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An Interview with Micki Marlo - Part Two

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 12:00AM by BattleMN 0 Comments -

Kliph Nesteroff: You worked a bunch with cigar chomping comedian Alan King. How did you first get to know Alan King and what do you recall about working with him?

Micki Marlo: We did a lot of club dates together through the William Morris Agency. I opened for him. He always chose the person he would work with and he very often chose me. I worked with him a lot. He paid for the opening act and he paid well. That's what I know about Alan King other than the fact that he loved strippers. He loved strippers. And he was an exquisitely dressed man. He dressed so beautifully, so very well tailored. That's what I remember about him. He wasn't terribly chatty, but he was a good man.

Kliph Nesteroff: And it sounds like you also had a pleasant relationship with Joey Bishop, but he was known for being quite moody.

Micki Marlo: He loved exotic dancers. The word got around the room, by the room I mean the waitresses and the waiters and the inside people, that he loved exotic dancers with dirty feet. Why I don't know. Never figured that out. Maybe I shouldn't be telling you these things! But he was a good man and I didn't know any other side of him.

Kliph Nesteroff: There's a great photo of you hanging out with a bunch of well-known comedians. In the shot is Henny Youngman...

Micki Marlo: Henny was my first husband's closest friend. Henny Youngman was very generous and he would always tip the agent. Henny knew the right things to do. He was a schmeer. A pay-off. A slide. Joe Wolfson was my main agent at William Morris and then Lee Solomon started to blossom and became a threat. Joe Wolfson didn't like my marrying Lee, but that's that.

Kliph Nesteroff: Woody Woodbury was with Joe Wolfson.


Micki Marlo: Oh, yes. He opened for me at The Vagabond Club. I worked with The Vagabonds also and they beat me for seven hundred and fifty dollars and they beat Tony Bennett for fifteen hundred. They said, "Don't cash the cheque now. Cash it when you get home!" They did the same thing to Tony Bennett (laughs).

Kliph Nesteroff: Was their club doing so poorly that they couldn't afford to pay the performers or were they simply shady hucksters?

Micki Marlo: I think their money was being used in other ways. The club was packed every night for the two weeks I worked there. It was jammed. I'm sure it was just as jammed for Tony Bennett and it was a hot club at the time and I think they used their money in other ways. They were users and abusers and we didn't get paid. I guess they chose who they would pay. I don't know, I'm just guessing.

Kliph Nesteroff: The Vagabond Club was the one with The Arthur Godfrey Room.

Micki Marlo: Yes, Arthur Godfrey was either behind them or picked them up from that room. He used them quite a lot and they got enough money to open up a club or something like that.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Milton Berle?

Micki Marlo: Milton was great. Milton was very welcoming, very kind, wanted me to work with him for less money than everyone else was paying. He was a schnorrer. But it was understandable after reading some of his books, he had hard times coming up. He was a little tight-fisted as far as I was concerned. My husband Bobby Mayo, God rest him, did about twenty-five shows with Milton Berle. He did forty-seven shows for Ed Sullivan. He was one of the very first acts to do The Ed Sullivan Show. The show was on CBS. He did it forty-seven times. Ed used The Mayo Brothers all the time and came to see us work. And Milton got into everybody's act.

He loved The Mayo Brothers and used them often. They were known for dancing on tables. They could dance anywhere in the world - even on the sand. On one of the last shows that they did with Milton... Milton got on and he shoved my husband and his brother. My husband didn't like it. Milton had hurt him by shoving his elbow in his thigh. So he shoved Milton back and knocked him off of something and they went to black and that was the end of them on Milton Berle. But after that Milton would still invite us out to dinner and would make a big fuss over us.



Kliph Nesteroff: You performed at The Copacabana. What was it like working for Jules Podell?

Micki Marlo: Yes, well, I never really had much to say to him. He was standing there when I came from the dressing room to do my spot. I had little or nothing to say to him. My girlfriend married one of his bouncers, Vincent Lombardo. She's Meyer Lansky's daughter. Sandy Lansky. 

Kliph Nesteroff: Now, someone that did have a lot to do with Jules Podell and The Copacabana was Paul Anka. How did you go from Capitol Records to ABC Paramount where Paul Anka was the young hotshot writing and producing and in charge of so much?

Micki Marlo: I left Capitol Records for various reasons. One of which was that I was going to do a Broadway show, The Ziegfeld Follies of 1957. ABC Paramount wanted to sign me. They had just opened their recording company and they wanted me as their first artist. They signed me and brought me in for a meeting to discuss which songs I would record. They brought Paul Anka in to write a couple of my songs and to produce the singles. He was fifteen years old at the time. He was a very talented man. I had their first hit. A semi-hit. It was Paul's first hit record. He became the big star that he is and he's a most talented writer. I sat there and listened to him and answered the questions put to me. "Uh huh. Yes. That's right. Okay." He wrote one song called Okay, That's It and the other side was That's Right. Whatever I said in response he made a song out of it! That was kind of cute. I also did a Ray Charles recording of Ain't That Love. I had a hit with that song and Ray Charles didn't.


Kliph Nesteroff: The same photo that has you and Henny Youngman also features comedian Al Kelly, the king of double talk.

Micki Marlo: Yeah, he was great and he was a good friend of Lee Solomon. Every night after the show we'd go to Lindy's. There was a big center table and a man named Jager would be the waiter. All the comedians would sit there and I would be one of the few females that would sit at the table with all the comedians. Al Kelly would always address me in double talk. I guess the comics liked me because I was a great laugher. I loved to laugh and I loved comedy. I would double over half the time. When I stood up I was taller than Al Kelly.



Kliph Nesteroff: Also in the photo is Red Buttons.

Micki Marlo: Red was great. I loved Red. I wanted to date him. I begged Jan [Murray] to please fix us up. Jan said, "No way! He's a cheapskate. You'll never be happy with him."


Micki Marlo: Yes, with Jan Murray. That was one of their best episodes and when they play Car 54 Where Are You, they always show that one.

Kliph Nesteroff: This is the episode where Jan Murray goes crazy because they keep singing the same song over and over.

Micki Marlo: Yes. "Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom." Something like that.

Kliph Nesteroff: What was your role?


Micki Marlo: Not much. I just brought some papers out and nodded and smiled. I never dressed sexually except onstage, when I would wear low cut gowns. Had a tiny waistline. But I always wore high necks and longsleeves. My mother would always say, "Why you always wearing high necks and longsleeves? You look like Kate Smith." That's the way I dressed. I was a fashion model and worked for Anne Fogarty who created some of the greatest designs of her time; high necked, long sleeves and very full blossomy skirts. So that was my look and that's what I wore on Car 54, Where Are You.

