of reflection, and it’s vocals — what I think about dance music is that a lot of the vocalists get lost in all the noise,” he says. “I want to change that. The vocalists get no credit, no face time, and that I don’t like.”

nick-hissom-tile-200“If I Die Young” is produced by Mick Shultz, who has sold more than 9 million records by his mid-20’s. The song is a dance track, and features Hissom’s distinctive vocals, cut clear about of the rhythm.

The song has already been released, internationally, and reached #1 on the pop charts in Turkey.

Mick Schultz is an American music producer and songwriter. Some of his accomplishments include production of Jeremih’s début and second albums, including the platinum hit “Birthday Sex”. He has also produced for artists such as Jenna Andrews and Jessie James.

An extensive article and interview with Nick, was published in the Las Vegas Sun, Monday, July 1st by John Katsilometes. 

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

How much do you want to sing?

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

I have been cruising YouTube recently, watching many so-called coaches try to sell their packages on a course of ‘How To Sing’.

Some of them are funny, and some are just so basic, I feel like their material could be taught in one hour. There is so much more to singing than singing. First of all, the whole business side of Show Business has changed so much, over time. You have to be willing to have the patience of a saint.

You can write your own songs, record them, and put videos up on YouTube. Then what? Wait, and wait, even if you get 40,000 views, there are no rules; there a minute chance that anything will come of it.  The only talent I discovered on YouTube who is making any waves, and they are in the beginning stages, is Sheléa Frazer. She put out a Whitney Houston tribute video that went viral.

She sang about 6 bars Love Fell On Me at the end of the film ‘Jumping The Broom’ and in the credits more of the song was played. She caught the attention of the big guys, Quincy Jones, Brian McKnight, and more. She sang at the White House for a Burt Bacharach/Hal David  tribute. Her version of ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ is one of… no… the best I have ever heard.

Ok, So, what if that doesn’t happen for you? What if you are a good singer, maybe a great singer, but how do you get heard?  The first thing you need to do is have a support system, and time. You need time, because not everyone is so lucky as to have a video that goes viral.

I would sell something, or borrow a chunk of money, and pay a producer in Los Angeles to find me a few great song, and record a 5-song EP download.  Five songs, that’s all. Put them on iTtunes and CD Baby, and then wait. And if nothing happens, save or borrow or sell something else and do it again.  If you spend money on an album with 13 songs, you have invested too much money, and the chances to do another album become slimmer.

You can get into a band, get out there and work , get stage experience, and work with real musicians. That will be a huge help, going forward.

Back to your online coach.  If you can, find a coach to help you with the interpretation and phrasing of a song. If you listen to Sheléa sing ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart‘, it makes you cry, it makes you wistful, and you go on a short journey outside your body.

I have a student from Paris, France, whose voice is strong and fills the house. She is doing well working with two bands in town. This singer should be in the Los Angeles scene and should be, like Sheléa, making some noise in the business.

It is something you can’t easily identify. It is a sound, a tone, and an emotion that a truly great singer brings to the table. We don’t have a lot of those singers out there. Oh, we have many rich, famous, good singers. But only a handful of great singers. The days of Ann Wilson of ‘Heart’ are largely behind us.  We have Beyoncé, who has a good range, good songs, but her voice? It doesn’t cut through me like Ann Wilson‘s.

Jennifer Hudson is one, When she sings, she means it. This girl has ‘IT’  She has been through a lot and uses it in her singing. I really get it when I hear Jennifer sing, Marine Goujon, my student, has a similar tone and sound that is rich and heavy, and fills you up with joy.

In closing, it isn’t just how you breathe, and how you long you hold a note. It is the connection, the feeling you give people when you sing. That is something you just have. Listen to the great singers. Really listen, watch them, watch Jennifer Hudson on YouTube singing Roberta Flack’s ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. I dare you to not feel anything!

Thanks for your time, good luck on your journey!

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Manhattan Transfer at Smith Center

Cheryl Bentyne & Jessica Marciel

Cheryl Bentyne & Jessica Marciel

A few months ago on the radio show I co-host with Skip Wiesser, ‘On the Slide with Skip‘ we had a member of the long standing vocal group  ‘Manhattan Transfer’ vocalist, Cheryl Bentyne,  via phone from Los Angeles. We were promoting her new ‘ Let’s Misbehave’ CD.

