As Justin mentioned, the life and career of Danny Gans has become a source of fascination for some of the City Room since his untimely death last Friday. Having never visited Vegas, I'd never encountered his towering billboards and had no idea who he was. Here, then are 5 things I was surprised to find out about Danny Gans:
1. He was originally a baseball player and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox (it's not clear if he ever played for them or their minor league team).
2. He "acted" in Bull Durham, playing a third baseman named Deke.
3. He had a recurring role on "Silk Stalkings" and did voice work for "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers" and "Tiny Toon Adventures."
4. His debut album, Brand New Dream, was produced by Evanston native (and Christopher Cross and Amy Grant producer) Michael Omartian. Gans' music had a similar promotional strategy as Amy Grant- it was sold in Christian bookstores as well as general music stores.
5. In 2007 he was apparently awarded the title of Kentucky Colonel (though I can find no record of him having any connection to the Bluegrass State).
If that doesn't sate your Gans info-greed, here's an appearance from the Bonnie Hunt Show: