Thursday, August 13, 2009

Las Vegas' Cannery Casino Entertainment Director Discusses Popular 60s Music Acts at her Venue

Aug. 13, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal (full story found at link below)

Old Time Rock 'N Roll

Cannery carves out a niche by booking acts baby boomers love


Kathie Spehar, director of entertainment for Cannery Casino Resorts, sometimes finds herself dealing with an unusual, and decidedly generational, workplace issue.

Spehar books musical acts for the Cannery, the Eastside Cannery and the Rampart. And, sometimes, her younger staff doesn't quite get it when she books an act from the '50s or '60s.

"The younger generation that works here with me is always yelling at me because I don't book the hard rock they like," Spehar explains with a laugh.

But, laugh-worthy or not, booking oldies acts -- along with classic rock and tribute acts -- has allowed Cannery venues to carve out a boomer-friendly niche in a competitive Las Vegas entertainment landscape.

There's Jerry Presley, Elvis' second cousin, who plays Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Eastside Cannery. Edgar Winter and April Wine, scheduled for Aug. 22 at the Cannery. The 1910 Fruitgum Company, which will play the Eastside Cannery on Aug. 21 and 22. Felix Cavaliere's Rascals and Tommy James and the Shondells, at the Cannery on Aug. 29. And Petula Clark on Aug. 30 at Rampart.

Not to mention Chad & Jeremy, Bobby Vinton, the Spinners and Jay and the Americans, who are among the growing number of '60s and '70s chart-toppers who have made Cannery properties their Las Vegas home.

None of this is coincidental. Rather, Spehar says, it's a booking strategy that stems from the fact that the Cannery's customer base skews heavily toward the boomer demographic.

"So, I thought, 'Well, let me try some baby boomer acts,' and, guess what? They all worked," says Spehar. "From the Buckinghams to the Association to Freddy Cannon and the Vogues, they all worked."

Full story at