December 28, 2015    Monday

I did two radio shows early in the month on December 8 and 9, 2015. One was a half-hour interview with a radio network host based in Salina, Kansas. This is my third time visiting with him over the past nine months.

I followed that up the next morning with a 40-minute interview with a female radio host in Los Angeles. This is my fourth with her. The timing of these two interviews gave me a great opportunity to suggest my book as a holiday gift.

This morning I did a one-hour interview with a Boston radio host. This is my fifth with her, since I did my first radio interview with her about 30 Illegal Years To The Strip on April 10, 2015. I am grateful that these hosts and their listeners have wanted me back so often to discuss my historical research findings. Now I would like to expand this base of radio hosts to reach more potential readers.

I hope each of my followers had an enjoyable holiday season, and I wish each of you a healthy and satisfying new year.


November 30, 2015   Monday

Two weeks ago, I did an interview in the Seattle, Washington area. It was supposed to be for 20 minutes, but the host found my historical findings and career so interesting that he kept me on for 40 minutes.

Last evening, I did an hour-interview with Morgan White Jr.'s clear-channel broadcast from Boston that covers the eastern two-thirds of the country. We discussed the career of comedian Joe E. Lewis and how he single-handedly saved New York City's Copacabana from bankruptcy and transformed it into America's most famous nightclub, Ben Siegel's glamorous life in Hollywood as the most sought-after dinner guest by Hollywood's film elite, and the Chicago gang's huge, long-term extortion of the movie companies under the leadership of Frank Nitti. Morgan and I also talked about two Las Vegans who were good friends to both of us. They were my Castaways Hotel/Casino sports book director Sonny Reizner and my career-long mentor, accountant Leo Lewis. Morgan was close to both men but his friendships with them was two decades after the two were so central in my life and career.

Morgan White Jr. is a delightful and inquisitive man who bills himself as the master of trivia for his improv performances at his radio shows, club appearances, convention meetings, and private events. He can speak knowledgeably on almost any subject, but his success really derives from his being a consummate entertainer who keeps his audiences fascinated with interesting concepts as well as facts. Whenever I call to see how he is doing, it always turns into a long conversation, because of our shared interests in American history, especially the Las Vegas casino industry and entertainment in general. He can be reached for booking performances at TriviaMorganWhiteJr.com.

I was introduced to Morgan by another author, Bob Mills, who was an attorney until he became a comedy writer for Bob Hope. Mills wrote a book about his long career with Hope, The Laugh Makers: A Behind-the-Scenes Tribute to Bob Hope's Incredible Gag Writers under his legal name Robert L. Mills. During all the years of their collaboration, Hope only woke Mills up in the middle of the night one time, when the comedian asked his writer to name Hope's just-completed manuscript about his golfing experiences. Mills shot back "Confessions of a hooker - my lifelong love affair with golf." This bestseller made more money for the USO than any of Hope's books. It is still available in pro golf shops long after his passing. I always seek Bob Mills' advice about my book titles, and now he is instructing me in how to tweet. Something I plan to begin doing in the next few weeks. Bob Mills is not only a very thoughtful and creative fellow, but as you would expect, he can be very humorous to talk to.

After last night's interview, this morning I did a 15-minute interview on another Boston station. It is my fourth interview about 30 Illegal Years To The Strip with this hostess. She has a health show, and she attends several health-product conventions in Las Vegas each year, so she is very knowledgeable about what the city has to offer. She is especially interested in the gambling experience and the problems of gambling addiction.


October 27, 2015   Tuesday

What a fun experience my first book signing was two days ago. It was held in the gangster atmosphere of the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. My signing was part of a PBS' fundraising event that featured a special crime mystery who-done-it show production. I am appreciative to PBS for promoting 30 Illegal Years To The Strip because PBS is the TV network that is most concerned with historical authenticity.

Go Miss Marple. A photo of  this featured character in the Masterpiece Mysteries series highlighted the PBS publicity release about my upcoming book signing that the station sent out to its supporters. This brought in many old-time Las Vegans, who kept me occupied at my table throughout the show and long afterwards talking about the early years of Las Vegas that we all remember. One retired businessman brought up our first meeting in 1967, when I was just beginning my historical research. Quite an experience reminiscing with someone about an encounter a half-century ago. I was glad to contribute to this community effort and to donate my book-sale royalties to this important network.

By the way, I am a big fan of PBS' Lawrence Welk show because its extraordinary musicians perform the big-band versions of the hits of my youth, including that era's favorite songs from cultures around the world.

Here I am greeting the supporters of PBS, as they entered and left the Mob Museum's event room. I am sitting under a large photo of Ben Siegel's girlfriend, Virginia Hill, with a display of my books and flyers in front of me.


October 26, 2015   Monday

A week ago, I did a half-hour radio interview with a network that is new for me. Based in Vero Beach, Florida, the host was most genial, and he had me tell the stories I find most interesting from my book, 30 Illegal Years To The Strip.

Today, I did a fifteen-minute radio interview with a host in Boston, my third with her in the past six months. She wanted to talk about what the gambling experience was like for players in Las Vegas when the focus was on the casinos rather than conventions.


September 10, 2015   Thursday

When true-crime author Dina Di Mambro reviewed my 30 Illegal Years To The Strip on Amazon.com, I reread her book so I could review it and confirmed she earned 5-Stars. My review follows.

Carefully researched and interesting true-crime writing in the glamour of Hollywood!

I really enjoyed True Hollywood Noir: Filmland Mysteries and Murders, because the author handled every element of the presentation extremely well. I am impressed with her depth of research, her coherent organization of the issues, and the clarity of her writing. With each of the dozen murders, she presents a very human view of the lifestyle and character of the victim and the relevant key figures in his or her life. While factually too little evidence was ever discovered in some cases to judge guilt, in the other cases, she draws well-reasoned conclusions based on a strong preponderance of evidence. This all combines to create interesting, first-rate writing. That is why this book established her as my favorite true-crime author.

On a personal note, I was 17-years old when the press reported George Reeves committed suicide. Since Superman was one of my favorite early TV shows, I was very disturbed by this event. It was hard for me to process how a man who had so much going for him would commit suicide. In this book, the author proves Reeves' was murdered and points to the likely suspect. The author's excellent analysis transformed what appeared to be a suicide, which I found unsettling, into a murder that, while sad, is understandable.