|Milt and Bea Trenier|
The Chez Paree is gone. The Blue Note is gone. Mister Kelly’s, Le Bistro, Birdhouse: gone, gone, gone, and forgotten, mostly.
The performers who played there? Mickey Brant and Peggy King and Enzo Stuarti? Also gone.
But Milt Trenier is not gone. Having played everywhere and known everybody — Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett — he’s right here, where he’s been for the past 40 years, living happily with his wife, Bea, in Skokie.
“It’s been a very good life, a wonderful life,” said Tenier, 86, unleashing a rich, baritone “ha-ha-ha” laugh that comes to him as easily as breathing and almost as frequently. “I’m feeling good.”
You may not remember his group, The Treniers. Their lone Top 10 hit, “Go, Go, Go” was in 1951. They were certainly famous: cameos in classic rock movies — “The Girl Can’t Help It,” “Don’t Knock the Rock” — and guest spots on the top TV shows: Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson.
Still, time passes. It’s more likely you remember his club, Milt Trenier’s Lounge, a cabaret he opened in 1977. Sammy Davis Jr. would stop by. Muhammad Ali once played the piano there. Dennis Farina was the bouncer. But Trenier closed the place in 1997...
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