Valerie Davis and her boyfriend, Melvin Bibbs, were contestants on  “Let’s Make a Deal.” The episode of the game show will air at 9 a.m. Thursday on WHBF-TV in the Quad-Cities.

Contributed photo

I’ve worked with Valerie Davis frequently through the years, helping her get the word out about the numerous smooth jazz and gospel concerts and festivals that she has produced and presented in the Quad-Cities as Great Sounds Promotions.

So it came as a pleasant surprise when I saw her name in an email from CBS saying that she would be a contestant on the network’s “Let’s Make a Deal” game show next week. The episode airs at 9 a.m. Thursday on WHBF-TV in the Quad-Cities.

It began in September, Davis said, when she wanted to give her boyfriend, Melvin Bibbs, a birthday to remember. They went to Los Angeles, got tickets to see Jay Leno on the “Tonight Show” and also got in the audience for “Let’s Make a Deal.”

“It was just something new and exciting to do for us,” she said. “I was surprised that we had gotten tickets for it.”

Knowing they’d need costumes, they went to Party City in Davenport and got matching pharaoh outfits.

“They said in order to be selected we needed to be unique, be different. Those were the costumes we saw that we thought to be ‘out there’ and get attention,” she said. “And sure enough, we caught Wayne’s (host Wayne Brady) attention.”

Davis and Bibbs showed up as the first two in line a little before 8 a.m. for a 1 p.m. taping. Once the line began moving, they were given a 30-second interview by the producers.

“I felt like I had failed that interview. I didn’t feel comfortable,” she said.

Once they were inside the studio, they and the rest of the audience had to get the attention of the people who would be picking the contestants.

And that meant dancing for about an hour-and-a-half.

“We had to dance and show excitement,” Davis said. “I think I did more dancing than I ever have.”

She can’t say whether they won a prize or how much they might have won, but she did say they enjoyed the experience.

“This was different,” she said. “It was hilarious.”

Ready to Jam

The first two acts are set for the second Heartland Jam, July 19-20 in downtown Davenport.

Darius Rucker, the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish who has spun off into a solo country career, will be the headliner at 10 p.m. that Friday. His third album, “True Believers,” is due out in January; the title song is already No. 24 on the country charts.

Jerrod Niemann, with hits such as “Lover Lover” and “What Do You Want,” will be performing at 8 on the closing night that Saturday. It’ll be the first time he’s performed in the Quad-Cities.

Tickets go on sale, with holiday pricing, beginning Dec. 14: $30 for a one-day pass, $45 for both days and $100 for VIP seating. Advance tickets are available at all Hy-Vee Food Stores, the River Music Experience and Smart Toyota in Davenport, as well as

Remembering Shields

Lost amid the post-election coverage a few days ago was the note that Teri Shields, the mother of Brooke Shields, died Wednesday in New York at the age of 79.

Brooke Shields and her “momager” made the Quad-Cities their home during the summer of 1991 while the actress was filming “American Love,” an Italian TV miniseries, here.

I’ve heard several stories over the past few days about the mother-daughter presence at the Riverfront Pops concert, antique stores and downtown restaurants.

David Burke can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter, @Entguy1.