Greg Zack with Roy and Loretta Radin
Roy Radin was an amazing guy. He started out at the age of 15, running away from home and becoming a barker in the circus. He came back and started the Roy Radin Vaudeville Revue with George Jessel, an old friend of Roy's father, J Fred Muggs the chimp and Kenny Sherburne , the juggler. When we first started touring with Roy's show, he was a great guy to work for and we had a ball every night. He loved life and loved entertainers. It was all one big party. The vaudeville show was a way Roy could put some of the great entertainers, of years gone by, to work and many of them owed him their livelihood and some, even their lives. He hired some of the greatest headliners and brought them "Live" to "Small Town, USA". He was a bundle of energy and had a zest for life seemed unstoppable.
After his split from Loretta, he seemed to go off the deep end and became very difficult to deal with, due to his new found use of drugs and the people he began surrounding himself with. The last few tours, Roy began to believe his own publicity and his personality changed so dramatically that the show was only fun when he wasn't there. He was eventually murdered in Los Angeles. The victim in the famous "Cotton Club Murder" case. This was not the way for Roy Radin to come to an end. He was destined to have his name in the history books of entertainment, but not this way.
The last few tours, Roy became so overbearing that Jackie Vernon called Roy "The most hated man in show business" and once said "Roy Radin's funeral will be the most attended funeral in the world, because when you give an audience what they want, they will show up". Little did we know how soon that funeral would be. George Gobel dubbed him "Super Prick" and George loved everybody. After one tour, Gobel did the "Tonight Show" and Johnnie Carson asked him about the tour he had just completed. George said "Roy Radin knows as much about show business, as a pig knows about church on Sunday". The tonight show attorney's told George he would get sued and Roy Gerber, George's manager echoed their sentiments. The next morning, George's phone rang and it was Roy. He called and thanked George for the mention on the Tonight Show, the night before. I guess he felt any publicity was good publicity. Georgie Jessel used to say "Before he died, Adolf Hitler set up this tour", but we all came back for another tour. There was something special about the bus and the audiences that made Roy's tour an experience that no one wanted to pass up. Roy's creation had a life of it's own.
Roy moved from Hampton Bays to this mansion in South Hampton. It was the farthest house out on the beach and was a Rum Runner's house during prohibition. It was quite a place and many great parties happened there. Many of them covered by the press for one reason or another.
Roy's wife, Loretta, was one of the sweetest, most kind hearted people I ever met and would go to bat for us, when Roy would be unreasonable. She loved the guys in the band. She kind of adopted us and we all loved her for it and wish her all the best. She and Roy split up before all the craziness started. He was never the same after that.
Roy's sister, Kate Radin, reminded me that Roy was a generous and loving father, brother and son. We all knew that he was a great son, as he never went a day without calling his mother. That is the way we all new something terrible had happened to him. He stopped calling his mother.
He had a profound affect on all that came in contact with him and we are all learned a lot about life out there. I could call all the old guys in the band today... and they would all go for "One More Tour".
Front door of Ocean Castle
Door to the offices at Ocean Castle
One of the 3 wings of Ocean Castle
Robyn Whatley with Roy's Bentley
Peggy Gohl on Roy's private beach
Some of the cast of the show on Roy's beach
THANKSGIVING ON THE ROAD
Roy had us on the road over Thanksgiving every year and would throw a very nice dinner party for us in the afternoon, before having to go do the show that night. This year was in the Hampton's on Long Island. During the tours, Roy never let a holiday go by without throwing a party for the show. He had a big heart toward the entertainers and never forgot a birthday either. Just don't ask for a raise!
Peggy Gohl and Billy Barty mugging at Thanksgiving dinner
Some of the cast still eating, before going to do the show that night.
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