Some things About me

About Vicki Spencer

 

   
 

WhatsNew

My Downloads!

My songs are now available on my downloads page. Please check out my talented Daughter at www.jamieperlow.com And listen to her great music, and a new mix of “Woodstock”

   

 

   
 

CurrentNews

Yo!

My Dear friend Dion just released a new CD called  “ Tank Full Of Blues”, and a new book called  “Dion The Wanderer Talks Truth”. Both are great and you can find them at www.diondimucci.com

   

 

   
 

RecentNews

Suzi Quatro!

I just reconnected with a great gal from my band days. Suzi Quatro. She has a new CD called "In The Spotlight" and a book called "Unzipped". She is a fantastic talent. Check here for all things "Suzi" at  www.suziquatro.com

   

 

   
 

About me

Vicki Spencer

I was born into a "Show-Biz" family. My first appearance was at 2 months old with Danny Kaye. My Father was Lou Spencer, the founding member of "The Dunhill Trio" ( a famous Tap dancing trio ) and he was at the RKO theater in N. Y. opening for Danny Kaye. When I was born, Danny took me on the stage with him, and I guess that is when I had my first taste of the spotlight! I grew up in two places. My Dad and Mom (when he wasn't on the road) lived in New York, and My Maternal Grandparents lived in Kentucky, right across the Ohio river next to Cincinnati. When I was about 12, my Dad came off the road to be home with us, and had to change his career. He started writing acts for all of the most famous acts of the late 50’s, early 60’s. He worked with everyone. Frankie Avalon, Tony Bennet, The Everly Brothers, Jerry Lewis, Jackie Wilson, Dion, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, and so many more that this would be all about him if I were to continue. You would think that that is how my career got started. Wrong! He was a strange man and didn't encourage me at all. It was by being in the right place at the right time, just like you read about or see in the movies. While I was in Kentucky with my Family, I looked up record companies in the phonebook, and I Found only one. Fraternity Records. I called Mr. Carlson and made an appointment to present my songs to him. Remember, I was about 14 years old. I played my stuff, and he smiled and said he really liked me, but wanted to send me to The Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati to take some vocal lessons from a friend of his, at Fraternity Record’s expense. Now this is where things start to get interesting. I went to New York over the Christmas holidays, and my Dad was interviewing with a producer for United Artist to do the musical numbers for a new movie. I went with him, and while we were there, the producer looked at me and asked, “What do you do?” My Dad answered "Nothing!, I was just along for the ride". I was ready to strangle him! I jumped up and said "I Sing". The Producer asked if I had any demo’s and of course I learned early on to be prepared, so I took out my demo’s and handed them to him. He listened, then looked at my Dad and offered to put me in the movie as a favor to my Dad. To my dismay, my Dad said "No!, if you want her in the movie, then you put her in and not because of me. I must have looked very disappointed, because he put me in the movie anyway. And now for the fun part. I got in, but my Dad didn't! The movie was "Teenage Millionaire" with Jimmy Clanton, Dion, Chubby Checker, and Rocky Grazziano (the fighter) and many others. I called Mr. Carlson and told him what had happened, and that I need a record in TWO weeks! He said I had better get back there and get busy. He used one of my original songs called “ I Wait “ and brought in Bobby Bare ( who was a staff writer at the time) and he wrote "Hello Mr. Dream". We flew to Nashville to record. I had studio musicians, Floyd Crammer, The Anita Kerr singers, and Chet Atkins on guitar. Back then they were studio musicians. What a surprise to me later in life. After the movie, I went back to school in Kentucky, and about six months later I got a call from my Agent, Betty Sperber, from Action Talent. I was home sick with the Flu and a bad cold, but she said the magic words, "if you can get here tonight, and record tomorrow, then I have another movie for you". It seems that Sam Katzman of Columbia Pictures had seen me in Millionaire and wanted me for a new movie he was doing called "Twist Around The Clock" with Clay Cole, Dion, Chubby Checker, and The Marsels. I got better real quick, and oh yes, I had to have another original song for the movie. I didn’t have one, so I asked Betty to suggest a