Kliph Nesteroff: You appeared with Tennessee Ernie Ford on his show. How did that come about?

Micki Marlo: That was very nice. They wanted to know if I wanted to be paid with a cheque or with RCA [products]. My folks didn't have a television set. So I chose a television set. Molly Bee was a favorite female on the show and I was on a couple of times to replace Molly Bee.

Kliph Nesteroff: You appeared on What's My Line as a mystery guest?

Micki Marlo: Yes. I did one appearance and nobody guessed me (laughs). I remember little or nothing about it. I was very unhappy that nobody knew who I was.

Kliph Nesteroff: I've never seen that segment, but most episodes survive... it must be out there somewhere.

Micki Marlo: Steve Allen was so unhappy that all of his shows had been erased. Some young man came in to do some copy work I guess and he erased all of Steve Allen's shows. That was his biggest heartbreak.

Kliph Nesteroff: There isn't too much of Jan Murray's Charge Account that survives either - is there?

Micki Marlo: No and Jan owned the show, funnily enough. That was such a great show to work on because I sang on it and I did the warm-up. I remember once the microphones went out and Jan said, "You don't need it! You can sing without it." It was always great fun. Jan was great and his wife Toni was a great gal also.

Kliph Nesteroff: Was Charge Account done live?

Micki Marlo: No, it was not done live. It was live on tape. We taped five shows a day on Saturday and Sunday for two weeks and then we would do club dates the rest of the time. We worked The Concord a lot in the mountains. That's where I met Johnnie Ray. My girlfriend, Marilyn Morrison, her father owned The Mocambo, she married Johnnie Ray. We used to go out together when Johnnie was working New York. He was the sweetest, most lovingest, guy in the world.

Kliph Nesteroff: He had a relationship with Dorothy Kilgallen.

Micki Marlo: I didn't know about that, but I knew that Dorothy's husband came into a shoe store where I was and bought high heels for himself.

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs) Dick Kollmar.

Micki Marlo: Yes, they were high-heeled shoes with rhinestones all over the vamp and the heels.

Kliph Nesteroff: The announcer on Charge Account was Bill Wendell.

Micki Marlo: Yes, Bill Wendell and my husband became great friends. They used to play cards between the shows. He taught Bill how to golf. Bill was six foot four and Bobby taught him how to play golf. They were fast friends for many, many years and he lived in Yonkers as well.

Kliph Nesteroff: Milton Delugg was the musical director.

Micki Marlo: Yes, the greatest. He was very good. He used to call his fingers bananas. He had very long fingers, but he was slight in build, not much taller than I. Milton did a recording session for me. He partnered with Bud Granoff for many years in the publishing business. He put up the money for me for the recording session. Bud was married to Kitty Kallen who sang Little Things Mean a Lot. He was very good-hearted and did all the arrangements for me. He's still around and he has four sides that he did with me that were never released. I would love to get my hands on them so I could re-release them!

Kliph Nesteroff: The name of someone else that appeared on Charge Account was Maureen Arthur.

Micki Marlo: Maureen Arthur was Jan's first sidekick. She left to do "bigger and better things" and I only ever saw her on one episode of a television show and that was all we ever saw of her.

Kliph Nesteroff: You were her replacement?

Micki Marlo: Yes.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Morgan Schmitter?

Micki Marlo: Oh, Dean Schmitter. He was the man whom they asked if the answers to the questions were right or not. He was like the professor. They called him Dean as he acted as a Dean, a know-it-all. Very sweet. He always used to ask me to sing "I'm Getting Married in the Morning! Ding Dong the Bells Are Gonna Chime!"

Kliph Nesteroff: We talked about Johnny Carson last time and how he came to see you backstage. Later on you did his Tonight Show...

Micki Marlo: We went to dinner a few times together. He, Ed McMahon and I. He was sweet. He was good. He was a very big drinker and I'm sure everyone knows about that. We went out with a group of people. Vaughn Meader was one of the eight or nine people we went out with one night. We went to Jilly's. Jilly's had a nightclub. You know Jilly's? Vaughn Meader tried to hypnotize everybody. Well, he couldn't hypnotize me cause I'm a strong-minded Capricorn. He tried to hypnotize Johnny. Johnny was already... not half in the bag, but right in the bag! He sat there like a mummy, stiff, straight as a board and Vaughn couldn't get through to him either. Johnny used to like to eat at The South Pacific Restaurant and Sardi's, of course, where my picture hung for a while. And that's about it.

Kliph Nesteroff: You got to know Frank Sinatra as well.

Micki Marlo: Yes. Frank and I went on a publicity date to a nightclub where Mary Healy and, I forget her husband's name, were performing.



Kliph Nesteroff: Peter Lind Hayes.

Micki Marlo: Peter Lind Hayes, yes, thank you. Been a long time since I have heard his name. So we're sitting ringside and there was a quiet moment in their act and Frank says, "Ring-a-ding-ding!" I turned to him and I said, "Would you be quiet? You're embarrassing me!" He stayed quiet after that. He introduced me from the stage at The Copacabana on his opening night and did not introduce a lot of other people. There were great stars in the audience that evening.

Kliph Nesteroff: And you were one of 'em.


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An Interview with Micki Marlo - Part Two

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 12:00AM by BattleMN 0 Comments -

Kliph Nesteroff: You worked a bunch with cigar chomping comedian Alan King. How did you first get to know Alan King and what do you recall about working with him?

Micki Marlo: We did a lot of club dates together through the William Morris Agency. I opened for him. He always chose the person he would work with and he very often chose me. I worked with him a lot. He paid for the opening act and he paid well. That's what I know about Alan King other than the fact that he loved strippers. He loved strippers. And he was an exquisitely dressed man. He dressed so beautifully, so very well tailored. That's what I remember about him. He wasn't terribly chatty, but he was a good man.

Kliph Nesteroff: And it sounds like you also had a pleasant relationship with Joey Bishop, but he was known for being quite moody.

Micki Marlo: He loved exotic dancers. The word got around the room, by the room I mean the waitresses and the waiters and the inside people, that he loved exotic dancers with dirty feet. Why I don't know. Never figured that out. Maybe I shouldn't be telling you these things! But he was a good man and I didn't know any other side of him.

Kliph Nesteroff: There's a great photo of you hanging out with a bunch of well-known comedians. In the shot is Henny Youngman...

Micki Marlo: Henny was my first husband's closest friend. Henny Youngman was very generous and he would always tip the agent. Henny knew the right things to do. He was a schmeer. A pay-off. A slide. Joe Wolfson was my main agent at William Morris and then Lee Solomon started to blossom and became a threat. Joe Wolfson didn't like my marrying Lee, but that's that.

