Rockin' Reggie Vinson's Still Got a Song in Me: Lookin' Through the Eyes of a Rockin' Life is a new autobiography by an entertainer who has worked with or hung out with notables such as Elton, Etta James, and Elvis Presley. Eltonjohnworld.com had a review of the book a short while back, and the author has now spoken with Cheryl's Specials about his life. . . .
EJW: Your aunt was Minnie Pearl and your cousin is Pat Boone. Do you think this impacted your decision to enter the field of music? Did you ever perform with either of them?
RV: A lot of my family were singers: My mother was a gospel singer and my grandfather was a circuit preacher. I started out with my mother when I was just a young boy, singing with her and my sister in tent meetings.
My aunt Minnie introduced me when I was performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN, in 1980. I performed with my cousin, Pat Boone, in Washington, DC, at a Jesus rally with 50,000 people in attendance. I also performed with Pat in L.A. on a TBN network show.
Music has always been my first love and is in my soul. I love it all: gospel, blues, rock 'n' roll, pop, country, and even rap.
EJW: Your friend, Alice Cooper, introduced you to Elton John in the '70s and you went to some clubs together. Do you remember the venues you visited, and have you gotten to meet with Elton since?
RV: Yes, one night in 1974, Alice got a call from Elton when we were in L.A. and invited him to go out. Alice called me in my room and asked if I'd like to go, and of course I did.
We headed to the Troubadour, a famous nightclub in Hollywood. We didn't stay long and headed to the Rainbow on Sunset Boulvevard. Once we were seated at a booth, Elton introduced us to Bernie Taupin and we drank and partied all night.
On another occasion I was invited to a party that Elton was hosting at a private club. I got to see him again when I was working with Liberace: He came backstage at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.
EJW: How did you team up with Liberace?
RV: I met Seymour Heller in France and signed a five year contract. He managed Liberace, Tom Jones, Debbie Reynolds, Lawrence Welk, Glen Campbell and myself. I got to perform with most of them during the late seventies.
EJW: How about Elvis Presley?
RV: I was asked by Colonel Parker to work as a songwriter with Dolores Fuller and Ben Weisman, who wrote 58 songs for Elvis. Shortly after I had started working with his songwriting team, he passed away.
EJW: Have you covered songs by other artists?
RV: Yes, I have done some . . . Let Her Go; I'll Be Seeing You; Mr Bojangles; and Stand By Me.
EJW: What are you working on now?
RV: Besides the book, Still Got A Song In Me, I have a new CD (with the same title) out. These can be ordered at