|Liza & Sammy & KUP|
A recent post here dealt with my history, mainly in Los Angeles, of seeing big name superstars on the streets and elsewhere.
Let me relate one more...this in Las Vegas.
I headed to the famous Silver Slipper on the strip for my 98 cents all you can eat buffet. I learned quickly that THAT was the place to eat...and enjoy Sinatra’s buddy Hank Henry at the same time.
As I approached the entrance...I had to make way for a gentlemen with a very familiar face and an even more familiar voice...the one...the only...WALTER WINCHELL.
Most of you missed the Winchell era...when this man could and would make or break any individual he chose. He indeed was the “Drudge” long before Drudge.
If you watch that great movie “Sweet Smell of Success”...Burt Lancaster is Winchell.
Winchell did not get all his power from writing his column...but it was printed in most of the major newspapers. He got it because he was heard every week on one of the huge radio networks....and that gave him raw power.
Irv Kupcinet of the Chicago Sun Times was a kind and benevolent Walter Winchell. Kup and I were phone friends...and I was lucky when he made mention of me as he did on several occasions.
There was an interesting development involving that celebrated Chicago Sun-Times columnist.
I was a bit shocked...but pleasantly when Kup called me at the Rockford tv station one day to ask a favor.
There is a lot to this so forgive me if I try to be brief.
Kup lost his daughter...Karyn who was murdered(?) in 1963 in Los Angeles where she had been working in the movies and television.
Kup informed me that the next day he and a bus load of well known personalities would be going from Chicago over to Mt. Carroll in Western Illinois for the dedication of the Karyn Kupcinet Playhouse at Shimer College.
He asked if I could bring a tv crew and do some interviews and I agreed.
I interviewed several notables...the most well known being actor Hugh O’Brien.
Kup was grateful for that. He would give me a couple of plugs in the forthcoming congressional race...and Paul Harvey picked one up for his popular noon news.
As I’ve said of Drudge...he’s the only person in the media today who can weld the kind of power Winchell and Kup had.
Who will be the winner in the Obama-Drudge power battle?
Drudge, of course.