Rick - Short Signature

Rick Michel's Blog

With a few shows under our belts, everyone involved with the Sammy’s Showroom 50th Anniversary Celebration is getting more comfortable with each other, which means even more fun and natural clowning around. As our chemistry continues to click, I become even more aware of the ease the Rat Pack had on stage because they were such good friends and that camaraderie is most apparent with the comedy they delivered with such ease. They all had an innate gift for joviality and, if you look closely, you can even find evidence of Frank Sinatra’s penchant for fun in some of his songs. Read More

My run at Sammy’s Showroom, Harrah’s Reno has barely begun, but I’ve already noticed that there’s definitely a special atmosphere working this stage immersed in all the history amassed during the 50 years we’re celebrating. Sammy’s story is legendary and he worked incredibly hard to make it in show business, but it took a team to accomplish as much as the Rat Pack did, not only here in Nevada, but globally too. This famed group with a somewhat motley reputation broke down doors to make America a better place for everyone, no matter what their skin color, religion, or anything else. Read More

Now that I’ve headed a little north to Reno, I’m realizing that Nevada Rat Pack history is hardly limited to Las Vegas. Sure, everyone knows about Frank Sinatra, Jr.’s kidnapping from Harrah’s Lake Tahoe when he was only 19, and Sammy’s Showroom right here in Harrah’s Reno is famous for its headliners, but before the Vegas strip became the king of gambling destinations, the cool kids were heading for Reno and Lake Tahoe to hobnob with the stars and see some first-rate entertainment. Read More

Perhaps nobody has noticed, but given my profession, I often wonder what happened to the art of impersonations? It seemed every entertainment act used to showcase them, but today you’re really limited in where you’ll see them performed. Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are the only two that come to mind. Where did they go? Read More

Frank Sinatra was the first pop music icon - he essentially invented those over-the-top displays of teen angst we are now so familiar with as manic kids scream and swoon over their favorite music idols. The Beatles came along in the 1960's and took the world by storm, creating their own version of pandemonium among a new generation of teenagers, following in the footsteps of Frank and, after him, Elvis. With the longevity of The Voice’s career, the two superstar entities were bound to cross paths, so how did they get along? Read More

Fifty years is a big deal; it was 1966 when Bill Harrah opened an intimate showroom in Reno that would become one of the premier venues of its kind in America - Sammy’s Showroom was named to honor the man who was the opening night act and regular headliner, Sammy Davis, Jr. Now, he’s set to return … sort of. I will be starring in an almost three month run of the Sammy’s Showroom 50th Anniversary Show where I’ll pay tribute to Sammy and the top headliners that have performed, and should have performed, this historic room. Read More

A lot can happen in a year. It was a mere thirteen months ago that I wrote about The Riviera Hotel and Casino closing its doors and now, in the early morning hours of June 14th, 2016, the building, a corpse of the being it once was, was ceremoniously sent to its grave by implosion. The casino’s opening ribbon was cut in 1955 by its first resident performer, Liberace and it served the Las Vegas strip faithful for 60 years before shutting down. Read More

I’ve written before about how much I love the traveling that comes with the territory of my job and my love affair with discovering both the intimate little gems off the beaten path and the larger-than-life establishments so often crowded with tourists wanting to experience the ghostly remnants of some magical past event, so this week, inspired by my upcoming return trip to Hammond, Indiana, just outside of Chicago, I think a short jaunt through Sinatra’s Windy City is in order. Read More

It was nearly a year ago that I brought my Las Vegas show, Drinkin’ – Singin’ – Swingin’ to the Wolf Lake Pavilion in Hammond, Indiana with a 12 – Piece Big Band and June 18th I’ll be back, but with an additional twelve strings to present Sinatra Forever. The people at The Pav are great, which inspires me to make this performance something truly special. Read More

Frank Sinatra was “The Chairman of the Board,” Elvis was “The King,” Prince was “The Artist,” David Bowie was “The Thin White Duke,” and James Brown was “The Godfather of Soul.” Iconic musicians get the best nicknames, often pertaining to royalty or authority to denote their place at the top. James Brown and Sinatra may not be two people you think of in the same breath, but there were similarities that become apparent with a little reflection. Read More