Stay TunedBy Elaine G. Flores Posted: Sep 29, 2006
"My partner [John Pratt] is a very talented producer and that's why I did it," praises Douglas, who adds, "He made it sound like it's a $200,000-produced CD because it's just musically so tight."Douglas's first showbiz experience was as a singer. He recounts, "I was in Boston University law school after I graduated Brandeis. I was gonna be a big-time criminal lawyer. After about a year, I realized, 'I don't really want to do this.' The instinct always was there to be a performer. When I told my dad I was going to [become an entertainer], he said, 'Are you out of your mind?' "
Despite his father's skepticism, Douglas remained determined. "I took singing lessons for about six months. Then I said, 'How am I going to get in this business?' I met Norm Crosby, the comic. I asked, 'Is there an agent you get started with in this business?' He said, 'Yeah, there's a guy named John Sullivan; he's booked me a lot of clubs.' "And so Douglas called Sullivan. "I told him a b.s. story," he chuckles. "I said that I was working in New York for the last couple of years. He asked what kind of places I worked and I said clubs with the exotic dancers and that I emceed. I'd learned all this from Norm Crosby, who said, 'You know you're going to have to tell a few jokes and emcee. They won't just let you sing because the stars are the exotic dancers.' I then proceeded to tell Sullivan that my mother was very, very sick, which was a total lie and that I had no father and had to come back to Boston and take care of her, and he got me some jobs."The newbie was not an overnight success. At his first nightclub gig, "A librarian came in for a drink and there were a couple of hookers and two drunks. After my first song, they all left. That's how good I was. That's really how I started."The singer kept at it and through a twist of fate, he met Frank Sinatra's secretary. She came to one of his shows and liked what she heard. Douglas recalls, "She said, 'I love your act. You're very inventive and you look great onstage, you communicate with the audience, but Jerry, you're an actor who sings and you should become an actor.' I was devastated. Devastated. I thought she was going to say, 'You're going to come to New York and meet Frank and get a contract,' something like that. That's what I was hoping for. And that's when I had to think about it because I'd never thought of becoming an actor. That's how life is. Design is very interesting in life if you look at it that way."The CD costs $14.99 and can be purchased through the brand-new Web site, www.jerrydouglasmusic.com. The first 1,000 copies will be autographed by Douglas. Fans can also make a toll-free call to (888) 274-2562 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.