Michael A. Costley, 71, Buffalo-born artist who made headlines in Palm Springs | Featured obituaries
“It would make your head spin,” said Frank Sansone of JR Productions, who booked The Penny Farthing. “This man was absolutely magical.”
He impressed one of the touring groups at the Executive Motor Inn in Cheektowaga so much that they recommended him to one of the leading performing groups of the time, Standing Ovation, who needed a singer. .
“They sent a plane to take him to meet them at their next stop,” Sansone said. “Mike came on stage and he was totally uninhibited. It was the most incredible night. He looked like he had been with the band for two years.
Mr. Costley was hired locally. He traveled the country and the Caribbean with Standing Ovation until the mid-1970s. When he left, he worked briefly in Chicago, then moved to Las Vegas and Los Angeles before settling in Palm Springs, where he performed. for over 30 years.
He shared the stage with Tony Bennett, Keely Smith, Joe Williams, Jerry Vale, Dick Contino, Glen Campbell and Vic Damone. He paved the way for comedians Don Rickles, Joan Rivers and Jay Leno.
Reviewing one of his shows in Palm Springs, columnist Bruce Fessier of the Palm Springs Desert Sun wrote: “When Mike tackled Gershwin’s standard, ‘Lady Be Good,’ he got stuck on rough ground. with the ease of Ella ”, and added,“ Mike has the talents of a jazz instrumentalist, which is rare among solo singers.