Category Archives: harlettes

Monday, November 5, 2018

Featuring A Harlette: Nicolette Hart – Returning home to start a business in Rochester: a Broadway star, Olympians and a model

Featuring A Harlette: Nicolette Hart
By Mary Chao
Nov. 2, 2018

Featuring A Harlette: Nicolette Hart

Nicolette Hart returned to Rochester to open her voice and acting studio. (Photo: One Sharp Joe (

It all started in kindergarten when a teacher sent a note home to Michelle Lipman’s parents expressing concern about her shyness. Her mother’s guilt sank in, so she was enrolled in all types of classes that would force interaction with other children, including voice and acting.  

“This was the beginning of what would become my passion, my love, my life and career path,” says Lipman, who now goes by Nicolette Hart.

After intensive training for a bachelor in fine arts degree in musical theater at the University at Buffalo and making it on Broadway in productions such as Legally Blonde, Hart is back in her hometown of Penfield, married to a boy she knew in her youth with a business in Rochester training young actors and actresses. She is among many area entrepreneurs who decided to return home after national and international fame, choosing to grow a business in the Rochester region. Read More

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Featuring A Harlette: Melanie Taylor – Love Me Still

Produced by:  Keri Larson & Tony Guerrero

Vocal: Melanie Taylor

Piano: Tony Guerrero

Written by: Bruce Hornsby & Chaka Kahn

Melanie Taylor is a force to be reckoned with. Her career spans many decades and her list of credits is extensive. She was a legendary Harlette for Bette Midler for almost 10 years and was the 1st female vocalist to tour with the band Aerosmith in 2012. She has recently been touring with Barry Manilow and has worked with artists such as Barbra Streisand, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Chaka Kahn to name a few. Melanie has worked in TV, Film, and Commercials including jingles for Mattel and Toyota, as well as appearances on Oprah, Parenthood, The Oscars, AMA’s, and The Voice, and more. She had a top 5 single on the Billboard dance charts with the capitol records duo, Bardeux. Read More

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Melissa Manchester Talks Bette Midler In Recent Interview With Richmond Magazine

Richmond Magazine
Q&A: Melissa Manchester
The award-winning singer-songwriter performs at Richmond’s Tin Pan Aug. 4
by Don Harrison July 31, 2018 11:23 AM

bette midler, melissa manchester

RM: You caught your big break with Bette Midler. How’d that happen?

Manchester: Well, I met Barry Manilow, we were both jingle singers, and he became Bette’s new music director and he introduced me to her. I was one of the original members of what came to be known as the Harlettes. It was a fantastic experience. She’s a brilliant woman. At that time, she was cutting-edge, and she’s always had her own vision — she’s just a unique person with a unique sense of herself. It was remarkable each night to watch her take the audience to another place.

For the full interview: Click Here

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Featuring A Harlette: Video – CHARLO CROSSLEY “I KNOW WHERE I’VE BEEN” – To Support Marsha Malamet (Intro by BRUCE VILANCH)

Music & Lyrics by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman from the Musical “Hairspray!”) Performed Live (with track) on May 29, 2018, at Catalina Jazz Club in “LOVE DON’T NEED A REASON A Benefit for Singer/Songwriter MARSHA MALAMET.”

You can contribute to Marsha’s much needed medical support at

Very Special Thanks to Marc Saltrelli for capturing this magical moment on video. Clifford Bell, Hillary Rollins, and Lampkin Music Group present: “Love Don’t Need a Reason: A Benefit for Marsha Malamet” on Tuesday, May 29th at Catalina’s Jazz Club. Hosted by Award-winning writer/actor/personality, Bruce Vilanch At press time, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, Melissa Manchester; Golden Globe/MAC Award winner, Amanda McBroom; Award Award singer/songwriter, Michele Brourman; Actress/ singer, Mary Jo Mundy; Singer, Ken Stacy, Singer, Kimaya Seward; Award-winning singer/musical director/pianist, Todd Schroeder, Former Harlette and Hairspray Star, Charlo Crossley; Pop Producer Greg Wells; Actress/singer, Patricia Whiteman; Songwriter, Alan Roy Scott; Songwriter, Matthew Levine and Award-winning producer/songwriter and Marsha’s producer, Stephan Oberhoff have all signed on to perform. More to be announced. Directed by Clifford Bell.

