Since Jonnie Fox lives in Rainbow, she doesn’t even need to travel across Interstate 15 to perform at Pala Casino, although the other two members of Jonnie Fox and the Satinettes came from other counties when the group performed at Pala’s Infinity lounge May 16.
“I thought it went really well,” Fox said.
The performance was the third for Jonnie Fox and the Satinettes at Infinity, although in 2015 and 2016 her group performed in March rather than in May.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Fox said of the switch in dates. “It’s a packed house every time, so that was good.”
Fox has five other Satinettes, although only two others perform at any particular show. Crystal Levy Portillo and Amy Glinksas were the other performers at this year’s Infinity show. The Satinettes also include Sandi Johnson-Weidler, Donna Jones, and Gina Faustino.
Portillo lives in Montclair and Glinksas is an Anaheim resident. Johnson-Weidler lives in Murrieta, Jones resides in Temecula, and Faustino travels from her Vista home.
The May 16 performance was part of Pala’s 60 Plus Club program, as were the 2015 and 2016 shows. Because the 60 Plus Club concerts begin at 1 p.m., the other musicians’ regular jobs made some of them unavailable.
Music is Fox’s primary profession, although she is also a certified etiquette instructor and is the founder and director of the Magnolia School of Etiquette and Protocol. Portillo’s full-time job is as a human resources professional, Glinksas teaches music and is also an actress, Johnson-Weidler is a dental hygienist, Jones is an aesthetician, and Faustino is an event model.
The Satinettes performed 20 songs during their one-hour show at Pala.
“We do the iconic girl group songs of the late 50s and early 60s,” Fox said.
In addition to the all-girl groups, the songs also included some by solo female artists such as Lesley Gore and Dusty Springfield.
The microphone stands were decorated with satin scarves and Fox set up “do-wop props” to complement the atmosphere, which included a juke box and a soda shop table with chairs.
“All of that was different and kind of a new look,” Fox said.
Fox also only had two other singers and herself for 2017 while using tracks for the music. The 2015 and 2016 shows utilized a band, but the difficulty of getting seven people together to rehearse as well as financial reasons led to the elimination of the live band this year. The Infinity performance also took place without sound engineer John Burnham.
“I don’t think that the live instruments have been missed,” Fox said.
Fox noted that both male and female audience members focused on the singers.
“They love the girls,” she said.
The focus on the singers also enhances interaction with those in attendance.
“I like to involve the audience,” Fox said.
Fox, who is now 63, was 17 and a senior in high school when she began performing in the New Orleans area where she was born and raised. She moved to San Diego in 1991 and worked as a karaoke jockey when she lived in the city of San Diego.
Fox married Keith Flanagan in 1997 and moved to the Gopher Canyon area while their house in Rainbow was being built. She has been a Rainbow resident since 2002. Her son, Branden, is now 19 and attends Cal State University San Marcos, and Fox took time off from her music activities to raise her son. Fox returned to music approximately five years ago and founded Jonnie Fox and the Satinettes in 2014.
Fox would like to return to Infinity for future performances.
“It’s the best gig in town,” said Fox. “They take care of the entertainers. It’s one of the best rooms to perform and we love the fans.”