CID Talent Show

Wooster Lake, IL


In August 1990, our Motorola CID Cellular Infrastructure Division (Later CIG = Cellular Infrastructure Group) had a talent show at our Wooster Lake, Illinois Picnic. The event was recorded on VHS video tape, and then I translated it to DVD, and then later some of it to MP4 Video here. There were perhaps 30 or 40 acts. I no longer remember. Some of them are below for download if you wish.

The 1990 Motorola Cellular CID Talent Show
Our Manufacturing Group wanted a talent show and my boss Rick Chandler wanted to please, but seemed concerned that music was not his thing. So I volunteered. It was easy since perhaps 12 people immediately volunteered to run parts of it. Myself and Eudell Sullivan mostly became the people to acquire needed things. When I found we had great singers, but not many could afford musical instruments in the inner city, I found 4 other volunteers and we put together a backup band for whomever wanted it. I cannot say enough good things about the volunteers or the band. Roosevelt Martin was a great singer and also joined the band as keyboard along with me. Not sure if he had any keyboard schooling, but yet did well. Great. Leroy Beltz the Lead Guitar player on his Gibson Les Paul was not only really good at guitar, but great at helping lead the band. I did keyboard and also rhythm guitar, Fender Stratocaster (if you keep track, lol), backing up Leroy at times. And Bass player Matt Sipek and drummer Walter Cannon, while Larry Augsberger did the mixing. We had at the final show had 3 stages, a rental piano, rental drums, a sound system borrowed from a Church and perhaps 30? 40? acts? Not sure anymore. My boss Rick Chandler saw this huge thing and said, "How did you do this?" I did not. WE ... did it. Many volunteers. Many weeks of work. 


MP4 Videos for Play or Download if you Wish.

Left Click to Play, Right Click to download. MP4 Format

* Band Opening Song (Ron Plachno, Leroy Beltz, Roosevelt Martin, Walter Cannon, Matt Sipek)
This song was the opening number from the band, since we were the noisiest to begin things. You will immediately (not likely) recall it as a modified version of 1959 Happy Organ, by Dave Baby Cortez. Silvio Scatchell (Scatch) was the MC, who came on right after our noisy start.

* "Oh Marie", Silvio Scatchell (Scatch)
After the band did its opening number to start our 1990 CID Talent Show, then our M.C. Master of Ceremonies Silvio Scatchell (Scatch) did his opening number of "Oh Marie". Great voice, I thought. And he was a super MC. I only wished he had practiced with the band before the event, since I do not think he was used to singing with a band and all keeping at the same speed. Well, we rushed to keep up with him, and it seemed to go well. Nice of him to do all of this. Yes, a lot of things go on "on stage" as the band or singers try to cover for each other as real life sets in. lol :) But I feel certain that it is the same for live actors who need to cover if someone does something not in the script, like go through a stage wall for example. lol

* "My Girl", Roosevelt Martin, Tim Viviens, Rod Thomas, Mike Moses
What is not to like about the song My Girl? The last band I was in that no one ever heard of, played perhaps 5 nights a week late at night in a lounge. Our big song was "My Girl," I was happy that some in the group wished to do the song and asked the band to help. In their group of four, two, Roosevelt Martin and Tim Viviens were among the best singers. But I was also impressed that standing next to Roosevelt Martin lead singer was one of our Manufacturing Managers, Rod Thomas, a nice person who I also thought was quiet. I was surprised to see him volunteer for this. Good for him.

* "Respect", Vicky Williams
Rodney Dangerfield says "He don't get no respect". Well, fine singer Vicky Williams was looking for some with her two backup singers. As for the band, well, I found it a fun guitar song, and I just did rhythm guitar while capable lead guitar player Leroy Beltz took the lead even adding some real "Respect" note fingering. Good for both of them. The biggest issue was when the band tried to put an extra chorus in where the bridge (middle sort of) part of the song would go. But we all corrected I think in 4 measures. lol. Looking at the video, I did see a worried look on the some of the backup singers after 2 measures. Ah yes, the fun of live performances. Keep your cool. lol

* Philippine Folk Dance, Joy Torres and dance ensemble
Was very nice of some of our Motorola Workers from the Philippines to entertain us with what they called a Philippine folk dance. Hopefully someone with Philippine heritage might be able to tell us something about this. But it appears to take some skill to save your feet. I would believe that the person who put this team together would be Joy Torres, the lady near the front. She was also our Nighttime Plant Manager. And yes, she did call me once or twice at 3 am or so. lol. But a good person. And great of the whole team for doing this.

* "Promise Me" (Luther Van Dross) - Roosevelt Martin
Roosevelt asked me to accompany him on this song. He just wanted the drum sounds also from my keyboard. Not sure why. I was glad to see that Lead Guitar player Leroy did help. It was appreciated company. I did tell Roosevelt of a problem using the keyboard drum unit. The keyboard drum part was 4 beats a measure. But the last measure before repeating only had 2 beats, which would put everything after that out of sync. I told him, "No problem. I would just shut off the keyboard after the first verse and then turn it back on." It did work. But I do recall Roosevelt saying, "I really wish you had not told me that." Ah the fun of live stage performances. :)

* "We are the World" - Many singers, led by Roosevelt Martin
Yes, I can see some who might say that we tried to do too much. Perhaps 20 singers, and a band, and then it went on perhaps twice its rational length. But sometimes trying for the difficult is fun. And it was a fine song for a finale. For the good stuff that was done, I give credit to Roosevelt Martin, a very serious singer himself in his church, he says, who worked a good number of hours with each of the singers and the group. Was nice of him. I would recall hearing them practice late at night as one walked the hallways of Motorola. But some high points. Of course, Roosevelt is a great singer. But I recall also being impressed by a Secretary, Gale... and I forget her last name. She surprised me with a great voice. But then I should not have been surprised. She and her husband also played in a band somewhere north of Chicago. She was the one in the black top and I think white print shorts. But I commend all of them for trying something that difficult to try and orchestrate. As for the band, which I was one of. I recall trying to listen to hear where the singers were going... another verse? the chorus? The bridge? lol. The fun of stage life. :)

CID Talent Show


My Comments on the Above

I have noticed an oddity being in the back up band here, and in my previous unknown bands that had played for dances, and later booked into a lounge for many months. One might think a person would get nervous on stage - particularly in this talent show case where over 1000 people and perhaps much more could hear it. But oddly, I have found that in bands, I for one do not get nervous. And I think that is because that there is just too much to do instead of worrying about the audience. In the case of my keyboard playing, I had of course to watch what notes I was playing. But also the volume, and the type of sound selected - from about 100. Also I sometimes modified the key of the keyboard to more easily coincide with the rest of the band - and yes on some keyboards you can do that. You can play in the key of C and have it play in the key of E or A that guitar people like. So there was that also. And also, everyone in the band and singers had to watch and listen intently to everyone else. It is like a choreography. If someone gets confused, or does an unexpected solo, the rest must act as a team to cover for it such that it all looks planned. And then since we did not get a lot of practice in, we and the singers watched each other till someone gave the sign that we were about to finish. But then again, that is sort of common in a band. And if you are in the band, it is like you are in a bubble that just has the band and the audience instead is somewhere else. If someone in the band or a singer motions to you, it has your immediate attention. What audience? lol

As for the band itself, I would give the highest praise. We just put this band together quickly and there were no tryouts, and little or no sheet music. But as good bands do, each member took responsibility for their own learning and playing. And then all tried to work as a team and stay together. It seemed the whole band did this well. I suspect for most of us, "It was not our first rodeo." Clearly Leroy Beltz the lead guitar player had been in a number of bands since he was not only good at guitar, but he also had an expensive Gibson Les Paul, plus he was perhaps the most visible leader for the group, taking that role on himself. Thank you Leroy. But the others also seem to have been in bands before, including bass player Matt Sipek, and drummer Walter Cannon who got in a few drum solos that we had not necessarily planned. While Roosevelt Martin might be new on keyboard, being an accomplished singer and almost always being exactly on pitch likely allowed him another path to musical instruments that indeed worked for him. One could question the part he invented. But I do not recall him ever, ever, being out of key. Great pitch.