Greek nightclubs were popping up all over the country and experienced dancers were in demand. John Angelou told me they needed a dancer in Cleveland and they were paying $40 dollars a night. A lot of dancers from the Ave. started coming back and forth from other cities and I thought I’d give it a shot.
“The Forty Thieves” was the first club I worked. Funny, I was in Cleveland but the club was on Detroit Ave. Karma? Fate? Who was the star there? OZEL TURKBAS! The very first dancer I had ever seen and she was so nice and pleasant to work with and a true pro. They did not have a drummer and she loved solo’s so thanks to Sabah and my experience’s in New York I was able to play for her show and give her a half ass ed solo. I then moved to the “Grecian Gardens” where I found out that I had to be a member of AGVA, American Guild of Variety Artists or, I could not work there, I joined. From there I went to “The Athenian”. When that job finished I got another offer to work another supper club called “Mr. Grapevines” but they were not AGVA. I needed the work, AGVA came in and told me I would be black balled if I took one step on the stage, I was black balled. After that I worked a number of American clubs, “The Red Carpet Inn” “The Thunderbird Lounge” and a few other places. Ever hear the expression “Break A Leg?” That comes from AGVA, because it was the only thing they paid for. They still exist!
One morning I got a call from Eddy Kochak. He wanted to know if I was available to work in Puerto Rico, the pay was $50 a night, free room in the hotel and half off anything I ate or drank. I was packed and on the next plane. A year in Cleveland
was enough. In this article they spelled Ozel and Zeyna wrong but hey, it was the
first time I was “in the news”