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GRECO TO PLAY FREE CONCERT IN PALMDALE.

Byline: Charles F. Bostwick Daily News Staff Writer

Buddy Greco played piano and sang with Benny Goodman's band, met Queen Elizabeth II at his command performance with the Beatles in 1964, earned gold records for songs such as ``The Lady Is a Tramp'' and ``Around the World.''

On Saturday, he'll come to the Palmdale Playhouse to videotape a live greatest-hits concert for Palmdale-based Reach Entertainment, which produces sports and entertainment programming for television and home video.

``It'll be a lot of good music, no jokes, no funny hats, just good music,'' said Greco, 69, who lives in Las Vegas and performs there and elsewhere. He did two world tours in 1994, performed recently at Tavern on the Green in New York City and just got back from a booking aboard a cruise ship.

The 8 p.m. concert is open to the public, and tickets are available free at the playhouse box office, 38334 10th St. E.

``It'll be a full concert, with a big band. Greco will sing all his hits,'' said Tom Ficara, Reach Entertainment's owner. ``They'll see a whole concert, just like they would if they paid $50 a ticket in Vegas.''

Greco's show is the first of four big-band concerts Reach plans to videotape at the Palmdale Playhouse this year. Former Tommy Dorsey vocalist and Hollywood Squares game show host Peter Marshall will perform June 15. Jerry Vale will appear Sept. 21 and Shirley Jones on Nov. 30. Each concert will be open to the public and start at 8 p.m.

Reach videotaped one earlier concert - featuring old-time rock 'n' roll stars like Frankie Ford (``Sea Cruise'') and Jean Knight (``Mr. Big Stuff''), recorded in Baton Rouge, La. - but then decided to shift to big band tapes.

The rock 'n' roll tape is being completed for release on home video and to public television stations, as Greco's tape will be, Ficara said.

``We found people like the rock 'n' roll, but we found there really is demand for big band music,'' Ficara said.

The company also found out it needed a smaller theater than the 1,500-seater it used in Baton Rouge, Ficara pronounced the 350-seat Palmdale Playhouse ``perfect for TV.''

``It's a perfect size, great camera angles, it's easy to wire it, computerized lighting,'' he explained.

Greco will perform Saturday backed by a 13-piece band for some pieces and by a rhythm section of drums, bass and guitars for others.

``It's going to be some of the big-room stuff we do, and some jazz club stuff,'' he said.

Although he studied classical music as a boy and made an album with the London Symphony Orchestra, Saturday's show will be mostly jazz and pop, Greco said.

`` `Slaughter on Tenth Avenue' and `MacArthur Park' - Jimmy Webb wrote that for me, and I've been playing it for 26 years - is about as classical as I get in this performance,'' Greco said.
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 24, 1996
Words:484
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