We were fortunate enough to be able to sit and talk with Anthony "Tony Bricks" Baldino of United Clay in New Jersey. Anthony's father worked as a masonry salesman, a job Anthony helped with during his highschool years. In 1958, after serving in the military, he started United Clay, which is still going strong today.
A story that he often tells, sounds rather unbelievable at first: that he was the reason behind Whitney Houston's iconic Superbowl performance in 1991. However unbelievable it sounds that a brick salesman would know a pop sensation, it's true!
He knew Whitney Houston's Mother Cissy Houston through his best friend and small time contractor Craig Shepard, who helped Whitney out several times as a small-time promoter when she first got started in her music career. Through a chance encounter with Frank Vuono at a golf course, who was at that time the vice president of licensing for the NFL, they chatted about the upcoming Superbowl on the green that day in 1990. Mentioning an uncertain deal between Whitney and the NFL for the performance that the upcoming year's Superbowl, Baldino mentioned knowing her, and was able to ask through Shepard to Whitney about the deal. It was through that chance interaction that day on the green that Whitney Houston's performance was secured, and went on to be one of the most legendary renditions of The Star Spangled Banner in history. You can read more about this incredible bit of American history that Baldino was entwined in through the links below.
Anthony with with Baseball Hall of Famer and G.O.A.T. Yankees player Mickey Mantle!