Kliph Nesteroff: Woody Woodbury was with Joe Wolfson.


Micki Marlo: Oh, yes. He opened for me at The Vagabond Club. I worked with The Vagabonds also and they beat me for seven hundred and fifty dollars and they beat Tony Bennett for fifteen hundred. They said, "Don't cash the cheque now. Cash it when you get home!" They did the same thing to Tony Bennett (laughs).

Kliph Nesteroff: Was their club doing so poorly that they couldn't afford to pay the performers or were they simply shady hucksters?

Micki Marlo: I think their money was being used in other ways. The club was packed every night for the two weeks I worked there. It was jammed. I'm sure it was just as jammed for Tony Bennett and it was a hot club at the time and I think they used their money in other ways. They were users and abusers and we didn't get paid. I guess they chose who they would pay. I don't know, I'm just guessing.

Kliph Nesteroff: The Vagabond Club was the one with The Arthur Godfrey Room.

Micki Marlo: Yes, Arthur Godfrey was either behind them or picked them up from that room. He used them quite a lot and they got enough money to open up a club or something like that.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Milton Berle?

Micki Marlo: Milton was great. Milton was very welcoming, very kind, wanted me to work with him for less money than everyone else was paying. He was a schnorrer. But it was understandable after reading some of his books, he had hard times coming up. He was a little tight-fisted as far as I was concerned. My husband Bobby Mayo, God rest him, did about twenty-five shows with Milton Berle. He did forty-seven shows for Ed Sullivan. He was one of the very first acts to do The Ed Sullivan Show. The show was on CBS. He did it forty-seven times. Ed used The Mayo Brothers all the time and came to see us work. And Milton got into everybody's act.

He loved The Mayo Brothers and used them often. They were known for dancing on tables. They could dance anywhere in the world - even on the sand. On one of the last shows that they did with Milton... Milton got on and he shoved my husband and his brother. My husband didn't like it. Milton had hurt him by shoving his elbow in his thigh. So he shoved Milton back and knocked him off of something and they went to black and that was the end of them on Milton Berle. But after that Milton would still invite us out to dinner and would make a big fuss over us.



Kliph Nesteroff: You performed at The Copacabana. What was it like working for Jules Podell?

Micki Marlo: Yes, well, I never really had much to say to him. He was standing there when I came from the dressing room to do my spot. I had little or nothing to say to him. My girlfriend married one of his bouncers, Vincent Lombardo. She's Meyer Lansky's daughter. Sandy Lansky. 

Kliph Nesteroff: Now, someone that did have a lot to do with Jules Podell and The Copacabana was Paul Anka. How did you go from Capitol Records to ABC Paramount where Paul Anka was the young hotshot writing and producing and in charge of so much?

Micki Marlo: I left Capitol Records for various reasons. One of which was that I was going to do a Broadway show, The Ziegfeld Follies of 1957. ABC Paramount wanted to sign me. They had just opened their recording company and they wanted me as their first artist. They signed me and brought me in for a meeting to discuss which songs I would record. They brought Paul Anka in to write a couple of my songs and to produce the singles. He was fifteen years old at the time. He was a very talented man. I had their first hit. A semi-hit. It was Paul's first hit record. He became the big star that he is and he's a most talented writer. I sat there and listened to him and answered the questions put to me. "Uh huh. Yes. That's right. Okay." He wrote one song called Okay, That's It and the other side was That's Right. Whatever I said in response he made a song out of it! That was kind of cute. I also did a Ray Charles recording of Ain't That Love. I had a hit with that song and Ray Charles didn't.


Kliph Nesteroff: The same photo that has you and Henny Youngman also features comedian Al Kelly, the king of double talk.

Micki Marlo: Yeah, he was great and he was a good friend of Lee Solomon. Every night after the show we'd go to Lindy's. There was a big center table and a man named Jager would be the waiter. All the comedians would sit there and I would be one of the few females that would sit at the table with all the comedians. Al Kelly would always address me in double talk. I guess the comics liked me because I was a great laugher. I loved to laugh and I loved comedy. I would double over half the time. When I stood up I was taller than Al Kelly.



Kliph Nesteroff: Also in the photo is Red Buttons.

Micki Marlo: Red was great. I loved Red. I wanted to date him. I begged Jan [Murray] to please fix us up. Jan said, "No way! He's a cheapskate. You'll never be happy with him."


Micki Marlo: Yes, with Jan Murray. That was one of their best episodes and when they play Car 54 Where Are You, they always show that one.

Kliph Nesteroff: This is the episode where Jan Murray goes crazy because they keep singing the same song over and over.

Micki Marlo: Yes. "Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom." Something like that.

Kliph Nesteroff: What was your role?


Micki Marlo: Not much. I just brought some papers out and nodded and smiled. I never dressed sexually except onstage, when I would wear low cut gowns. Had a tiny waistline. But I always wore high necks and longsleeves. My mother would always say, "Why you always wearing high necks and longsleeves? You look like Kate Smith." That's the way I dressed. I was a fashion model and worked for Anne Fogarty who created some of the greatest designs of her time; high necked, long sleeves and very full blossomy skirts. So that was my look and that's what I wore on Car 54, Where Are You.

Kliph Nesteroff: You appeared with Tennessee Ernie Ford on his show. How did that come about?

Micki Marlo: That was very nice. They wanted to know if I wanted to be paid with a cheque or with RCA [products]. My folks didn't have a television set. So I chose a television set. Molly Bee was a favorite female on the show and I was on a couple of times to replace Molly Bee.

Kliph Nesteroff: You appeared on What's My Line as a mystery guest?

Micki Marlo: Yes. I did one appearance and nobody guessed me (laughs). I remember little or nothing about it. I was very unhappy that nobody knew who I was.

Kliph Nesteroff: I've never seen that segment, but most episodes survive... it must be out there somewhere.

Micki Marlo: Steve Allen was so unhappy that all of his shows had been erased. Some young man came in to do some copy work I guess and he erased all of Steve Allen's shows. That was his biggest heartbreak.

Kliph Nesteroff: There isn't too much of Jan Murray's Charge Account that survives either - is there?

Micki Marlo: No and Jan owned the show, funnily enough. That was such a great show to work on because I sang on it and I did the warm-up. I remember once the microphones went out and Jan said, "You don't need it! You can sing without it." It was always great fun. Jan was great and his wife Toni was a great gal also.

Kliph Nesteroff: Was Charge Account done live?

