Monthly Archives: March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Harsh Look At The Celebrity Dumbing Down of Protest Culture

The Daily Beast
The Celebrity Dumbing Down of Protest Culture


Two anniversaries this spring show how well-meaning but self-indulgent celebrities helped water down a great American tradition.
This month, two anniversaries seem to harmonize with one another. Fifty years ago, civil-rights protestors marching from Selma to Montgomery were rallying and singing and sometimes bleeding and dying for freedom. And 30 years ago, a feel-good anthem sung by rock stars to fight African hunger was climbing the charts. Moving from “We Shall Overcome” in 1965 to “We Are the World” in 1985 highlights African-Americans’ miraculous leap forward in those two decades.
But the We-are-the-Worlding of protest also reflects a decline from a high-stakes politics of seriousness to a politics frequently fraught with celebrity-inflected idiocy and posturing. In 1965, the Reverend Martin Luther King called on priests, ministers, and rabbis for moral authority. Today, activists yearn for Brangelina’s celebrity super-couple glamour infusion. Read More

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Elle Greenwich: The Unsung Hero of Sixties Music

Huffington Post
Steve North
The Unsung Hero of Sixties Music
Updated: 03/27/2015 7:59 pm EDT


“I met him on a Monday and my heart stood still.” That’s the opening line of the 1963 hit “Da Doo Ron Ron“, one of a string of songs that vividly captured the essence of teenage romance in a way American popular music had rarely done.

There’s been a recent resurgence of interest in those 1960’s tunes. Bette Midler leads off her new CD It’s The Girls, a glorious tribute to girl groups, with “Be My Baby”, which she credited to The Ronettes during a television appearance. In December, Darlene Love wrapped up a nearly 30-year annual tradition of performing “Christmas: Baby Please Come Home” on David Letterman’s late-night show. When singer Lesley Gore passed away in February, her song “Maybe I Know (That He’s Been Cheating)” was heard again on the radio. And on the latest edition of NBC’s The Sing-off, host Nick Lachey introduced one group’s number by saying “Now performing “River Deep, Mountain High” by Tina Turner, here is Traces.” Read More

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Review: Former Harlette Melissa Manchester, Liberated, at 54 Below

New York Times
Review: Melissa Manchester, Liberated, at 54 Below


Melissa Manchester has a history of laboring in other people’s shadows. At the start of her career, her mentors included Barry Manilow and Bette Midler, with whom she sang backup in Ms. Midler’s saucy group the Harlettes. At the height of her popularity in the 1970s, she was guided in her choice of material for both good and ill by the redoubtable record company honcho Clive Davis. Only recently has Ms. Manchester, who lives in Southern California and teaches music at the University of Southern California, emerged fully into the light. Read More

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Oscars: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Not Returning In 2016 – Their Highs And Lows

Deadline Hollywood
Oscars: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Not Returning In 2016; Academy Starts New Producer Search
March 27, 2015

86th Annual Academy Awards - Show

EXCLUSIVE: It’s official. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of the Oscar show for the past three years, will not be returning for round four and the Academy is now beginning a search for a new producer(s).

Although Zadan had hinted about this in a cryptic tweet shortly after this year’s show, reps for the Academy and the producers maintained that nPete Hammondothing had been decided. Now it has. The Academy’s Board Of Governors met Tuesday night for the first time since Oscar night and the question of whether the producers would be retained was indeed discussed, as was what the future of the Oscar show should be (and that includes the much media-driven speculation on whether they should go back to five Best Picture nominees). But sources tell me nothing at that meeting was decided about anything. One Governor told me yesterday they will be assessing every aspect of the show and make major recommendations. Read More

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Bette Midler interviewed by Harold Gunn – KRIV 1979

Bette Midler interviewed by Harold Gunn on November 9, 1979 on KRIV channel 26 in Houston, Texas. They talk about her film debut role in The Rose

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Morris Pleasure Will Be Bette Midler’s Musical Director For Divine Intervention Tour! Read About Him Here!


