As the crowd gathered in the auditorium and as the music of the Manny Harmon Orchestra played the tunes of New York City, the audience grew silent as the SRO crowd knew it would be treated to another spellbinding opening of America thelBeautiful, sung by Robbie Britt.
In what was described by the New York Times as "the show, an only-in-California cross between a Broadway musical, stand-up comedy routine and unruly political convention," the complement of talent was guided carefully by our three master ceremonies, Stanley Ralph Ross, Johnny Francis and Budd Friedman. As a surprise treat Johnny opened the second half of the show with a warm rendition of I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.
Among those paying tribute to Pat and Dick were their good friends, Connie Stevens, Red Buttons, Jerry Vale, Joe Bologna and Renee Taylor. Mel Brooks, Estelle Reiner, Jan Murray and Dom Deluise, who could not attend the reunion sent their tributes by videotape procured under the direction of Jon Alexander.
Layfayette’s Larry King weighed in by recalling stories of boys chasing girls while growing Brooklyn while comedians John Byner, Sammy Shore and Charlie Fleischer provided their s brand of comic relief. Julie Budd and Jordan Bennett wowed the audience with melodious voices while the Mills Brothers created quite a stir by singing many of their classic songs.
Bronx Borough President. Fernando Ferrer came from The Bronx to show his support for our honorees.
The All-City New York Chorus led by choral director Reparatta Mazzola and 1yricist; Charlie Schlotter, along with arranger Ben Lanzarrone. and vocalists Suzanne Dennie, llene Graff and Barbara Minkus sang a special tribute in honor of Pat and Dick.
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