Thousands of screaming girls. Packed nightclubs. Love-crazy fans. Ron Gartner has seen it all.
That is, on television, of course.
In real life, Gartner is an up-and-coming singer who, while not exactly drawing the sorts of crowds that come to Eminem shows, is packing the social halls of senior centers across the nation singing the tunes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and other big-band and Motown standards. His fans may be closer in age to Bob Hope than Britney Spears, but Gartner is quickly becoming the newest big thing in the senior-home entertainment circuit.
Originally a denizen of what he calls the shmatte business -- the garment industry -- Gartner, 58, is building a second career by singing big-band favorites in nursing homes, senior centers and gated retirement communities all over the country. Now, on the eve of the release of his first CD, "Someone Like You," Gartner is bringing his show to Southern California for two performances, on April 10 at Leisure World, a gated community in Laguna Woods, and on April 13 at the Indian Ridge Country Club in Palm Desert, where Gartner is playing the Desert Cancer Fund Dinner Dance.