Bill Fayne, Music Director, Clint Holmes, Harrah’s Las Vegas
In 1964, two aspiring performers met while studying to be opera singers at New York’s prestigious Fredonia State College. Fast-forward to the Las Vegas Strip over four decades later as these two multi-talented entertainers, after yeaars of performing together in the four corners of the world, currently are dazzling audiences six nights a week at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
Bill Fayne is the show’s music director — and Clint Holmes is the headliner. Together, the two make an incredible combination. Fayne has assembled one of the tightest bands in town, which offers an incredible show for all ages, from jazz to salsa, R&B, opera and everything in-between.
“When you hit the stage, the adrenaline kicks in,” beams Fayne. “The show is just great fun from beginning to end. The band, the singers, it’s one big happy family and we love it. The audience always finds something they can really identify with and enjoy.
“We’ve worked all over the world, on cruise ships, Atlantic City, Monte Carlo and of course, Las Vegas. Every year we change the show and take it to the next level. It has really allowed us to grow professionally and creatively.”
Fayne has covered his share of ground in the entertainment area. He’s been the musical director in more than 50 musical productions, operas and television shows, such as “The Tonight Show,” “Dick Clark Productions” and the “Bob Hope Specials.”
“In 1987, Prince Albert invited Clint to perform in Monte Carlo,” recalls Fayne. “Everybody was there, Sean Connery, Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren, Charlton Heston, and Sharon Stone. I did the arrangements and they loved it. Four months later, I got a call and they asked if I would be interested in doing the arrangements for the show next summer. I became their musical director and ended up doing their shows each summer from June through September, for 10 years.
“I truly loved living there. The restaurants, living in one of the most beautiful places in the world, like living the ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.’ That was really the greatest thing. I remember Clint and Prince Albert. Clint won the tennis tournament. We also played in a celebrity softball game and I got the winning hit. Neil Simon was there, Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, even Roger Moore, James Bond himself.”
Fayne also performs as one of the Three Tenors in Las Vegas at the Bootlegger and manages to squeeze in a few performances as well at the posh Stirling Club. “As an entertainer, I learned really early on, if someone says, can you do this? You say, yes. Then you figure out how to do it. You have to be prepared. Anyone coming to Las Vegas with a dream, I think, has a good chance to really make it.
“I believe there is a big need for everything here in town. Whether your dream is to be an architect, nurse, teacher, doctor, singer or entertainer. It’s all possible. There’s opportunity. People who are prepared and are willing to work have a good shot.”
What’s one of the best things he likes about Las Vegas? “For all our career, we have been on the road. Living in and out of a suitcase. Now, it is great. I’m less than 10 miles from the Strip. Driving to work is a breeze.”
From Monte Carlo to Vegas, Bill Fayne keeps the music rockin’ with entertainment in his blood. And yes, he’s most proud of his son, Jeremy, who attended UNLV as a voice major and is following in Dad’s footsteps, real close to home.
* reprinted with permission from Las Vegas Dreams and Jim Bickford