Pickler has her timing down — and so does Stambaugh

Kellie Pickler was a midlevel country singer a few months ago, but today she’s America’s latest sweetheart.

Pickler’s rapid rise hit its peak Tuesday night when she won the championship of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” — and Youngstown will be the first city to see her since she won the crown.

The North Carolina native will launch a 21-city summer tour next week, and the first stop will be Stambaugh Auditorium.

Plenty of seats were still available as of press time for the Wednesday concert. Visit or call the Stambaugh box office at 330-259-0555, or go online to stambaughauditorium.com. Prices are $35 and $45. Brett Eldredge will open the 7:30 p.m. show.

The 26-year-old Pickler, with her professional dance partner Derek Hough, earned two sets of perfect scores Monday night and another Tuesday. Judges’ scores were combined with viewer votes to determine the winner.

Pickler might not have been on a red-hot ascent like the country duo Florida Georgia Line was when it sold out Stambaugh a few months ago. But the former “American Idol” contestant has stolen hearts with her personality — and talent — on ABC’s wildly popular dance show. “DWTS” judge Bruno Tonioli called her “the Southern Belle of the Ball,” and that about sums it up.


“The Good Son: The Ray Mancini Story,” the documentary made about the former boxing champion from Youngstown, will get its theatrical release this summer, and Mancini will visit several of the cities — including his hometown.

The film, based on the book by Mark Kriegel and directed by Jesse James Miller, was a hit on the festival circuit after its release last year.

Snag Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights and will release “The Good Son” on Video on Demand through cable and satellite providers and iTunes on July 16.

As part of the theater run, which will begin Aug. 9, Mancini will mount a promotional blitz that will take him to about a dozen of the nation’s largest cities — plus Youngstown.

The goal is to drum up interest in the major media markets, but also to show his appreciation to the folks who supported him from day one.

One major goal behind the theatrical release is to make “The Good Son” eligible for the Academy Awards, under the documentary category. Unless a film has been shown to the public in theaters, it cannot be considered for an Oscar.

Stay tuned for details as to Mancini’s Youngstown visit.


David Perrico, the Youngstown native who has been blazing a trail of vintage Vegas-style jazz in Sin City, has found a new home in the Stratosphere Casino Hotel.

The trumpeter, conductor and composer recently began the new gig for his 18-piece band, Pop Evolution.

Perrico, with his brassy female vocalists Naomi Mauro and Savannah Smith, have been blowing away show rooms with their old-school power. The act is known for transforming pop songs into big-band barn-burners.

If you’re heading to Vegas, remember: David Perrico’s Pop Evolution appears every first and third Tuesday of the month at 10:30 p.m. at Stratosphere Theater. Doors open at 10 p.m.

Tickets are $20, plus tax, and can be purchased at Stratosphere Ticketing, online at StratosphereHotel.com, or 800-99-TOWER (998-6937).


The Eastwood Rib Fest will be back after a one-year absence. It will be at Eastwood Field, behind the mall in Niles, July 19-21.

A slew of national rib vendors will be on hand, as will some classic-rock acts. Headliners include The Georgia Satellites on July 19; Starship featuring Mickey Thomas on July 20; and Fran Cosmo, former lead singer of Boston, on July 21.

Regional and local bands will fill in the remainder of the schedule.

The rib fest also will include festival food, a marketplace and a children’s play area.

Admission will be $5 for adults. Anyone who brings a nonperishable food item for a local food bank will get two-for-one admission.


Flash Mob America is coming to Youngstown, and area residents can participate.

On June 7, a large group of “flash mobbers” sponsored by the production company will surprise a group of unsuspecting locals by arriving at an undisclosed location and bursting into choreographed dance.

Flash Mob America is the No. 1 flash-mob production company in the world and has produced flash mobs for the TV shows “Modern Family” and “Rachael Ray,” and for corporate clients.

The group was invited to the city for a specific reason, which they will not divulge.

Local residents who want to participate can register for the flash mob at flashmobamerica.com.


Justin Bartha, the actor best known for his role in “The Hangover” trilogy, will play Youngstown native Stiv Bators in the upcoming film “CBGB.” A release date hasn’t been set yet.

The film looks at New York’s punk-rock scene through the iconic club CBGB, which opened in the ’70s and closed in 2008.

CBGB served as a launching point for Bators’ band the Dead Boys, as well as artists such as Patti Smith, Blondie, Talking Heads and the Ramones.

A punk-rock pioneer, Bators was born Steven John Bators. He died in 1990 at age 41.

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