Micki Marlo: No, it was not done live. It was live on tape. We taped five shows a day on Saturday and Sunday for two weeks and then we would do club dates the rest of the time. We worked The Concord a lot in the mountains. That's where I met Johnnie Ray. My girlfriend, Marilyn Morrison, her father owned The Mocambo, she married Johnnie Ray. We used to go out together when Johnnie was working New York. He was the sweetest, most lovingest, guy in the world.

Kliph Nesteroff: He had a relationship with Dorothy Kilgallen.

Micki Marlo: I didn't know about that, but I knew that Dorothy's husband came into a shoe store where I was and bought high heels for himself.

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs) Dick Kollmar.

Micki Marlo: Yes, they were high-heeled shoes with rhinestones all over the vamp and the heels.

Kliph Nesteroff: The announcer on Charge Account was Bill Wendell.

Micki Marlo: Yes, Bill Wendell and my husband became great friends. They used to play cards between the shows. He taught Bill how to golf. Bill was six foot four and Bobby taught him how to play golf. They were fast friends for many, many years and he lived in Yonkers as well.

Kliph Nesteroff: Milton Delugg was the musical director.

Micki Marlo: Yes, the greatest. He was very good. He used to call his fingers bananas. He had very long fingers, but he was slight in build, not much taller than I. Milton did a recording session for me. He partnered with Bud Granoff for many years in the publishing business. He put up the money for me for the recording session. Bud was married to Kitty Kallen who sang Little Things Mean a Lot. He was very good-hearted and did all the arrangements for me. He's still around and he has four sides that he did with me that were never released. I would love to get my hands on them so I could re-release them!

Kliph Nesteroff: The name of someone else that appeared on Charge Account was Maureen Arthur.

Micki Marlo: Maureen Arthur was Jan's first sidekick. She left to do "bigger and better things" and I only ever saw her on one episode of a television show and that was all we ever saw of her.

Kliph Nesteroff: You were her replacement?

Micki Marlo: Yes.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Morgan Schmitter?

Micki Marlo: Oh, Dean Schmitter. He was the man whom they asked if the answers to the questions were right or not. He was like the professor. They called him Dean as he acted as a Dean, a know-it-all. Very sweet. He always used to ask me to sing "I'm Getting Married in the Morning! Ding Dong the Bells Are Gonna Chime!"

Kliph Nesteroff: We talked about Johnny Carson last time and how he came to see you backstage. Later on you did his Tonight Show...

Micki Marlo: We went to dinner a few times together. He, Ed McMahon and I. He was sweet. He was good. He was a very big drinker and I'm sure everyone knows about that. We went out with a group of people. Vaughn Meader was one of the eight or nine people we went out with one night. We went to Jilly's. Jilly's had a nightclub. You know Jilly's? Vaughn Meader tried to hypnotize everybody. Well, he couldn't hypnotize me cause I'm a strong-minded Capricorn. He tried to hypnotize Johnny. Johnny was already... not half in the bag, but right in the bag! He sat there like a mummy, stiff, straight as a board and Vaughn couldn't get through to him either. Johnny used to like to eat at The South Pacific Restaurant and Sardi's, of course, where my picture hung for a while. And that's about it.

Kliph Nesteroff: You got to know Frank Sinatra as well.

Micki Marlo: Yes. Frank and I went on a publicity date to a nightclub where Mary Healy and, I forget her husband's name, were performing.



Kliph Nesteroff: Peter Lind Hayes.

Micki Marlo: Peter Lind Hayes, yes, thank you. Been a long time since I have heard his name. So we're sitting ringside and there was a quiet moment in their act and Frank says, "Ring-a-ding-ding!" I turned to him and I said, "Would you be quiet? You're embarrassing me!" He stayed quiet after that. He introduced me from the stage at The Copacabana on his opening night and did not introduce a lot of other people. There were great stars in the audience that evening.

Kliph Nesteroff: And you were one of 'em.


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An Interview with Micki Marlo - Part One

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 12:00AM by BattleMN 0 Comments -

Kliph Nesteroff: I was listening to a track of yours called Rock, Rock, Rock.
Micki Marlo: Yes, that was the first record. A double sided hit. Love's Like That was the big hit and the other side was Rock, Rock, Rock. My little [son] Bobby [Mayo Jr] believes that that started the whole rock era. Or one of 'em, who knows?

Kliph Nesteroff: It's an amusing song. There are a few tracks from that era that are like that. Rock songs that are in and of themselves about rock and roll.

Micki Marlo: Between you and I... I never really liked it. I thought little or nothing of it and when I did perform I performed Love's Like That.

Kliph Nesteroff: You were backed by Don Costa's Orchestra.

Micki Marlo: Actually, I recorded for this vocal coach who brought in his associate Bernie Lowe. Also Bob Horn who created Bandstand and a little local agent in Philadelphia. They put a meeting together and recorded me. Within the week I did my very first nightclub engagement. I was underage and my mom was unable to write her name in American, you know, they were born in Russia. So I taught her how to write her name and I actually signed the contract myself. It was for thirty-percent. I was able to get out of it later on. They became the biggest rock and roll recording company in the country. They became Cameo Records and eventually went on to do great things.

Kliph Nesteroff: Yes, they had Chubby Checker under their Cameo-Parkway moniker.

Micki Marlo: Exactly. Right. You know more about it than I.

Kliph Nesteroff: So you started on Philadelphia radio, didn't you? Wasn't Ed Hurst the springboard...

Micki Marlo: Ed Hurst and Joe Grady had a radio show and a dance party at the radio station. I was one of the kids who used to go to the station and dance in the afternoon. I loved to dance and I won four jitterbug contests. I had what they used to refer to as fast little feet. I would do three or four steps to a beat, while the other kids were doing one. I was dancing my life away. It was great for me. I was later fortunate enough to dance on Broadway and so on. 

So, this was just dancing down at the radio station and later Bob Horn brought it to television. Dick Clark had a tiny little studio back of where Bob Horn did the television show. He tried very hard to get me on his show. I did do it. Later on there was some conflict with Bob Horn. Dick Clark took over and turned it into Bandstand and made it what it is. 

Kliph Nesteroff: Bob Horn felt that Dick Clark had ripped off his idea?

