Apr 30, 2017

Controversial New Book Reveals Untold Stories of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley from Las Vegas Insider

(kfvs12.com 4-16-17)

Author releases never-before tales and memoirs of storied musician, Marty Harrell, in the new release: BACKSTAGE - Behind the Curtains with the Greatest Entertainers of the 20th Century

Southern Califrornia-based author and actor, Darryl Vidal, known for his appearance in the original Karate Kid movie has recently published the memoirs of famed Las Vegas musician Marty Harrell. Harrell's storied past includes playing Bass Trombone for the biggest Las Vegas acts from the 1960's through the 1980's, including Frank Sinatra, the Rat Pack, Connie Stevens and backing up the legendary Elvis Presley through his legendary live tours ending with Elvis' untimely death in 1977. "This is the biggest compilation of Sinatra and Elvis stories that have never been told before! And I was there!" - Marty Harrell

BackStage is a raucously funny, compilation of stories, tales, and gems from the Golden Era of entertainment circa 1960 - 1980. The stories are told by the bass trombonist who played in the Tommy Dorsey band, with Frank Sinatra and later toured with Elvis’ Orchestra into the Rock & Roll era and to his end. Marty Harrell was also the best friend and roommate of Frank Sinatra Jr. through their Tommy Dorsey Band years, and was there during the notorious kidnapping event in Lake Tahoe that made world headlines in 1963.

The book is filled with tales of the brightest stars of the greatest era of music entertainment during the nascent days of television and new media, and provides a personal perspective of this behind the scenes character - who unknowingly bears witness to the most beloved of the era at their best - and worst. These great little gems that have never been told before, range from when Dean Martin called the police to close down his own house party, and when Marty stuffed a potato into the exhaust pipe of Liberace’s mini-Rolls Royce on live television. Another favorite is the story of when Elvis brought the whole live tour to Graceland and the bus ran through the famous wrought iron gates.

This band member also tells stories of the raw talent that could only be appreciated up close and personal, like when Frank Sinatra sight read and sang the song “My Kind of Town Chicago is” perfectly, without ever hearing the melody, or when Elvis, on his last tour, surprised the band by sitting at the piano, and belting out the most amazing performance of “Unchained Melody” without ever rehearsing it with the band. The narrative non-fiction highlights the innocence and nostalgia of the time, while providing a glimpse behind the curtains, and giving personal perspectives of these truly talented and beloved entertainers and how they interacted with the crowds and their talented backup.

Darryl Vidal is an author of several books, entrepreneur and a legendary martial artist who is credited with performing the iconic Crane Technique on the beach (as Pat Morita's body double) made famous around the world in the original 1984 Academy Award-nominated Karate Kid.



Apr 28, 2017

Why Every Single Kid Should Be a "Karate Kid"

(by Katharine Stahl popsugar.com 4-12-17)

In her six short years, my daughter has participated in a variety of activities including ballet, musical theater, science, Spanish, hip hop, swimming, art, and creative dramatics. During each class, she says she loves it and is always excited to go every week, but when it's over and I ask if she wants to sign up for the next session, she always gives a very resolved "no," and suggests yet another activity she'd like to try instead. The latest one — karate — surprised me in the best way possible, first because I thought it was a pretty badass choice for a kindergarten girl, and second, because I'm pretty sure karate is exactly what this wild lady needs.

And your child could probably benefit from martial arts (tae kwon do, jujitsu, and aikido are just a few other options), too. Here are six reasons why martial arts and kids are a match made in karate-kick heaven.

  1. Martial arts teaches respect. The first skill my daughter learned in her very first karate class was to bow to her teacher, or master, who introduced the practice by talking about respect. From that bow to lessons about waiting for the next command, respect is one of the most important benefits of martial arts, and according to research, it often translates to school, helping to improve classroom behavior and even grades.
  2. Martial arts teaches self-control and focus. Parents whose children have ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) regularly report big results from martial arts program since self-control and concentration are underdeveloped skills in kids with ADHD. All kids will benefit from martial arts' emphasis on focusing on the task at hand and listening to the instructor.
  3. Socialization and teamwork are key skills. Many martial arts programs require children to work together, even if they're in competition with one another. Respecting your partners and opponents at all times is important on the mat and in life. For kids who have a hard time making friends on the playground, it's often easier to find buddies in a space that includes a shared interest.
  4. Kids learn to set and achieve goals. Progress in many martial arts practices is marked by the belt system, starting with the beginner-level white belt through a variety of colors until the final black belt. Since testing for each new level generally takes place every few months, progressing through the levels is a good exercise in creating and achieving long-term goals, which in turn promotes self-confidence and self-esteem.
  5. It encourages physical fitness. Coordination, muscle control, and aerobic endurance are all important in martial arts, so signing your kid up for karate or tae kwon do also means you know they're getting regular exercise instead of sitting in front of a screen.
  6. Violence is not a side effect, but learning self defense is. Kicks and punches might sound violent, but a structured martial arts practice is more likely to teach kids peaceful conflict resolution skills and to emphasize the importance of avoiding physical altercations. However, children will learn how to protect their bodies from violent attacks, and that's a skill every mom can get behind.