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Myles Loud is my hero. He is the real Marco Cat. Oh, I still have other heroes - Hank Aaron, Elton John, Robert Mondavi - but Myles Loud is the newest marcher in my hit parade.

You may not yet know about Myles Loud, but you know his work. That is, if you've ever enjoyed listening to the Platters or Elvis or Roy Orbison or Tom Jones or Dean Martin (did I say Dean Martin?), then you've heard what Myles can do.

His talent is part lounge singer and part concert mega-star. Myles would be at home at Carnegie Hall or in the bar on the Auto Train.

He can do Peggy Lee's biggest hits and probably could do a good Pavarotti if asked. And I intend to ask, next time we go to enjoy Myles Loud here on Marco Island.

I'm not much of a dancer, but Myles makes me want to dance. he seems to make everyone who hears his music want to dance, because the floor always is crowded.

Myles Loud

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One over-eager hoofer even slammed into the floor the other night, while swirling his partner a bit too often. Dizziness overcame balance and I, oops, I mean this guy, hit the deck at Myles' feet.

Loud didn't miss a beat or a note. He just spread his hands, umpire style, and said, "SAFE!" Well-placed sources tell me that the fellow had a sore rear end the next day.

Myles Loud lives here now with his wife and two children, having moved to Marco from Chicago. He is good enough to play any venue in that City of Big Shoulders and he is versatile enough to enthuse anybody on Marco Island, from lovers of Sinatra and Crosby to those who prefer Devo or Elvis.

You really have to see him for yourself to get the picture.

He uses a full complement of electronic wizardry to accomplish a big sound of full orchestration. Yet e stands on a tiny stage against a plain dark background, splattered with very good colored lighting.

He wears a tux jacket usually and often sweats through it. When he takes it off in the heat of performing, his tux shirt sometimes is sleeveless. You'd never see that at the Hollywood Bowl or the Naples Philharmonic, but it's so natural that Myles seems at home as he does it.

When Loud is feeling frisky, he does put ons, making believe that he really is Dean Martin or Louis Armstrong or all of the Beatles (Well, maybe not George Harrison). You watch and listen and believe.

He doesn't have to get into drag to do a believable Diana Ross. He puts on dark glasses to do Roy Orbison, but if you're wearing your shades too, you'll know he's doing Roy without having to see the props.

Myles takes requests, but he never takes a break. He clearly has wrestled from James Brown the titles of "The hardest Working Man in Show business."

He works hard at making his patrons have fun.

If you enjoy nightlife and have visited many coastal towns of America, you've probably run into more than a few guys with names like "Johnny Venture" or " The Four Gazelles," who ask everybody where they're from and make lame jokes between pitiful versions of "People Who Need People" or "Memories." They are the performers who, when they sing "My Way", you wish they'd try somebody else's way.

Not Myles. He never once asked anybody's home town. He never once referred to patrons as "guys and gals." He did sing "My Way," but did it so well that both Elvis and Sinatra would have been proud.

If it is true that Elvis is still alive somewhere, maybe at that fast food place in Michigan where he was spotted recently, I hope he hears about Myles Loud. He'd probably give Myles one of those Cadillacs the King liked to present to people he admired.

[NOTE] In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, CNN Interactive held an Elvis impersonation contest which Myles won!! Hear the winning tune! (887k)

I don't know what Myles Loud drives, but whatever it is, I sure hope it never breaks down on his way to work. A night without Myles Loud would be like Marco Island without a beach. Bummer.

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