Micki Marlo: I don't really know. I later did Summertime on the Pier with Ed Hurst. He had a bandstand show. It was the highest, I don't mean to brag, but it was the biggest and highest rated show in daytime television for Saturday and Sunday afternoons. So, that was pretty good.
Kliph Nesteroff: How did appearing on these shows translate into your getting into singing and getting a recording deal?
Micki Marlo: I was a junior fashion model. I used to sing around the office. I came from a not-too-wealthy background, so I was always looking for work. So I used to hang around as did some of the other girls and I would sing. At that time the hot song was I Didn't Know the Gun Was Loaded. With the little I knew about music, I used to sing it. They all used to say, including Mr. Neufeld who was a very elderly gentleman, that I had a good singing voice. He paid for my first singing lesson. It was with Artie Singer who later became my manager. They thought that I sang good enough to not continue with vocal lessons because that would spoil my natural style. And so it went. Within three weeks I was recording and they brought Don Costa in. They put this record out, Love's Like That with Rock, Rock, Rock and within a short time three other major companies were vying for my record. Teresa Brewer married the head of the company... oh, there was Columbia with Mitch Miller and there was this one... that started with a 'D.'

Kliph Nesteroff: Decca.

Micki Marlo: Decca! Exactly! Thank you. Not only do I love the way you spell your name, I think it's absolutely great, but you're very hip to the music business!

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs)

Micki Marlo: You're helping me along and I thank you, thank you, thank you for that.

Kliph Nesteroff: So that original single was for Cameo and then somehow you began recording for Capitol.

Micki Marlo: Yes. Capitol for almost a year. They flew me in to do Don't Go, Don't Go, Don't Go and another song, Pet Me, Papa. There is a picture of Frank Sinatra and I at a record session.

I did the song for a movie and it became a hit. I really don't know. I never really got any money from Capitol, which is why I switched to ABC Paramount. By then I had fired my agent because I was under age and signed my mother's name. I went to the Broadway stage. We did a show stopping number, Jane Morgan and I. It was quite wonderful. It was so good. I didn't even know the audience was still applauding. I went back to the dressing room to get ready for my next number and the audience continued to applaud. I didn't know that and the girls came back to get me to come and take another bow. I didn't about the theater all that much. I was very naive.

Kliph Nesteroff: The first single became a hit and then you went on to do your first nightclub appearance. Where was that appearance and what was that like?

Micki Marlo: That was in Philadelphia. The record was a very big hit in Philadelphia and that was at The Celebrity Room downtown. I knew so little about nightclubs and music and theater. I was first introduced to music by my cousin who was in the army. He brought me all his Glenn Miller records. We danced in the neighborhood.
Kliph Nesteroff: One of the kids in your neighborhood growing up was Frankie Avalon.
Micki Marlo: Oh, yes. He had a little club after I first started singing and he asked me to please come do a club date for him. I did it and I was paid twenty-five dollars. I usually got two hundred and fifty, but I did it for Frankie because the fellow that I danced with at the neighborhood center was [Avalon's friend] Baby Face Joe. We were all from South Philadelphia. He said come and dance and we'll let you sing a couple songs and so I did.

Kliph Nesteroff: How did you first get involved with The Steve Allen Show?
Micki Marlo: I think they heard the record and I was with William Morris immediately. They got me the first date. That was a guest shot and then they signed me for ten appearances. I stayed on when Steve was brought out to do The Benny Goodman Story. Just now in my life Goodman has become my favorite musician. So great, so calming and so smooth.

Kliph Nesteroff: So you must have worked with Skitch Henderson on the show as your orchestra leader and arranger.

Micki Marlo: Yes. The best. The very best in the business, very charming, very friendly, very warm. Did all my arrangements and then when I left the show to go to Broadway, he gave me all of the arrangements that he made. Skitch was the very best, created arrangements for me, suggested songs for me to sing that I just loved. I have record clips... there was a company in New York that you could call up and they would copy the music or the singing for me, right off the television set, and then present a copy for me for a very small fee. I have the acetates from NBC.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about some of the other people working on The Steve Allen Show. I assume you got to know Steve and Eydie, even though I understand they were on alternate nights.

Micki Marlo: It was Steve and Eydie, Andy Williams and myself who were the alternate singers. They would sing Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Andy and I would sing Tuesday and Thursday. The following week we would alternate and Andy and I would do Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Steve Allen was a very gentle and very shy young man. His mom was in vaudeville. He was just the opposite of a vaudevillian. One thing I remember... he invited me to do a commercial with him. We did the first fifteen minutes locally. The show went coast to coast at eleven thirty. 

We did a beer commercial. I never drank and to this day. You had to take a sip of beer at the end of the commercial, like a toast. I took a sip of the beer and made the most horrific face. I had never tasted beer! No one in my family drank. That was the end of me doing beer commercials.

Kliph Nesteroff: I think it would have been Knickerbocker Beer.

Micki Marlo: Very likely. That sounds familiar. I don't remember.
Kliph Nesteroff: At what point did you leave the program and why?

Micki Marlo: I left it to do some good paying nightclub engagements, my first of which was in Las Vegas at The Flamingo Hotel at a thousand dollars a week for four weeks. Then the El Rancho picked me up for four years at bigger and more money. I say bigger because it was like manna from heaven for us - us being the family. I think we lived in an apartment that was fourteen dollars a month. I left to do the nightclub work and then I did a lot of radio. Barry Gray invited me to do his radio show and Jan Murray was listening to Barry Gray. He was a great pre-Larry King. Great interviewer, great speaker, tall, good looking man. So I did the show and they were hysterical at my answers. Jan was looking for a sidekick at that time for his game show Charge Account. He called the William Morris Agency the next day and within a very short time I was doing the Jan Murray show. I was signed for ten shows. Then ten more. And then ten again. He came in one afternoon and knocked on my dressing room door. He said, "May I speak with you?" I said, "Of course. Come in." He said, "Tell your mother and your friends they can stop sending all the postcards! You've got the job." They were sending about two hundred cards a weekend. I stayed with him for almost six years. We did nightclubs. I worked with him at the Chez Paree, The Sands and many, many more.

Kliph Nesteroff: When you were working the El Rancho Vegas, you must have encountered or got to know the comedian Joe E. Lewis.

Micki Marlo: I worked with Joe E. Lewis. I was the singing act and there was an opening act. A stripper by the name of Lili St. Cyr. They built a cage for her around the room. They built a track and the cage would hang down from the ceiling. I don't know about that stuff. I never stripped. I was a shy kid and I still am. Anyway, she went around on this track and I had to follow her with this act. Joe E. Lewis used to say [to me], "Don't eat so much. You'll get a big stummy." He was a cute, cute man, but a big time gambler.

Kliph Nesteroff: A big time gambler and a big time drinker.

Micki Marlo: Yes, from what I knew.

Kliph Nesteroff: You also started appearing at The Statler Room in Los Angeles.

