Rita On The Road

Guests include:
Diana Eden, Costume Designer, Author of “Stars In Their Underwear”
Paris Red, Jazz Singer and Rod Henley, Grammy Award-Winning Producer/Arranger-New Album “Paris Red Hot”

Theme Music Composed by Ted Howe
Studio Engineer - Wesley Knight

What is Rita On The Road?

An audio magazine sharing compelling stories from the people who are the life-blood of Las Vegas.

Speaker 1 0:14
Broadcasting from the entertainment capital of the world. This is Rita on the road in Las Vegas. I'm your host Rita Pardew on 91.5. Can't you win V jazz and more? The mission of this show is to highlight the people who are the lifeblood of Las Vegas. On this episode, part one, we speak with Diana Eden. She's a costume designer, adventure travel writer, dancer, actress and author. We'll be talking about her new book stars in their underwear. Part two, we head over to World Stage records recording studio to chat with jazz singer Harris red and Grammy Award winning arranger producer rod Henley. And now part 190 1.5, jazz and more. This is Rita on the road. We're in the K you in the studios. And today our guest is Diana Eden. Welcome, Diana.

Unknown Speaker 1:17
Thank you so much happy to be here.

Speaker 1 1:19
Well, I'm going to brag about you a little bit because we have a bit of a history but Diana is not only a costume designer for stage TV and film, you were nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and to not just want to Daytime Emmy Awards. But we go way back I first met Diana 40 some odd years ago, oh my God is in Don Arden's Jubilee, and I was one of the original singers with that show. And you have a story about that you save the day, really, with, unfortunately with the big fire at the MGM Grand. So what was your role? And what had you been doing that helped really get that show back up and rolling?

Speaker 3 2:02
Well, I was assistant to Bob Mackie, who was responsible for the fabulous showgirl costumes, especially those in the final act, also assisted Pete Manaphy, who designed the other three acts. And I was kind of the record keeper. It was before computers, believe it or not men sounds very, very old. But I took copious notes. And I had notebooks full of information about every single costume and who were what and what their sizes were. And I probably still have your sizes, read somewhere in one of those books. And

Speaker 1 2:38
I you know, I felt so honored Bob nakki personally fit. Oh, gosh, I had several favorite costumes. But it was just what a thrill. I mean, name dropping of all the people that he's worked with, as well as who you have work, feel free to name drop who all have you done costuming for?

Speaker 3 2:57
Well, I worked with a very young and unknown George Clooney. Who knew at that time he was going to be such a big star. He was only 23 at the time and but gracious and kind with a twinkle in his eye and a naughty sense of humor. And then at the other end of the spectrum, I worked with Betty White

Speaker 1 3:20
ions I did. I met her and recorded her when I was working in Los Angeles at NPR. And she had turned 90 at that time. And I congratulated her wished her a happy birthday. And she asked my age and I think I had turned 60 at that time. And she said, Oh, you're just a baby.

Speaker 3 3:45
Yes, yes. It's you know, she was very, very witty, and I was lucky to work with her on both the theories, and on a movie for TV. So I really cherish my time with her.

Speaker 1 4:00
Oh, my goodness, you have dressed so many wonderful people and celebrities. And in fact, that's why I wanted you to come today because you have a book out. I do indeed and stars in their underwear. How did you come up with a title like that?

Speaker 3 4:19
Well, actually, I was talking to a potential publisher some years back. And they were sort of saying, Well, no one really is interested in how to design costumes. And I said, Well, that's not what the book is about. It's about how to deal with stars in their underwear. And the moment I said it, I knew that was my title. And of course it has more than one meaning Yes, I have seen most stars. Most actors come into my fitting room and the first thing they have to do is take off the clothes. But it also is about the book is about the actors, both famous and non famous and their vulnerability when they're not top performing his stars, you know, behind the scenes, what they're like when they come to fittings and when they're nervous about a new scene. And that's what I wanted to address as well as the kind of naughty. I've seen George and his tighty whities, you know.

Speaker 1 5:18
Well, how can our listeners get a copy of that book in their hands?

Speaker 3 5:21
Well, they can go directly to my website, which is Diana Eden, designs.com. all run together, you can go to Amazon. It's available there. It's available in Barnes and Noble, a number of different booksellers habit, and it just has to be ordered. And it'll be in your front door in a few days.

