Octone/Legacy/RCA Music Group Set to Release 'Ricky Jay Plays Poker'

One of the World's Foremost Sleight-of-Hand Artists Compiles Rich Amalgam of Songs to Shuffle By

'Ricky Jay Plays Poker' Deluxe Edition Includes CD of 21 Top-Draw Card-Playing Songs + DVD of Ricky Jay Discussing Poker Moves + Book Featuring Song Annotations & Essays By Ricky Jay + Sealed Deck of Ricky Jay Playing Cards

In Stores Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Ricky Jay, the world-renowned sleight- of-hand expert, author, actor, historian and consultant, has personally compiled 21 of his all-time favorite card-playing songs -- "a mix of blues, folk, calypso, country, R&B, techno, rap, gospel" -- on "Ricky Jay Plays Poker," in stores Tuesday, November 21, 2006.

"Mercifully you will not hear me sing on any of these tracks," writes Ricky Jay in his extensive liner notes (which include essays on poker and song-by-song annotations), "thus I am able to bet my entire stack that you will enjoy the tunes I've selected ...."

  Ricky's perfect hand includes:

  1.  DARKTOWN POKER CLUB - Phil Harris and his Orchestra
  3.  TURN THE CARDS SLOWLY - Patsy Cline
  4.  FIVE CARD STUD - Lorne Greene
  5.  DON'T TURN THE CARD - Memphis Minnie
  6.  POLITICS AND POKER - Howard Da Silva
  7.  ACE IN THE HOLE - Anita O'Day
  8.  LITTLE QUEEN OF SPADES - Robert Johnson
  9.  ETIENNE GONNA DIE - Saint Etienne
  10. MR. MUDD AND MR. GOLD - Townes Van Zandt
  11. POKER PLAYING BABY - Harry Willis
  12. GAMBLER'S GUITAR - Merle Travis
  13. DARKTOWN POKER CLUB - Bert Williams
  14. DOLAN'S POKER PARTY - Frank Crumit
  15. POKER WOMAN BLUES - Blind Blake
  16. WILD CARD - Tex Williams
  17. ACE OF SPADES - O. V. Wright
  18. ROVING GAMBLER - The Country Gentlemen
  19. BED SPRING POKER - Mississippi Sheiks
  20. ACE IN THE HOLE - Dave Van Ronk
  21. POLITICS AND POKER (reprise) - Howard Da Silva

The deluxe edition of "Ricky Jay Plays Poker" comes with an exclusive DVD giving viewers a ringside seat at Ricky's poker table as the master demonstrates some tricks of the trade, showing why, in this golden age of poker resurgence, he refuses to participate in celebrity matches. "In my grandfather's words," says Ricky. "'If I win they'll think I'm cheating and if I lose they'll think I'm a bad magician.'"

Ricky Jay has written several essays on the historical, political, and aesthetic aspects of poker, as well as full explications of his song selection in the book included in the deluxe edition of "Ricky Jay Plays Poker."

"Shuffling and manipulating cards to the sounds of R&B hits are among my few vivid memories of childhood," he writes. "Even though I had some chops with the pasteboards at that early age, my first poker pleasure came from watching the great Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko delightfully fleecing the boys in the barracks at Fort Baxter. To this day I still love to listen to 'Good Beats' with a pack of cards in my hands."

In addition to the CD, DVD, and annotated book, the deluxe version of "Ricky Jay Plays Poker" comes with a special edition deck of Ricky Jay playing cards. (A CD-only version of "Ricky Jay Plays Poker" will also be available on November 21.)

Over the years, Ricky Jay has been closely associated with the American playwright David Mamet. Ricky's one-man shows, the Obie-winning "Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants," and "Ricky Jay: On the Stem," were directed by Mamet, who cast Ricky in "House of Games," "Homicide," "Things Change," "Spanish Prisoner," "State and Main," and "Heist." Ricky Jay may also be seen in many other films including "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia," and the James Bond film, "Tomorrow Never Dies." Ricky Jay starred in the heralded episode of the X- Files, "The Great Maleeni," and ran the faro, craps, and poker tables at the Bella Union saloon in the HBO hit television series "Deadwood."

He has written and hosted his own television specials for CBS, HBO, and the BBC, and was the host and narrator of the first documentary mini- series on conjuring, "The Story of Magic," for the A&E network. He presented of a series of films on con games for Turner Classic Movies and in March of 2003 he debuted as a weekly essayist on the National Public Radio station, KCRW, in Los Angeles.

Ricky Jay is a founder of the biennial Conference on Magic History and is the former curator of the Mulholland Library of Conjuring and the Allied Arts. He is the author and co-designer of "The Magic Magic Book," an illustrated history of the earliest trick conjuring books, published in the Writers and Artists Series of the Whitney Museum of American Art. His book "Jay's Journal of Anomalies," based on his fine press periodical of the same name, was recently named one of the "Notable Books of the Year" by the New York Times and one of the "Best Books of the Year" by the Los Angeles Times. His most recent book, with photographs by Rosamond Purcell, is "Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck."

Ricky Jay's consulting firm, Deceptive Practices, has provided expertise on projects as diverse as the film "Forrest Gump" and the Broadway production of "Angels in America: Perestroika." He was a consultant on the Devices of Wonder exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and was the guest curator for an exhibition on conjuring at the Harvard Theatre Collection.


SOURCE: Legacy Recordings

CONTACT: Tom Cording, VP of Media Relations, Legacy Recordings, SONY BMG
Music Entertainment, +1-212-833-4448, Tom.Cording@sonybmg.com

Web site: http://www.legacyrecordings.com/