Marlene Ricci

Marlene Ricci

BMHOF Class of 2004

Marlene was born in Buffalo, New York, and began her career singing at the Moose Lodge at age six.

By the time Marlene was sixteen, she was being driven to engagements up to 100 miles from home by her father, and has been performing and earning her own way ever since. After several years on the road, having played every Marriott, Ramada Inn, and Hilton Hotel between New York City and San Francisco, Marlene worked her way to Reno.

An audition at Harrah's awarded Marlene her first lounge job in Nevada.

After Reno, Marlene came to Las Vegas and began to audition once more, this time at the Aladdin Hotel. During the audition the room began to fill up. The entertainment director was so impressed that he moved acts around and hired Marlene on the spot.

Marlene accepted a long term contract at the top of the Dunes that allowed her to keep her main room performances. The room was completely remodeled and was a great showcase for Marlene. Many celebrities, such as Liberace, Glen Campbell, Gladys Knight, and Wayne Newton made frequent appearances during Marlene's shows.

Marlene's years with Frank Sinatra would further her education and allow her to perform with a large orchestra in many of the great concert venues in America: Sunrise Theater in Florida, Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey, Pine Knob in Detroit, Circle Star Theatre in San Carlos, Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, to mention only a few. At two shows a day to sold out houses, Marlene was exposed to well over a million people during her two and a half years on the Frank Sinatra show.

During Sinatra's off time, Marlene also opened shows at The Riviera, The Sands, and The Sahara, with headliners Flip Wilson, Don Rickles, Alan King, The Village People, and others.

Marlene recorded an album for RCA in Hollywood that, with an award winning video, found its way to the top 40 charts twice in Europe. This allowed her to appear on every major television show in Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany.

Marlene's voice can also be heard on many movie sound tracks, including "Dr. Detroit," "Midnight," and is featured in "Pippi Longstocking."

While at the Dunes, Marlene appeared on "The Tonight Show," "The Mike Douglas Show," "The Dinah Shore Show," and "The Merv Griffin Show" more then twenty times. Marlene also appears on the CBS special "Cinderella At The Palace." This show chronicled Marlene's own story of leaving a small town in upstate New York, coming to Las Vegas, being discovered by a big star and becoming his opening act. Stars in this special included Frank Sinatra; Tom Jones; Ann Margaret; Paul Anka; Andy Williams; and Sammy Davis, Jr. The show was aired twice within two years in the U.S. and many times in other parts of the world.

​​Back - 2004