title, and that’s how I wrote "Too Many Boyfriends". The one big problem was that I had to leave Fraternity Records for Brunswick Records. Mr. Carlson was so generous, and he let me out of my contract. I recorded into the early hours, sick and all, then flew to L.A. with Clay, and Dion, and my Mom, Jewel. Lots of other opportunities followed, but none to further my movie career. I did have the pleasure of doing many shows with Clay Cole and the rest of the Twist related shows especially the big Premier at The Brooklyn Paramount Theater in New York. I must give a big thanks to Clay, he gave me a format to present my talent on his TV show, and we are forever friends. What a great man he was and he has helped so many people. It is too bad there is no Clay Cole show for the talent of today. I did many shows at Palisades Park with Clay as well. After the Movies I auditioned for many TV shows, but my age (too young) and distance were against me. I had to change my career. I did some modeling and a few commercials, entered and won a beauty contest, and was a semifinalist in "The Miss Teenage America contest". Eventually, I started singing with bands. My Brothers, Danny and Billy, were forming a band of their own as they were just in their early teens. and we decided to form a group together. Danny plays drums, Bill played guitar and had an amazing voice. He was a fabulous front man. Our first name was "The Rottin’ Kids" and we were on the Johnny Carson show the first time under that name. Then we were "The Bubble Gum Machine" and we had an album on Senate Records with the same title. We toured for over six years as “Horatio". We had about 30 singles, and one made it to the top ten on the East Coast. It was called "I Gotta Have You". We did many live radio shows and interviews while we were working and promoting the records. Then followed a sponsorship from Hazel Bishop and we were called "The Fabulous Fakes" (after fake nails they were promoting). We played many Army and Navy bases. We were in Las Vegas for a month at Cesar’s Palace with Milton Berle, and Frank Sinatra was in the big room the last two weeks we were there. During the band years we were on the Mike Douglas show and The Merv Griffin show too. We also did the Carson show again, This time as Horatio, and we were performing at "The Westbury Music Fair" with Buddy Hacket and Anthony Newley. We also made a trip to Argentina. During that time working in the band, I met my Husband Harry, and we are still together after 40 years. We have two very talented children, and My Daughter Jamie is a performer as well. My Son David got a real job ( LOL ) after some years of struggling in the business, but Jamie is like me, it’s in her blood. Shortly after the group broke up and we went our separate ways, Billy formed a group with Danny called "Spencer" and unfortunately before the release of that great country album, Billy had a freak accident and died. We were devastated. The music is still great today, and my Daughter is going to rerecord some of his legacy.
I am currently researching publishing issues and plan to have his unreleased CD “ Spencer-The Legacy” available for download soon. He was way ahead of his time and I know you will enjoy his Legacy. I guess after that I took some time off to raise the kids, and thought I was done. NOT! Both kids grew up and wanted to perform. After dealing with some very unprofessional people that called me and my two friends, Alice Houk and Jean Assalti, ( who also had very talented children)  "Stage Moms",(we latter added Kathy Taylor and her talented daughter) we decided that we needed to help the kids in a friendly environment, so we became "Stage Moms' Productions" and performed all over Florida with our theater troupe. I am happy to say that they have gone on their way and most are still performing today. Again, I thought I was done, then along comes Dion, who led me back to Clay who led me to Denise, and Bernadette, and Ronnie Allen (www.Jerseygirlssing.com ) and now I don’t know what is next for me, but I guess I am not done yet! Thanks to all of my friends and Fans, I will keep on "Twistin’".

Much love and affection to all of you ,
Peace, Vicki

 

 

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My thanks again to Denise and Bernadette for introducing me to Ronnie Allen. Ronnie is a wonderful interviewer please listen to my first interview in many years all thanks to Ronnie Allen.

 Ronnie Allen Radio Show Interview with Vicki Spencer

 

 

 


 
   
 
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