Robin Thicke's dad recognized talent


Years ago, I used to run into Alan Thicke at concerts, and he would say, “You should listen to my son’s music.” And I thought, “Oh boy, another celebrity thinks his kid is special.”

Guess what. That kid is Robin Thicke, the now famous pop star who has 2013’s biggest hit, “Blurred Lines.”

Robin is so big, his concert Saturday at The Cosmopolitan hotel pool will be run live on Radio.com and YouTube.

So I phoned Alan Thicke and apologized for doubting his fatherly prescience.

“Ha, I’m a regular Nostradamus of music,” he jokes.

Robin put his father on his No. 1 album, for penning the song “Ain’t No Hat 4 That.”

“Robin co-wrote one with me,” Alan says, in a humble tone. “Talk about the circle of life.”

Alan has some serious skills. Before he starred on “Growing Pains,” he wrote and produced the 1970s cult show “Fernwood 2 Night” and other shows.

Alan and wife Gloria Loring (Robin’s mom) composed the classic themes to “Diff’rent Strokes,” “The Facts of Life” and the original “Wheel of Fortune.”

But the super groovy theme for “Wheel of Fortune” isn’t the one you know from today’s TV and slot machines.

“When (producer) Merv Griffin — God rest his soul — saw how much money the music was making in royalties, he decided to replace my music with his own,” Alan says.

“But,” he says, “he was very generous to let me have it for that many years.”

Alan never filmed sexualized music videos, like Robin did for “Blurred Lines” with its naked-ish ladies.

“He’s smart not to listen to Dad when he’s casting something. I said, ‘Hey, you need Betty White for that video.’ ”

The reason I used to see Alan around Vegas was because he loves the city, and he golfed here, and he cut TV infomercials here.

His next planned Vegas trip is for a September hockey exhibition.

“I’m there every February for Wayne Gretzky’s fantasy camp. That’s as good as it gets for a Canadian boy — Vegas and hockey.”

Alan works plenty. He hosts “Dancing Like the Pros.”

“It’s kind of like a road version of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ ”

And he writes “Boomer Humor” for the Huffington Post. It’s a column of crafty observations and witticisms about baby boomer life.

Corporations hire Alan to do “Boomer Humor” at events.

“I do it for the laughs, but it has paid off in ways I couldn’t have expected.”

And he is the proudest Robin Thicke fan I’ve found.

“His success as an artist never surprised me. I always knew he had something special, and he’s working hard to make it happen. That’s a deadly combination.”

Doug Elfman’s column appears Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.