Morris “Mo” Joseph Pleasure (born July 12, 1962) is an American composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and touring musician (Sideman). Pleasure plays piano, bass, trumpet, and guitar, in genres that include pop, funk, jazz, R&B, soul, Brazilian, and classical music. Pleasure holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Connecticut (1986). He has recorded and performed with artists such as Ray Charles, Najee, George Duke, Earth Wind and Fire, Natalie Cole, Roberta Flack, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Peter Cetera, David Foster and others. Pleasure also appeared in the 2009 Michael Jackson documentary This Is It and Janet Jackson’s film Janet: Live in Hawaii. Read More

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Ten best movie witches – The Telegraph


Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Lamia in ‘Stardust’


Rachel Weisz in ‘Oz the Great and the Powerful’ 2013


Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch in ‘The Witches‘ 1990


Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ 1939


Bette Midler as the witch Winifred in ‘Hocus Pocus‘ 1993


Sarah Jessica Parker as the witch Sarah in ‘Hocus Pocus’ 1993


Susan Sarandon as Narissa in ‘Enchanted’ 2007 Read More

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

A springtime quiz on trees and flowers

News Sentinel
A springtime quiz on trees and flowers
March 23, 2015


Deb from Garrett sent an email after the last quiz, and it made me think of the flowers that bloom in the spring (tra la) and led to this quiz, which is about flowers and trees and spring. Deb’s question leads off. Five points for each correct answer, as usual. You ought to get 80 this time.

1. If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?

2. In what play are the lines, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”? Read More

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MELISSA MANCHESTER, March 26 & 27 at 7PM & March 28 at 7PM & 9:30PM: 54 Below, NY

MELISSA MANCHESTER, March 26 & 27 at 7PM & March 28 at 7PM & 9:30PM:


In this intimate evening highlighting her newly-released 20th album, You Gotta Love the Life, Melissa Manchester celebrates not only 40 years as a Grammy Award-winning performer and songwriter, but also a renewed independence and vitality. Join Manchester in her 54 Below debut to hear all-new originals, covers of enduring classics, and her own hits. “This … is my testimony of what I know to be true. Not anybody else’s version of telling me what a good idea it would be, but my own hard won sense of who I am and what I have been through and what I have learned,” she says. With You Gotta Love the Life, Manchester embraces the sum total of her multi-faceted career with verve and vibrancy. And while she may have more experience than she did when she got her start, her passion and drive remain undiminished. “My hunger is the same hunger I had when I was 17,” she says. Manchester’s career is remarkable not only for its longevity and accomplishments, but for its versatility. Following her stint as a founding member of Bette Midler‘s Harlettes, Manchester’s tremendously successful solo career brought her critical and commercial acclaim. The “Midnight Blue” singer received her first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance for the Peter Allen/Carole Bayer Sager-penned “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” winning the Grammy in that category in 1979 then again for four years later for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Two songs she performed, “Through The Eyes Of Love” and “The Promise,” were nominated for Oscars in the same year. She has appeared on both the large screen in movies (For The Boys) and small screen in television (Blossom), as well as the stage, including co-creating the Ovation-nominated ballroom dance extravaganza Fascinating Rhythms. $50-70 cover charge. $100-110 premium seating. $25 food & beverage minimum. Read More

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

BetteBack May 31, 1989: Bette Midler Is The Reason To Redo ‘Stella Dallas’

Salina Journal
May 31, 1989


TORONTO (AP) — It’s 1937, and Barbara Stanwyck playing the outcast Stella Dallas watches from outside as her daughter gets married. It
is one of Hollywood’s classic tearjerking scenes.

Flash forward to 1989. The feisty, funny Bette Midler is starring in a remake that the production team says updates the old concepts of high society but keeps the basic story intact.

So, instead of Midler Stanwyck needing to chase after a rich husband to make her unsuccessful attempt to move upward, Midler can grumpily tell her friend how she told off the rich guy and doesn’t need his money. Read More

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