Micki Marlo: With Gene Sheldon who was very famous and had a hit record. He was a mandolin or ukulele player. He was quite funny and I think he did some pantomime and Skinny Ennis was the bandleader and he had a hit record. And my most favorite man in the world, Harry Ritz, came to see me. Schlepped all the way from Beverly Hills to downtown Los Angeles to see me and help make my appearance more important to me as well as to the people there. I had already worked with [The Ritz Brothers]. I had already worked with them quite a lot. I loved them madly, fully and completely. I used to watch from the moment I got off. I watched them from the start of their act to the very finish.

Kliph Nesteroff: You did some television with Jerry Lester...

Micki Marlo: Jerry Lester. Well, that show America After Dark that came on [after the Steve Allen] Tonight Show when they were looking for a new host for The Tonight Show. I was the only female that appeared on a nightly basis with them. I had really little or nothing to do other than to sing two songs. One at the beginning of the show and one at the end. I don't know that I had very much conversation with Jerry Lester or his brother Buddy whom I worked with sometime later at a club date. Yes, they were desperately searching for a new host. They [eventually] got Johnny Carson. Johnny Carson came in when I was working at a New York club, I think it was The Holiday House. He came in every night to see me and was quite inebriated, God love him. I had my mom with me or a girlfriend I would pay to come with me. I didn't want to work anywhere alone. So, he came in and he came backstage to see me. He was, as they say, stoned. "Stoned" and "gig" are two [outdated] words that I can't quite phase out of my everyday vocabulary. Anyway, he licked the door jam and came to see me with a glass in hand. My mother said, "What iz dis!?" We didn't even have a television set. We didn't even have a television set until I did The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, so I don't think she even knew who he was. I never worked with [Jack] Paar.



Kliph Nesteroff: How did you get involved with The Colgate Comedy Hour?

Micki Marlo: Well, I was appearing at The 500 Club in Atlantic City. I brought my mom. We went to see the club act and it was after my second engagement. We came to Atlantic City to spend a weekend at Mr. Greene's, who charged two dollars a night for the room (laughs). You're stirring great old memories up for me, Kliph, thank you. We went to see the act, I don't remember who the act was, but Jack Curtis was the emcee and we knew him from The Latin Casino in Philadelphia. He announced from the stage that I was going to open up at The 500 Club and mentioned the date, which was to be my third engagement. It was the week before Dean and Jerry were to make their appearance to promote their new movie Living It Up. They came to my closing night. They were to open the following night. I appeared there with Frankie Carr and George DeWitt. Jerry stood up after I went off the stage, he stood up on a chair and shouted, "Where's Micki Marlo!? Where's Micki Marlo!?" The upshot of it is, he booked me on The Colgate Comedy Hour

We did some of those. That was a nice meeting with them and I got to meet Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis and Dick Stabille and all of those people. They were all in the movie with Dean and Jerry. That was really sweet. That's how I met them. As a matter of fact, it was Jerry Lewis who knew that The Ritz Brothers were looking for a girl. They were going on a nightclub tour and he suggested me. That started me off on big time money.

Kliph Nesteroff: Do you remember much about those Colgate Comedy appearances?

Micki Marlo: In honesty, I don't. I remember it was exciting to be there and to see all the goings on. I had known television because I had started out as a junior fashion model and there was a gal by the name of Carol Reed. Later she became the ABC weather girl. I was a regular model [on Reed's regional television program]. I started as a junior fashion model at the age of fourteen. I had a couple of [magazine] covers. I saved my first cover. I was on some detective magazine and I'm standing in a fur coat. I'm standing on the corner and someone is stealing my purse.

Kliph Nesteroff: You played a place called Chubby's in Camden, New Jersey in the late fifties. I noticed in an ad for that joint that a young Don Rickles was playing there around the same time. What do you remember about Rickles back then?


Micki Marlo: Don, more than comedy, did a very dramatic piece called The Glass Head. He asked if his mom could sit with my mom because she attended every show [of his] as did my mother. He was a very young man and he did this very exciting and very dramatic piece. He wasn't an insult comic then.

Kliph Nesteroff: Someone who was an insult comic then was Fat Jack E. Leonard. Did you ever encounter him?

Micki Marlo: Yes! Yes! On my television show with Ed Hurst in Atlantic City he whispered... not-sweet nothings in my ear (laughs). He was a bit on the vulgar side, which was funny. I love comedy. Big fat Jack E. Leonard. He embarrassed me.

Kliph Nesteroff: I saw a photo of you with Buddy Hackett.

Micki Marlo: Yeah, I worked with Buddy and... Buddy was less than nice. Not to me personally, but I never got to really know him like I did some of the other fellows. In fact, we doubled, y'know,  two club dates in one night. We did a slew of them in the Atlantic Beach area. You'd do one club and then hurry to get ready to do your second. One night we performed with the La Playa Sextet and Maria was very nice. I needed my music from the bandstand. They hadn't sent it [backstage] to me. She offered to go get it for me. It was a wooden stage about four feet high and her high heels clicked. 

Buddy said something to the effect, while he was performing, "Who the fuck is on my stage!?" That turned me off and I didn't do much more work with him. I worked more with Alan King and Joey Bishop. Joey Bishop was my opening act. We were both from South Philadelphia. We had a lot in common and a lot to talk about and a lot to kibbitz. His manager managed me as well. Guy Marks was also an opening act of mine. He offered me some pills... which I quickly nay-nayed. I didn't take pills.


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An Interview with Micki Marlo - Part One

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 12:00AM by BattleMN 0 Comments -

Kliph Nesteroff: I was listening to a track of yours called Rock, Rock, Rock.
Micki Marlo: Yes, that was the first record. A double sided hit. Love's Like That was the big hit and the other side was Rock, Rock, Rock. My little [son] Bobby [Mayo Jr] believes that that started the whole rock era. Or one of 'em, who knows?

Kliph Nesteroff: It's an amusing song. There are a few tracks from that era that are like that. Rock songs that are in and of themselves about rock and roll.

Micki Marlo: Between you and I... I never really liked it. I thought little or nothing of it and when I did perform I performed Love's Like That.

Kliph Nesteroff: You were backed by Don Costa's Orchestra.

Micki Marlo: Actually, I recorded for this vocal coach who brought in his associate Bernie Lowe. Also Bob Horn who created Bandstand and a little local agent in Philadelphia. They put a meeting together and recorded me. Within the week I did my very first nightclub engagement. I was underage and my mom was unable to write her name in American, you know, they were born in Russia. So I taught her how to write her name and I actually signed the contract myself. It was for thirty-percent. I was able to get out of it later on. They became the biggest rock and roll recording company in the country. They became Cameo Records and eventually went on to do great things.

Kliph Nesteroff: Yes, they had Chubby Checker under their Cameo-Parkway moniker.

Micki Marlo: Exactly. Right. You know more about it than I.