Speaker 1 5:42
Sounds great. Well, I'm sure as you were, considering what stories to include, did you have some favorites? Or wait a minute before you tell your favorites? What are the ones that didn't make it into the book? I bet that was hard criteria. Like, oh, this is so good. They're also good stories

Speaker 3 6:00
was one about Diana Ross, who performed on July 4 in 1982, at giant stadium. And it was the first time that there had been a pop concert in that venue, which holds 30,000 people. We were getting ready to start the show. And I was right next to her. And she was holding her mic and I was about to you know, make sure everything was zipped up and in the right place. And the lights in the arena would not go off. Oh, no. And they couldn't start the show with the big spotlight and all of that. And the audience was getting restless and starting to stamp and chant. And everyone was in a panic backstage and and she was, you know, on walkie talkies? What's wrong, what's going on? And the audience was getting more and more impatient. So finally, I whispered in your ear, and I said, make your mic live and talk to them. So she did. And all of a sudden, the moment they heard her voice, everybody went into applause. And they all. So I felt a little bit like, you know, the power behind the crown at that moment?

Speaker 1 7:08
Well, exactly. You know, because can you imagine going out on the stage that many people and then there's a Oh, yeah, something happening?

Speaker 3 7:18
Yeah. So but the moment they heard her voice, everything was fine. They knew she'd be out and they loved her.

Speaker 1 7:24
Well, you know, we touched on our I don't even know if I did, I mentioned that you're also an educator here at UNLV. And what is the course that you're that you're teaching,

Speaker 3 7:34
I teach costume for film at in the department of film, in the advanced directing workshop, and I love doing it because there are very few schools across the country that teach costume design, expressly for film. There's wonderful theater departments, including the one here at UNLV. But designing and working in film, it's entirely different. So I get to educate the young filmmakers of tomorrow in how to design costumes for both contemporary and period but quite a bit of for contemporary. And I love being part of the film community here in Las Vegas.

Speaker 1 8:14
Yes. And what kind of advice you know, the students come in, and they're probably starry eyed, and they have one idea what they want to do. But maybe that's not how it's gonna play out. So what kind of advice would you give?

Speaker 3 8:28
Well, network like crazy with your fellow students, because very often, as the students graduate and go on to make, you know, maybe small films, they use the people that they're familiar with and have worked with in school. So, you know, work as much as you can go out on the weekends and shoot scenes. Don't just say, Well, I'm only an editor, I can't hold a boom, of course, you can hold a boom. Or you can choose costume. You can do any of those things. Learn it all because you don't know where you're going to end up.

Speaker 1 9:04
Exactly. And sometimes, you have to kind of reinvent yourself. And that's what I feel like I have in common with you. My first career was that of professional singer touring across the country. When I landed here at in Don Arden's Jubilee, I started taking classes at UNLV and got connected with K, u and v. And now we've come full circle, back to K, u and v. But I, for years, lived in Los Angeles and had a very successful radio career. So I didn't even mention and I know we're gonna have to have you come back. Our time is getting away from us. But not only are you a wonderful educator and a costume designer, but you're an adventurer, you're a travel writer, a blogger as well. You have all these things you do. So you are such a fascinating person. So I'm gonna get it on on tape. Will you come back on another occasion that we can talk about? You know, we're promote Getting the book now. But come back and talk about your travel adventures. Absolutely. I would love to be wonderful. Once again, how can the listener get a hold of your book stars and their underwear?

Speaker 3 10:11
I would suggest start by going to my website, Diana Eden designs.com. There you can read all about my career and you can hit the little button that takes you to Amazon where you can buy the book.

Speaker 1 10:24
Fantastic. Thank you so much. That was Diana Eden, with her new book stars in their underwear. Thank you. Thank you. Part two. It's long overdue for jazz singer Paris read to record an album with a swing and big band and a full orchestra. Paris and Grammy Award winning arranger producer rod Hindley are proud to present her handpick favorites from the great American jazz songbook and more. Paris has performed with Michael Bolton Herbie Hancock Stevie Wonder Ronnie loves. And with Cirque du Soleil Zumanity. She was named Entertainer of the Year Best Female jazz vocalist with multiple Black Music Awards. Her hit European recordings for Sony and Epic Records featured her beautiful dynamic and sultry voice. And now a conversation with Paris red and Rod Hanley.

