Marty Allen is one of the most versatile performers in show business. He has worked solo as a comedy headliner in nightclubs and as a dramatic actor in television roles. Marty's friendly Hello Dere greeting is known and imitated by fans throughout the world.
Born in Pittsburgh, Marty grew up in an atmosphere of love and serenity. Upon graduating from high school during World War II, he immediately joined the Air Force. He was stationed in Italy where he attained the rank of sergeant and earned Solder's Medal of Valor. Marty was on guard duty while a plane was being refueled. Suddenly sparks set off a fire in the plane. Marty saw the potential for disaster and jumped into the cab of the fuel truck and drove it away, preventing an explosion. He then raced back to the plane, crawled into the bomb bay and rolled on the flames to extinguish the fire. In addition to the medal, his heroism earned him a full-dress parade.
After the war, to sublimate his income, Marty hit on a novel idea. He became the first door-to-door dance salesman. For $10 a half-hour, Marty would arrive at women's door with a record player and records and they would dance. He finally gave it up because he was visiting 15 clients a day and it was costing him a fortune in new shoes and foot powder.
During the 1950s, Marty worked in many of the top nightclubs in the country as an opening act for such stars as Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gorme and Nat King Cole. It was during this time he became part of the great and legendary comedy team of Allen & Rossi
That association produced a string of hit comedy albums, dozens of television appearances, including 40 visits to the Ed Sullivan Show and the theatrical motion picture The Last of The Secret Agents.
Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Marty made hundreds of television appearances. He eventually became a regular on Hollywood Squares. He also made appearances on Passwordand many other game shows. They used to call him `the darling of daytime television.'
A Chicago show critic once wrote, "Marty Allen is mostly a clown, even though he tells a joke flawlessly. He's all Three Stooges rolled into one, or, as he describes himself, "the love child of Phyllis Diller and Buddy Hackett." "Kids don't see me that way, though," said Marty. "They think I am the original Troll Doll."
KARON KATE BLACKWELL
When Karon and Marty met in the mid 80s, the two began performing together, combining Karon's music and Marty's comedy.
Karon was born and raised near Ellisville, Mississippi. As a vocalist, she can glide effortlessly from country to rhythm and blues and gospel to a ballad by Irving Berlin or the Gershwins. As a musician, she can pound out a rock `n' roll song on the piano Jerry Lee Lewis-style or take an old-fashioned ragtime tune and really make it swing. Many of the songs she sings are her own compositions.
Karon's career began in nightclubs and showrooms throughout the country, opening for the likes of Wayne Newton in Las Vegas and Burl Ives in Reno. Karon's television credits include The Tonight Show, The Regis Phi/bin Show, and Hour Magazine.
When Karon is on stage, there is never a dull moment. If all the energy that Karon Kate pours into her performance would be harnessed, the lights of Las Vegas and Atlantic City could run on that energy for a million years.
Karon's boogie-woogie at the piano brings down the house very time. Karon sings a lot of old favorites, but she also includes a few of her own compositions such as Wedding Vows, a song she wrote for Marty on their wedding day. One of Karon's singles entitled, I Can't Laugh was a Cashbox "pick-of-the-week" selection in 1994.
Karon is presently in the studio recording a new version of Dusty Springfield's I Only Want To Be With You.
Proceeds from the sale of her tapes, CDs and sheet music are donated to Childhaven, a home for battered and unwanted children in Las Vegas.