We had so much fun, we knew when they came to town, we had to have her in the studio. That reality happened January 16th. The show was fantastic and I got to meet my new friend in person and spend some time with her. Skip loves her and found the duets C D called ‘Tonin”  with guests such as:  Smokey Robinson,  Laura Nyro, B B KingRuth Brown, and many others.  It was fun to see her face as she had not listened to this recording in a long time.

The following night was the big concert at The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall, with Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and the legendary 91-year old Jon Hendricks!  As a child I listened to Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, and they were my hero’s. From that band, came The Hi Lo’s who my father Irv Kluger was their drummer when I was a toddler. I remember going to  visit  at Clarks Hollywood Hills home. Very fond memories, shortly after that, I was exposed to other excellent vocal groups, The Swingle Singers, Andrew Singers, and many copycat groups as well.

As s singer my entire life, I always made sure to have 4 or 5 voices in my bands, and lot’s of harmony. It is a passion. One band Commonwealth’ came closest to being as good as these infamous ones, all the harmonies were written out and we rehearsed 7-8 hours a day, sang all the horn lines.  It breaks my heart that we didn’t stay together. We did well though and played the Playboy circuit for years.

The great vocal group ‘New York Voices’ are patterned after Manhattan Transfer with 2 girls and 2 guys. They are Excellent to say the least, when one of the girls, Kim, did Annie Ross’s ‘Mouse” song with lryics by Hendricks, I had never heard a better version except from Annie herself!. The other girl singer Lauren is great as well, maybe a little more contemporary sounding which I liked, and  a great scatter as well.

The sound  at  Smiths Center was the best I have ever heard, anywhere! The staff fantastic, the security guard that took us backstage was wonderful.

The Transfers trio was so good I am speechless to describe them, The Musical director and pianist Yaron Gershevsky was suberb as well as the others.   They  played for both acts and Jon Hendricks  came out in a lavender linen suit, at 91 and knocked everyone out. After a brief intermission, they all came out together, 9 voices and goosebump lyrics and scatting. Most written by Jon Hendricks to old instrumentals from Basie, and  Ellington, and Woody Herman.The song, ‘Sidewinder’, was great and the closer with all those voices made ‘ Birdland’  the bands first Grammy awarded song even more spectacular!

Tim Hauser, The Transfers founding member (1972)  told the story of being a cab driver in New York,  and picking these musicians up from Basie’s band in his cab.

All the members have solo careers and CD’s as well.  Janis Siegel and Cheryl Bentyne have been recording a long time. They are two of the best singers in the world.   The New York Voices are celebrating 25 years together! These bands have been together longer than most marriages.

When people ask me, as a voice coach, why am I losing my voice?  How long a career can I expect to have? Look at Jon Hendricks, Etta James, The Stones, Paul McCartney as examples of how to keep your voice!

As long as you take care of yourself, get rest and keep singing, you can sing until you die. My dad died at 84 still having a steady gig playing the drums. He was on the road in his 70’s and doing cruise ships.  So, take it to the bank, you have a long way to go if you play it as it lays, One Two Three,,,,,,,,

Nicki Minaj cancels concerts… needs vocal rest

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj cancels concerts after ignoring a doctor’s order to rest her voice after an x-ray showed a bruised vocal cord.  After the doctor explained the danger, she disregarded the advice, going ahead with her tour in the UK. The results were so extreme, she was forced to cancel a few shows and get vocal rest.

When singers hurt, something is very wrong.

It isn’t supposed to hurt when you sing, it should come from a comfortable mix of using your chest into your head voice.

It isn’t hard to do, but if you cannot do it , find a good coach to show you how. I have had many professional singers come to me for a month only, just for a technique tune up so they can work and not injure themselves.

  • Some new students ask, “When are we going to sing a song?”
  • I answer, “When you know how to sing properly and can”t injure yourself.”
  • That is why I rarely take students under 12 years of age. Only a few exceptional youngsters have enough focus.
  • I also hear “Why all these exercises?”   Easy answer,  The exercises are to get you to use them when we switch to singing, you need to sing the way you exercise, or you can injure yourself.

Too many famous people who sell out stadiums, are having to cancel shows, in the past year. John Mayer has said he misses performing so much, he is writing to fill the time.

So listen to your body and your doctor! If your body tells you to go to the doctor, it is telling you something is wrong. A bruised vocal chord is an injury. Injuries require rest.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

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