From Los Angeles to New York City to Las Vegas I moved around as I continued to pursue whatever was awaiting. I did not study any books and there were no websites in those days.
In L.A. I did not find fame overnight. I started working in a warehouse and became very stable and self supporting. I knew I had to have an address and food if I intended to survive and maybe make it someday. I also had no talent. That was no big deal. I did do one show at KABC TV in 1956 on a program called "Make Believe Ballroom." Al Jarvis was the host. It was basically an amateur show. I did a comedy routine. I was adequate. I also began to tinker with pianos at the furniture warehouse where I worked. Here is a basic intro to Piano Chords. I always sang while I worked with or without a piano. I loved the 50s music. I also liked the older songs. I eventually taught myself some chords and I could function as a singer/pianist. I did not know what chords were but I played them. I even got a business license and started Freeway Records in the late 1950s. I didn't release any records until 1962. I joined the Army in 1958 and moved to New York in 1960.
I did not do any shows in New York but I still practiced piano without ever taking a lesson. I still sang out loud while I worked. I was not bashful about singing. In 1961 I moved to Las Vegas. I got a job at a warehouse and one day something happened which led to my show business career. If I had not been in the office area one morning things might have been different.
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There are people who have had great success by being phony. I believe you should just be who you are and maybe with a little luck...
I was in the office one day checking some paperwork when Bill Hess came in. Bill worked in the paper stock section of the warehouse. He told the secretary in the office he wanted to be in the "check pool." There was a weekly pooling of money which would be paid to the person whose check number was the best poker hand. There were about 50 people who entered the pool each week. They each put in a dollar hoping to win about $50. The secretary told Bill Hess to give her a dollar. Bill Hess did not have a dollar. It was payday. Bill said he would cash his check then pay the dollar. The secretary said, "no." Bill was about to leave the office without entering the check pool.
It was at that moment my show business career began. (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)