From jazz vocalist/bandleader to actor/comedian/radio talk show host, it's easy to see why Wayne Powers is often referred to as a “renaissance man”.
Wayne started out as a “boy singer” in New York nightclubs at age 16. “I wasn’t very good,” he freely admits, “but you’ve gotta start someplace – and I grew up with this music inside me – in my heart and soul – and treasure it enough to gladly do whatever it takes for me to live inside the music. You see, when I was growing up we couldn’t afford a piano (and we had no room for one, anyway). so I just learned to play the human voice.”
Persistence paid off as Powers eventually studied in New York with renowned vocal coach of the day, Fred Steele, mentor to Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Eddie Fisher and widely credited with helping restore Tony Bennett’s voice. Wayne continued to hone his craft, performing in stage musicals, reviews and in nightclubs after relocating to the Midwest – and eventually, the West Coast.
After arriving in L.A., Wayne landed a job with Henry Mancini and, soon after, fulfilled another dream by establishing his network TV career. But Powers was still pulled to return to his roots, augmenting his comedy and acting work by putting together his “Hoi Polloi,” band with a uniquely joyous sound that dazzled audiences in some of the top west coast nightclubs, showrooms and jazz festivals.