Las Vegas Sun

July 26, 2014

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Veteran performers rally to help one of their own

Click to enlarge photo

A young Norman Kaye.

If You Go

What: Fundraising concert for Norman Kaye

When: Noon Sunday

*Where: Orleans Showroom

Tickets: $20 minimum donation; 365-7075

Entertainers

Nelson Sardelli (host)

Clint Holmes

Vince Falcone

Charlie Callas

Jimmy Hopper

Sammy Shore

Robert Ensler

Gus Mancuso

Pete Barbutti

Tommy Deering

Rick Vittallo Jr

Gary Olds Trio

Loretta St. John

Michaelina Bellamy

Paul Xavier Campanella

Bill Nolte

Peter Anthony

Gerry McCambridge

Don HIll

Kathleen Dunba

Lee Michaels

Ronnie Rose

Frank Grata

Teddy Kaye

Jeanne Brei

Felix Silla

Linda Angeline

Genevieve

Nik Mastrangelo

Artie Schroeck

Linda November

Jerry Lopez & Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns

The Las Vegas Tenors

The Las Vegas Players

Dennis Bono

Lorraine Hunt-Bono

***list is tentative***

When the call went out for help for ailing lounge legend Norman Kaye, the response was fast and widespread.

Dozens of vintage Vegas performers reacted, offering their assistance to raise funds for the 85-year-old former performer and real estate agent. One of the first to answer the call was entertainer Nelson Sardelli, who arrived in Las Vegas in 1965.

“Norman was one of the first men my manager introduced me to,” Sardelli said. “He was also my best man. My wife has never forgiven him for that. We go back way back. He’s an icon, a pioneer, one of the first lounge acts here in Las Vegas.”

Kaye hit town with the Mary Kaye Trio several years before Louis Prima and his troupe arrived at the Sahara in 1954.

Sardelli began organizing a fundraising effort and more than 40 entertainers volunteered their services for a concert to be held Sunday at The Orleans.

The casino, owned by Boyd Gaming, is providing the showroom, paying for the technicians and printing the tickets. “That’s worth, conservatively, about $10,000,” Sardelli said.

The entertainment fans will see is priceless. The long list includes

Sardelli (host), Clint Holmes, Charlie Callas, Sammy Shore, Pete Barbutti, Peter Anthony, Artie Schroeck, Linda November, Jerry Lopez & Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns, Dennis Bono and Lorraine Hunt-Bono. The concert could last three hours or so.

“It has turned into a really big show,” Sardelli said. “We structuring it as

much as we can. We shall be organized chaos at its best.”

The theater holds more than 700 people.

“General seating will be 20 bucks,” Sardelli said, “but if the heart dictates, put some money in the jug.”

Kaye, poet laureate emeritus of Nevada, is recovering from a stroke. He is in a rehab center but his medical benefits have run out, Sardelli said, and he is in danger of being evicted if he can’t pay the $128 per day. Money is needed to pay the daily rate until Medicaid or some other source of assistance can be enlisted.

Kaye’s wife, Barbara, says her husband had a stroke almost four years ago and recently began suffering from delayed effects.

“When he had the original stroke it affected his left side some, but didn’t seem to have many permanent side effects,” she said.

But he began to deteriorate earlier this year. He fell down the stairs at his home on Feb. 1 and had to be rushed to the Mountain View Hospital, where doctors discovered his kidneys were shutting down.

After everything could be done for him in the hospital he was placed in a rehabilitation center.

“Norman used to have lot of money and property in Vegas,” said Barbara, his wife of almost three years. “He has lost every dime and every piece of property.”

She says the couple has been living on Social Security.

“There have been small improvements, but I can’t say when he will get out,”she said.

However, she plans on taking him to the benefit.

Jerry Fink can be reached at 259-4058 or at [email protected]

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