On The Broadway Scene, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-13


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ON THE BROADWAY SCENE By Burt Bovar NEW YORK May 12 JOHNNY MATHIS AT THE COPA Johnny Mathis will never forget Thursday May 8 1958 nignc ne opene at the Copacabana and for the first time in his career exposed himself to what is un ¬ deniably the toughest audience in the world They are tough but not because they are rude or disinterested On the contrary their interest is intense They are tough be ¬ cause they cannot be fooled They recognize and admire success such as MillionSelling records indicate indicateBut But success does not necessarily mean Talent and however much they may ap ¬ preciate success it is talent that they wor ¬ ship In show business success can be a gimmick a unique sound which catches on it can be peddled profitably until it is no longer unique and consequently no longer of commercial value But talent is the thing Talent stays on It can suffer temporary setbacks but unlike mere suc ¬ cess it can never wind up selling ties at Saks Fifth Avenue AvenueA A A A AWhen When Johnny Mathis walked onstage at the Copa the strong applause was in rec ¬ ognition of his success The standing ova ¬ tion as he left was out of respect for his talent In the entertainment world there are Oscars Emmys Tonys and Cadillacs These are the Bronze even the Silver Stars performers win Coveted Cherished Of great commercial value Certainly But they are for the public The Medal of Honor the highest tribute the one that brings tears to any performers eyes the ProofPositive is a moment that he never forgets It is that moment when an audi ¬ ence composed entirely of show people his own people rise to their feet to honor him To any performer a spontaneous standing ovation has the deepest meaning because as everybody knowsk the audience stands by compulsion compulsionA A A A AImagine Imagine if you will that you are Johnny Mathis You are young and things have happened very fast You are not an over ¬ night sensation it just seems that way You have worked hard You have been singing for years Naturally you always wanted to be a star But on those days when you sat out front at the Paramount Theatre you never really believed that you could be in the same league with Frank Sinatra for whose show you had begun to stand in line three blocks away As much as you wanted it you never took too seri ¬ ously the idea of being like Nat Cole or selling millions of records like Perry Como ComoA A A A ASomething Something Happened to you and sud ¬ denly you were getting gold records bobby soxers were trying to rip the clothes off your back From one day to the next big time club owners agents producers man ¬ agers began looking at you differently Suddenly you interest them themA A A A AYoure Youre No Longer a painintheneck Now youre a property Youve arrived The Copacabana wants you With your new gold fountain pen you sign the con ¬ tract And as you put down the paper your stomach drops out from under you Can CanContinued Continued on Page Twelve ON THE BROADWAY SCENE SCENEBy By BURT BOYAR Continued from Page Two Twoyou you do it Can you play the Copa New York The fears the doubts race through you You wonder why if you really have talent it took so long for anyone to notice it Maybe its just a freak Some good records the right timing A A A AIt It is Opening Night In your dressing room above the club you try to rest Im ¬ possible You walk around the room You make phone calls The time moves relent ¬ lessly You dress and go downstairs Joey Bishop is tellink jokes You cant hear the jokes Just a steady heavy sound Applause laughter waiters clinking glasses people peopletalking talking its all one sound Bishop leaves leavesthe the stage The chorus does a number and andthen then the announcer says your name Youre on Those eight feet to the microphone are the longest walk in the world You dont remember walking them You have never been so fright ¬ ened in your life You remember to smile your thanks for the applause The massive object in front of you begins to take on the shapes of faces You wonder how you ever had the temerity to come here in the first place My God look whos here Youre in the midst of four hundred people and you have never been so alone in your life Your press dgerit cant speak for you Your man manK K 3 ji I J i ager is helplessly seated at a far away table You cant spot your friends in the audience Its not a recording studio where a voice can say to you Johnny jljts try that ne gain u i a

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1958051301/drf1958051301_2_3
Local Identifier: drf1958051301_2_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800