Kliph Nesteroff: So you started on Philadelphia radio, didn't you? Wasn't Ed Hurst the springboard...

Micki Marlo: Ed Hurst and Joe Grady had a radio show and a dance party at the radio station. I was one of the kids who used to go to the station and dance in the afternoon. I loved to dance and I won four jitterbug contests. I had what they used to refer to as fast little feet. I would do three or four steps to a beat, while the other kids were doing one. I was dancing my life away. It was great for me. I was later fortunate enough to dance on Broadway and so on. 

So, this was just dancing down at the radio station and later Bob Horn brought it to television. Dick Clark had a tiny little studio back of where Bob Horn did the television show. He tried very hard to get me on his show. I did do it. Later on there was some conflict with Bob Horn. Dick Clark took over and turned it into Bandstand and made it what it is. 

Kliph Nesteroff: Bob Horn felt that Dick Clark had ripped off his idea?

Micki Marlo: I don't really know. I later did Summertime on the Pier with Ed Hurst. He had a bandstand show. It was the highest, I don't mean to brag, but it was the biggest and highest rated show in daytime television for Saturday and Sunday afternoons. So, that was pretty good.
Kliph Nesteroff: How did appearing on these shows translate into your getting into singing and getting a recording deal?
Micki Marlo: I was a junior fashion model. I used to sing around the office. I came from a not-too-wealthy background, so I was always looking for work. So I used to hang around as did some of the other girls and I would sing. At that time the hot song was I Didn't Know the Gun Was Loaded. With the little I knew about music, I used to sing it. They all used to say, including Mr. Neufeld who was a very elderly gentleman, that I had a good singing voice. He paid for my first singing lesson. It was with Artie Singer who later became my manager. They thought that I sang good enough to not continue with vocal lessons because that would spoil my natural style. And so it went. Within three weeks I was recording and they brought Don Costa in. They put this record out, Love's Like That with Rock, Rock, Rock and within a short time three other major companies were vying for my record. Teresa Brewer married the head of the company... oh, there was Columbia with Mitch Miller and there was this one... that started with a 'D.'

Kliph Nesteroff: Decca.

Micki Marlo: Decca! Exactly! Thank you. Not only do I love the way you spell your name, I think it's absolutely great, but you're very hip to the music business!

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs)

Micki Marlo: You're helping me along and I thank you, thank you, thank you for that.

Kliph Nesteroff: So that original single was for Cameo and then somehow you began recording for Capitol.

Micki Marlo: Yes. Capitol for almost a year. They flew me in to do Don't Go, Don't Go, Don't Go and another song, Pet Me, Papa. There is a picture of Frank Sinatra and I at a record session.

I did the song for a movie and it became a hit. I really don't know. I never really got any money from Capitol, which is why I switched to ABC Paramount. By then I had fired my agent because I was under age and signed my mother's name. I went to the Broadway stage. We did a show stopping number, Jane Morgan and I. It was quite wonderful. It was so good. I didn't even know the audience was still applauding. I went back to the dressing room to get ready for my next number and the audience continued to applaud. I didn't know that and the girls came back to get me to come and take another bow. I didn't about the theater all that much. I was very naive.

Kliph Nesteroff: The first single became a hit and then you went on to do your first nightclub appearance. Where was that appearance and what was that like?

Micki Marlo: That was in Philadelphia. The record was a very big hit in Philadelphia and that was at The Celebrity Room downtown. I knew so little about nightclubs and music and theater. I was first introduced to music by my cousin who was in the army. He brought me all his Glenn Miller records. We danced in the neighborhood.
Kliph Nesteroff: One of the kids in your neighborhood growing up was Frankie Avalon.
Micki Marlo: Oh, yes. He had a little club after I first started singing and he asked me to please come do a club date for him. I did it and I was paid twenty-five dollars. I usually got two hundred and fifty, but I did it for Frankie because the fellow that I danced with at the neighborhood center was [Avalon's friend] Baby Face Joe. We were all from South Philadelphia. He said come and dance and we'll let you sing a couple songs and so I did.

Kliph Nesteroff: How did you first get involved with The Steve Allen Show?
Micki Marlo: I think they heard the record and I was with William Morris immediately. They got me the first date. That was a guest shot and then they signed me for ten appearances. I stayed on when Steve was brought out to do The Benny Goodman Story. Just now in my life Goodman has become my favorite musician. So great, so calming and so smooth.

Kliph Nesteroff: So you must have worked with Skitch Henderson on the show as your orchestra leader and arranger.

Micki Marlo: Yes. The best. The very best in the business, very charming, very friendly, very warm. Did all my arrangements and then when I left the show to go to Broadway, he gave me all of the arrangements that he made. Skitch was the very best, created arrangements for me, suggested songs for me to sing that I just loved. I have record clips... there was a company in New York that you could call up and they would copy the music or the singing for me, right off the television set, and then present a copy for me for a very small fee. I have the acetates from NBC.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about some of the other people working on The Steve Allen Show. I assume you got to know Steve and Eydie, even though I understand they were on alternate nights.

Micki Marlo: It was Steve and Eydie, Andy Williams and myself who were the alternate singers. They would sing Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Andy and I would sing Tuesday and Thursday. The following week we would alternate and Andy and I would do Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Steve Allen was a very gentle and very shy young man. His mom was in vaudeville. He was just the opposite of a vaudevillian. One thing I remember... he invited me to do a commercial with him. We did the first fifteen minutes locally. The show went coast to coast at eleven thirty. 

We did a beer commercial. I never drank and to this day. You had to take a sip of beer at the end of the commercial, like a toast. I took a sip of the beer and made the most horrific face. I had never tasted beer! No one in my family drank. That was the end of me doing beer commercials.

Kliph Nesteroff: I think it would have been Knickerbocker Beer.

Micki Marlo: Very likely. That sounds familiar. I don't remember.
Kliph Nesteroff: At what point did you leave the program and why?

Micki Marlo: I left it to do some good paying nightclub engagements, my first of which was in Las Vegas at The Flamingo Hotel at a thousand dollars a week for four weeks. Then the El Rancho picked me up for four years at bigger and more money. I say bigger because it was like manna from heaven for us - us being the family. I think we lived in an apartment that was fourteen dollars a month. I left to do the nightclub work and then I did a lot of radio. Barry Gray invited me to do his radio show and Jan Murray was listening to Barry Gray. He was a great pre-Larry King. Great interviewer, great speaker, tall, good looking man. So I did the show and they were hysterical at my answers. Jan was looking for a sidekick at that time for his game show Charge Account. He called the William Morris Agency the next day and within a very short time I was doing the Jan Murray show. I was signed for ten shows. Then ten more. And then ten again. He came in one afternoon and knocked on my dressing room door. He said, "May I speak with you?" I said, "Of course. Come in." He said, "Tell your mother and your friends they can stop sending all the postcards! You've got the job." They were sending about two hundred cards a weekend. I stayed with him for almost six years. We did nightclubs. I worked with him at the Chez Paree, The Sands and many, many more.