Speaker 1 11:35
91.5 Jazz and more, this is Rita on the road. And for this segment, I'm actually in a recording studio with none other than Paris, red Paris. I thank you for letting me come and kind of crash your recording session.

Unknown Speaker 11:53
No problem, no problem. How are you?

Speaker 1 11:56
I'm doing great. And also here, we have a dear friend of mine, Rod Henley, who's the producer and arranger rod. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, glad we're all together. Well, I'm so excited to share with everyone because this is a cool month of July the cause, even though it's really hot, and it's drill ditches. But it's cool from the jazz perspective, because you have a new album, and it's perfectly titled, Paris, red hot are triple digits. That is absolutely perfect. Well tell us about what you guys have been working on. And first of all, how people can get a hold of this wonderful hot album in hot July?

Speaker 2 12:43
Well, I guess I can tell you that. Every streamer that there is iTunes and Spotify, and who knows is just a million of them. You can get it there. Or you can get it on Rod henley.com. If you actually know what a CD is, you can hit a button there. And and we'll send you a physical CD. Available as of July the first.

Speaker 1 13:09
I'm glad that you phrased it like that, because with technology, everything has gone digital. But you know, I love vinyl. I love records. I love CDs, because I love reading about what the artist is is about what their background is. And that leads perfectly for Paris share with us, you know, your connection with the songs and a little bit of your background.

Unknown Speaker 13:38
Oh, in what order?

Speaker 1 13:42
What was the influence to get you to record the songs that you've put together for this album? Oh,

Unknown Speaker 13:50
well. Well, Rod and I decided on the songs together. And we just started playing the songs that both he and I could think of that we liked and you know that we kind of always thought about maybe in the past to do and things like that. And so it worked out really great. And both of us agreed on, you know the song fit well. Yeah. Oh, no. Okay, no.

Speaker 1 14:14
Well, let's mention some of the titles. And thank you. You sent some over to me. And Bernie's tune is fun. That is such a fun fun song. And I also listened to a house is not a home. And oh, that one or that one. Back in the day when when I used to sing that I could not get through that song. I'm not like a Bernadette Peters who can be imperfect voice and tears streaming down. Oh, that's such an emotional song. And you sing that so beautifully. Thank you. Wow. But the one that really is another standout is the one you wrote. So tell us about that. Tell us about simple pleasures, your original song.

Unknown Speaker 14:57
Oh yeah. Well, it's I just love the, the rhythm of it, you know, and everything. And I, when I wrote I wrote it back in, in the 80s in, I think it was 86 The band was just the band that I had in Los Angeles and we just played it, you know, and then I kind of forgot about it. Then I had, you know, it just resurfaced. And it I thought it would be perfect and rad thought it would be perfect for this album so it's really a joy to do it.

Speaker 1 15:27
Well this might be a perfect opportunity to share a sample of simple pleasures with our listeners

Unknown Speaker 15:45
you can't imagine what you mean to me. You can't imagine how you play me say you can't imagine all the joy you bring to my heart the simple pleasures of your You can't imagine how the summer fly you add an add in how the nights go by and when I'm with you there's enormous hiding your arms the simple pleasures of your

Unknown Speaker 16:30
help your cat imagine how your egg may feel. You can't imagine how I can't see anticipating cars with real trainers just the simple pledges of your love

Unknown Speaker 17:32
brace is my

Unknown Speaker 17:43

Unknown Speaker 17:50
must you can't imagine would I think you know how much I Wanna Be with You just so I can feel the simple pleasures of your love. You can't imagine

Unknown Speaker 18:33
you can't imagine a simple

Speaker 1 18:54
That was fantastic. I really enjoyed simple pleasures. And I know you're going to do well with that one. But you know, I think a lot of times, people like to know behind the scenes. You know where you've come from, and what your career's been like, because that that becomes an inspiration. Because there's good times, there's rough times, and sometimes we have to reinvent ourselves. So kind of share with us where you started, what were your beginnings and to where you are now?

