PERFORMERS 80+ YEARS YOUNG
Frankie "DEE" DeMatto
True Las Vegas Legend
A man who loves the
world of showbiz! Frankie 'Dee' DeMatto, was the host of KUNV 91.5's
Celebrity Show since 1981. He had the opportunity to interview
everyone from Bob Anderson to Louis Prima and the Witnesses to B. B. King,
and many other great performers of our city. He captured the
attention of his radio audience with the warmth and energy he put
into his shows! Today, he is eighty-eight years young, yet as
vibrant as a man thirty. Frankie is retired from doing his celebrity
show, but those in the showbiz world all know Frankie and his love of the
business.. He continues to help and inspire young and old, give his time
and talents to charities and organizations and isn't slowing down a bit.
He has a warm smile and
greeting for everyone. People just love him from the moment they
meet him. He enjoys giving
back to the business that was so good to him (because he was good for it).
He is, what is called "a class act." Starting at age 13, as a tap dancer,
Frankie enjoyed life and entertaining people. Later at age 17, he
was the youngest known emcee for Big Band Ballroom Dance, also he was a
sports announcer for the Jersey City Giants pro football team, with Dennis
James. Frankie's dream came true later in life as a Famous Radio
Personality. Like we said before, he hosted an hour long radio show
on KUNV-91.5FM, for more than fourteen years. His guests included
some of the biggest names in show business. He is a radio
interviewer and media personality who loves the world of show business.
Recently, at The CAST
Inc. January 20th, 2003 Luncheon at Nick's on the strip, Frankie "Dee" and
Charo reminisced on their meeting at Tony Sacca's Annual Christmas Charity
Party December the 17th, 2002.
Bennet, started his musical career in the Boy Scouts
Marching Band when he was 8 years old. In High School he played
Trumpet and Drums with the Orchestra, then played with many famous jazz
artists such as Coleman Hawkins, Miles Davis, Dizzey Gillespie,
Charley Charistian, Elmo Snowden, Billy Taylor and Machito's Latin Band.
After 4 years in the United States Air Force, he obtained a BA Degree from
the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris, France on the G.I. Bill.
During his stay in Europe, he recorded with Don Byas, Roy Eldrige, James
Moody and Clifford Brown.
After forming his own
orchestra, he traveled throughout Europe, Africa and the middle east, then
was engaged as Conductor of the orchestra at the Moulin Rouge in Paris,
France for 3 years. At the same time he signed his first contract
with Vogue Records in Paris and recorded over a dozen albums. While
in Israel in 1957, he was awarded a solid silver Bible encrusted with
precious stones and dedicated by Moshe Walling for outstanding
performance in morale building of the Israelian youth and received the
Honorary Membership Card from the Zionist Organization of America House of
Benny owned and operated his
Nightclub in one of France's most famous Ski resorts in Cour-Chevel-1850
"Le Tremplin" in 1962 and 1963. He then returned to the United
States in 1967 and worked in the Waldorf Astoria in New York as a waiter,
Captain, Assistant Maitre'd, then in the Empire Room as percussionist in
the Show Room Orchestra. After playing the Broadway rock show "The
Me Nobody Knows", he did various engagements in the New York Mountain
Resorts, then joined Barry White Love Unlimited Orchestra, traveling
throughout the United States and Canada. Since his arrival in 1975
to Las Vegas, he has played the "Lido of Paris Show" in the Stardust
Casino and various Lounges and Nightclubs. In 1977 he formed his
Latin Jazz Orchestra which comprise the finest talent's of Vegas and
performed in the Jazz Room, El Jardin, Sundancer, El Bocasio, Bandido's,
Las Margaritas, Latin Quarter and various for the Las Vegas Jazz Society.
Benny Bennet, performs
every Sunday at 3 to 6pm with his 19 piece "Salsation Jazz Orchestra" and
every Monday night from 9pm on with his 10 piece "Latin Salsa Band"
at: Steven David's Club, 545 E. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada
Born September 20th, 1922
in New York.
USAF 1946 - 2 Bronze Service Stars - EAMET Ribbon - Good Conduct
Medal - Victory Medal - Meritorious Service Unit Plaque
Institute of Technology, Diploma - BA degree Consevatoire Nationale
de Music Paris -
Percussionist - Arranger - Conductor
Language: Fluent in
English, French, Spanish and is knowledgeable in German and Italian.
Sisters -- Peggy and Cherie -- call themselves the "Cuban bombshells," and
are still living up to that name on the stage.
The DeCastro Sisters were originally a trio with Babette, their
youngest sister, who passed away in 1993. Olgita DeCastro Marino, a
cousin, filled the onstage gap left by Babette, but she died in 2000.
The DeCastros' mother was a former "Ziegfeld Follies" dancer in New
York City, and their father owned a sugar cane plantation in the Dominican
Their mother took up opera singing as a hobby and pretty soon her
daughters were singing too. They were imitating the Andrews Sisters and
hitting Cuban stages before any had turned 14.
They moved to America, where they played such places as New York's
Copacabana, appeared in a movie with Carmen Miranda and made it big in
1955 with their one and only hit, "Teach Me Tonight." The song remains
Jeffries' platinum record "Flamingo" sold
over 14 million copies... He is the only surviving member of the original
Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Background Music: Artie Schroeck