Kliph Nesteroff: When you were working the El Rancho Vegas, you must have encountered or got to know the comedian Joe E. Lewis.

Micki Marlo: I worked with Joe E. Lewis. I was the singing act and there was an opening act. A stripper by the name of Lili St. Cyr. They built a cage for her around the room. They built a track and the cage would hang down from the ceiling. I don't know about that stuff. I never stripped. I was a shy kid and I still am. Anyway, she went around on this track and I had to follow her with this act. Joe E. Lewis used to say [to me], "Don't eat so much. You'll get a big stummy." He was a cute, cute man, but a big time gambler.

Kliph Nesteroff: A big time gambler and a big time drinker.

Micki Marlo: Yes, from what I knew.

Kliph Nesteroff: You also started appearing at The Statler Room in Los Angeles.

Micki Marlo: With Gene Sheldon who was very famous and had a hit record. He was a mandolin or ukulele player. He was quite funny and I think he did some pantomime and Skinny Ennis was the bandleader and he had a hit record. And my most favorite man in the world, Harry Ritz, came to see me. Schlepped all the way from Beverly Hills to downtown Los Angeles to see me and help make my appearance more important to me as well as to the people there. I had already worked with [The Ritz Brothers]. I had already worked with them quite a lot. I loved them madly, fully and completely. I used to watch from the moment I got off. I watched them from the start of their act to the very finish.

Kliph Nesteroff: You did some television with Jerry Lester...

Micki Marlo: Jerry Lester. Well, that show America After Dark that came on [after the Steve Allen] Tonight Show when they were looking for a new host for The Tonight Show. I was the only female that appeared on a nightly basis with them. I had really little or nothing to do other than to sing two songs. One at the beginning of the show and one at the end. I don't know that I had very much conversation with Jerry Lester or his brother Buddy whom I worked with sometime later at a club date. Yes, they were desperately searching for a new host. They [eventually] got Johnny Carson. Johnny Carson came in when I was working at a New York club, I think it was The Holiday House. He came in every night to see me and was quite inebriated, God love him. I had my mom with me or a girlfriend I would pay to come with me. I didn't want to work anywhere alone. So, he came in and he came backstage to see me. He was, as they say, stoned. "Stoned" and "gig" are two [outdated] words that I can't quite phase out of my everyday vocabulary. Anyway, he licked the door jam and came to see me with a glass in hand. My mother said, "What iz dis!?" We didn't even have a television set. We didn't even have a television set until I did The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, so I don't think she even knew who he was. I never worked with [Jack] Paar.



Kliph Nesteroff: How did you get involved with The Colgate Comedy Hour?

Micki Marlo: Well, I was appearing at The 500 Club in Atlantic City. I brought my mom. We went to see the club act and it was after my second engagement. We came to Atlantic City to spend a weekend at Mr. Greene's, who charged two dollars a night for the room (laughs). You're stirring great old memories up for me, Kliph, thank you. We went to see the act, I don't remember who the act was, but Jack Curtis was the emcee and we knew him from The Latin Casino in Philadelphia. He announced from the stage that I was going to open up at The 500 Club and mentioned the date, which was to be my third engagement. It was the week before Dean and Jerry were to make their appearance to promote their new movie Living It Up. They came to my closing night. They were to open the following night. I appeared there with Frankie Carr and George DeWitt. Jerry stood up after I went off the stage, he stood up on a chair and shouted, "Where's Micki Marlo!? Where's Micki Marlo!?" The upshot of it is, he booked me on The Colgate Comedy Hour

We did some of those. That was a nice meeting with them and I got to meet Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis and Dick Stabille and all of those people. They were all in the movie with Dean and Jerry. That was really sweet. That's how I met them. As a matter of fact, it was Jerry Lewis who knew that The Ritz Brothers were looking for a girl. They were going on a nightclub tour and he suggested me. That started me off on big time money.

Kliph Nesteroff: Do you remember much about those Colgate Comedy appearances?

Micki Marlo: In honesty, I don't. I remember it was exciting to be there and to see all the goings on. I had known television because I had started out as a junior fashion model and there was a gal by the name of Carol Reed. Later she became the ABC weather girl. I was a regular model [on Reed's regional television program]. I started as a junior fashion model at the age of fourteen. I had a couple of [magazine] covers. I saved my first cover. I was on some detective magazine and I'm standing in a fur coat. I'm standing on the corner and someone is stealing my purse.

Kliph Nesteroff: You played a place called Chubby's in Camden, New Jersey in the late fifties. I noticed in an ad for that joint that a young Don Rickles was playing there around the same time. What do you remember about Rickles back then?


Micki Marlo: Don, more than comedy, did a very dramatic piece called The Glass Head. He asked if his mom could sit with my mom because she attended every show [of his] as did my mother. He was a very young man and he did this very exciting and very dramatic piece. He wasn't an insult comic then.

Kliph Nesteroff: Someone who was an insult comic then was Fat Jack E. Leonard. Did you ever encounter him?

Micki Marlo: Yes! Yes! On my television show with Ed Hurst in Atlantic City he whispered... not-sweet nothings in my ear (laughs). He was a bit on the vulgar side, which was funny. I love comedy. Big fat Jack E. Leonard. He embarrassed me.

Kliph Nesteroff: I saw a photo of you with Buddy Hackett.

Micki Marlo: Yeah, I worked with Buddy and... Buddy was less than nice. Not to me personally, but I never got to really know him like I did some of the other fellows. In fact, we doubled, y'know,  two club dates in one night. We did a slew of them in the Atlantic Beach area. You'd do one club and then hurry to get ready to do your second. One night we performed with the La Playa Sextet and Maria was very nice. I needed my music from the bandstand. They hadn't sent it [backstage] to me. She offered to go get it for me. It was a wooden stage about four feet high and her high heels clicked. 

Buddy said something to the effect, while he was performing, "Who the fuck is on my stage!?" That turned me off and I didn't do much more work with him. I worked more with Alan King and Joey Bishop. Joey Bishop was my opening act. We were both from South Philadelphia. We had a lot in common and a lot to talk about and a lot to kibbitz. His manager managed me as well. Guy Marks was also an opening act of mine. He offered me some pills... which I quickly nay-nayed. I didn't take pills.


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