Unknown Speaker 19:27
Well, I I mean, I started I started young, I just have always loved music and so and that is what drives me what motivates me. It's not I never wanted to be a star or be famous, or and probably that's why I'm not but

Unknown Speaker 19:46
we are here in Las Vegas. I've

Unknown Speaker 19:48
done a lot of things. I've done a lot of things, but it's all been the music driving me. So when I was young, I took music theory at five and play the piano When by nine, I told my mom, I didn't want to play piano anymore. I just wanted to sing. And she said, Well, you can do both. And I said, No, I can't. But you know, I understand there's that possibility. But it has been a blessing that I had. Because over the years, I've had to use that sometimes I've had to, just in communication with musicians, you know, I've had to actually write charts, myself chord charts, you know, chord charts here. But the fact that I could do it, you know, because it's like, when you get in those life situations where you got to pull something out of that, and it's,

Speaker 1 20:36
well, exactly. And sometimes singers get the reputation of oh, that lazy singer, they don't know how to count down that song, or what their keys are. And it was good that you had that training. Yeah. And that, then, in turn, people have a respect for yes. And that the next step from that is for you personally, having the confidence that you know, what you're talking about, you know, what you need from the other musicians and how you can clearly communicate. Yeah, so you are so modest. But I mean, I recognize it, because I've, I've had to go through that, too. You know, and, and it seems like the selection of songs on this album, this is a personal story. It's songs. So what are some of the other songs? Well, I already referenced about a house is not a home, because but does that have a personal message for you? Yeah, well, of course it does. A house is not a home is when you are all going to want to listen to because this really touched her heartstrings. I could tell that and I respect that. Yes, it did. Thank you very much. Well, the fun song on the album Bernie's. What can you share about Bernie's tune with us?

Unknown Speaker 21:56
That is quirky. And it's crazy. And it's fun. And yeah, and I think rod did a great job on the music. Really? Well, you know,

Speaker 2 22:05
nobody's ever heard the words to that because it was always an instrumental saxophone, jazz piano since the early 50s. And then the guys who wrote for Elvis Presley decided to write words for it, and we found it and Paris just killed it when she did it. So there's a video on YouTube of that one. Also house is not a home is a video and her original songs simple pleasures is also a video on YouTube.

Speaker 1 22:33
Fantastic. Well, again, for the benefit of our listeners, you're going to want to know how to get a hold of this music. So rod, where can the listeners find it?

Speaker 2 22:44
Rod henley.com Just hit on that on your browser. And it will take you everywhere that that is listed. For every streamer. Wherever you get your music from you. That's where it's going to be you're going to find and get the physical CD from Rod hanley.com. In case you still have a CD player.

Speaker 1 23:05
Some of us do like me. I still have a dat machine. Remember those? Yeah, I still have a reel to reel. I mean, I have been a gear nut for many, many years. Well, it has been a pleasure speaking with you Paris read the new album called hot and Rod Henley, producer, arranger and keyboard dropped what instrument you play every instrument rod. I'm not doing your justice, right.

Speaker 2 23:38
I try to but when it really comes down to it, we've got incredible players on this album. The orchestra is just absolutely gorgeous. The personnel on the album, we've got Nate Kimball, who was served to lay for years. He played on the same show with Kip with Paris. We've got Jay John Abraham, who played on who drums who played on the same show with Paris. Everybody wanted to be on this album for Paris. Because it's a legacy album for Paris. She had a big career in Europe, back in the dance days in the 90s. And that was great. But this time, she got to do exactly what she wanted to do. And we're proud of Ferris how you did such a great job when at all.

Speaker 1 24:20
Thank you. Yeah, well, thank you, Paris. Thank you, Ron. And we're going to close out this interview. What song should we choose? Bernie's to leave you with Bernie's?

Unknown Speaker 24:40
bumbling babble Bernie's?

Unknown Speaker 24:52
Give your head

Unknown Speaker 25:19
When I

Unknown Speaker 25:28
oh please be there

Unknown Speaker 25:52

Unknown Speaker 26:10

Speaker 1 26:31
thank you to our guests Diana Eden and good luck with her new book stars in their underwear and Paris read along with Rod Henley and the new album, Paris red hot. If you'd like to listen again to this episode of Rita on the road, it will be archived@kunv.org on the podcast page. Until next time, this is Rita Pardue on 91.5k you in V, jazz and more

Transcribed by https://otter.ai