Born in Buffalo, New York, Ricci has been singing since the age of five. By the time she was in her teens, her father was driving her to shows in nightclubs throughout the state. The talented songstress was on the road for several years working all the clubs from New York City to San Francisco to Reno.
Ricci's audition in Las Vegas led to an immediate booking at the Aladdin Hotel and it was only a matter of time before Sinatra recognized her talent and made her his opening act.
Marlene's years with the legendary crooner would allow her to perform with large orchestras in many of the great concert venues in America, including Sunrise Theatre in Florida; Garden States Arts Center in New Jersey; Pine Knob in Detroit; Circle Star Theatre in San Carlos; Chicago Stadium in Chicago and the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Ricci was exposed to well over a million people during her two and a half years on "The Frank Sinatra Show."
During Sinatra's "off time," Ricci opened shows in Las Vegas at the Riviera, the Sands and the Sahara with other big name stars: Don Rickles, Flip Wilson, Alan King, Paul Anka, Sammy Davis Jr., Red Skeleton, David Brenner, Bob Hope, Shecky Greene, Alabama and the Village People, among others.
Ricci accepted a long-term contract at the now defunct Top Of The Dunes that allowed her to keep her main room performances. Celebrities like Liberace, Glen Campbell, Gladys Knight and Wayne Newton would make frequent trips to visit her at the club, making special guest appearances in her shows.
While at the Dunes, Marlene appeared more than 20 time on "The Merv Griffin Show, as well as many appearances on "The Tonight Show," the "Dinah Shore Show" and the "Mike Douglas Show." During this time period, Ricci also appeared on the CBS Special "Cinderella At The Palace," which chronicled her own story of leaving a small town in upstate New York, coming to Las Vegas, being discovered by a big star and becoming his opening act. This special featured Sinatra, Tom Jones, Ann Margaret, Paul Anka, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Andy Williams. Besides airing in the United States, the show was seen worldwide and led to bookings in Prague Czechoslovakia, The Philippines, Chile, Canada and Finland.
Ricci's voice can also be heard on many movie soundtracks, including "Dr. Detroit," "Midnight" and featured in "Pippi Longstocking."
Most recently, Marlene headlined "The Great Radio City Spectacular" at the Flamingo Hilton. Of her performance, veteran Las Vegas Sun columnist Joe Delaney wrote, "Ms. Ricci has the voice, personality and good looks. Her song selection was right on the mark. The standing ovation included this critic."
The quote that Ricci is most proud of came from Sinatra, himself, "She knocks my socks off."
Ricci's repertoire includes a variety of music from current chart toppers back to the hits of the 70s, pop rock to Broadway and more. Ricci states, "My show is based on my own life experiences, from my wishes as a small child through the Sinatra years up to today."