Michael Corliss Brings Rat Pack Hits to Local Audiences

Aug 29, 2018
Michael Corliss

As a Southern Regional High School student, Michael Corliss was active with the vocal ensemble, helping it win numerous competitions. He also acted and sang in school musical theater productions. But after graduating in 1989, he put singing on the back burner. It wasn’t until last summer that he rekindled that interest.

“I got the bug,” said the 47-year-old Beach Haven native. “I had done karaoke once in a while, but I was starting to look to see if I could get some gigs. I did a lot of practicing, getting the voice back into shape.”

One of his first appearances was last year at Fantasy Island Amusement Park in Beach Haven, where he works in security.

“During the holidays, I sang at the Kapler’s Pharmacy Christmas celebration,” he said. “That was real cool, with carriage rides and ice sculptures. I’m hoping I can do that again.”

Corliss, who is backed by prerecorded tracks, said his repertoire is mainly songs of the Rat Pack Era – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.

“I’ll also throw in some Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Jimmy Buffett, Elvis and others,” he said. “I have around 50 to 60 songs on my list.”

This summer, Corliss said, he has performed two to three times a week, including at Scojo’s in Surf City, Woodies Drive-in in Ship Bottom and the Sand Bar at the Engleside in Beach Haven.

Corliss said the Scojo’s gig is a little unusual in that he’s singing at a time when most people are not performing, Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“A lot of people are waiting outside to get in, so I can get myself a fairly good audience,” he said.

However, the appearance isn’t always about the music, as he likes interacting with the audience.

“In that amount of time, I can get 30 or so songs in,” said Corliss. “But I’ve always liked making people laugh, so I’ll add a little comedy.”

Corliss, who also works at LMW Marine in Tuckerton, where he lives, said he will be looking for more gigs once the summer season ends.

“I’m looking to do private parties, birthdays, all sorts of occasions,” he said.

Corliss said he can be contacted by calling 609-287-4915.

— Eric Englund


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