This special show will showcase an array of performances, video and written testimonials and comments on the Life and Music of Marsha Malamet. Explanation: This benefit is to help pay for all medical needs and some living expenses, due to the fact that what Marsha suffers from (we still don’t know exactly) is not covered by insurance. Whether it is an autoimmune disorder or a metabolic disease, treatments are expensive. In 2015 she was diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s, then a year later, Lyme Disease. She has spent a lot of money to see different doctors, who’s treatments have not been successful. Now she is under the care of a new doctor who treated Kris Kristofferson successfully who was challenged by something similar. Right now, she has a 24/7 caregiver and is mostly disable, using a wheelchair and walker. The unfortunate thing is that she lost the muscle strength and coordination, and can’t play the piano, sing, or write.

The performers honoring Marsha with their appearance are all friends of her’s, having known her or written with her.

Malamet Biography: At the age of 21, Marsha made her solo recording debut, “Coney Island Winter,” on Decca Records. It was engineered by Brooks Arthur. She performed at top venues in New York supporting the CD, including Lincoln Center, and her songs have been featured on Broadway: first, in Peter Allen’s “Up in One,” and then “The Boy from Oz,” based on Peter’s life.

Marsha’s songs have been recorded by the best in the business, artists include Barbra Streisand, Faith Hill, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Meatloaf, the late Barbara Cook, Judy Collins and Sheena Easton. Marsha’s top ten international hit single, “I Am Blessed,” sung by the UK’s pop group, Eternal, moved the Pope to invite them to perform the song at the Vatican.

Her song “Love Don’t Need A Reason,” co-written with the late Peter Allen and Michael Callen, has become an iconic theme for the Aids/HIV epidemic, recorded by over 35 performers and gay choruses worldwide. Marsha was Grammy nominated for her songwriting involvement on the original Broadway cast CD “The Boy from Oz,” starring Hugh Jackman. Marsha’s music takes root in people’s hearts and minds.

To hear Marsha’s music or to purchase, please visit:

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Rescheduled: Charlo Crossley, The Legendary Harlette, Will Be Interviewed Friday Night; Call In With Your Questions

As you know Charlo was supposed to do an interview show last week with Chris Michael Ward, Authoress Terry E Lyle and Marc Anthony Real, well now Charlo is booked for Friday March 9th.

For more info: Click Here

Wow, what a night we have in store for you with Mrs. Charlo, she was one of Bette Midlers background singer and dancer. Charlo is also an Actress, Producer and Minister. This lady wears a variety of hats and you will be thrilled to listen to and take part in this live show by call 347 945 6003 at 7:30pm EST, 6:30pm CST, 5:30pm MST and 4:30pm PST.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Former Harlette, Ula Hedwig, Has A Track On The New Album ‘Celebrate’ By Win Marcinak


Unlike the blues, dance music has long been the province of gay men, as both performers and fans. On Celebrate (Burning Tyger), Win Marcinak blends covers (Three Dog Night’s “Celebrate,” Sylvester’s “Disco Heat/Mighty Real,” Kajagoogoo’s “Too Shy,” and Aretha’s “Rock Steady”) with originals. Ulla Hedwig, one of Bette Midler’s original Harlettes, sings with Marcinak on “We Are What We Are.”

Digital Release:

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Legendary Harlette, Charlo Crossley To Be Interviewed Tonight By Chris Michael Ward! Call In To Ask Questions! On Blog Talk Radio!

Spend a interesting evening with my guest Charlo Crossley as she shares her blessed life as an actress, producer, singer and minister and much more as she continued to push through and fulfilling her dreams in life. Please share this Friday with me and my Cohosts Chris and Marc by calling 347 945 6003 at 7:30pm EST and hit the number 1 key if you have a question or comment.

Do you have a question for former Harlette & Friend of Bootlegbetty, Charlo Crossley?! Now’s your chance. Charlo will be interviewed night by Chris Michael Ward

Here is the link: Click Here

About Charlo Crossley:

* Currently Program Director/Air Personality at Gospel Truth Radio USA, FB Page Admin at Starlight UK Radio and Network administrator at Starlight Broadcasting

* Started out as one of Bette Midler’s Harlettes.

* In the touring cast of Hairspray as Motormouth Maybelle. [Jun 2006]

* She was in the Oscar winning documentary “20 Feet From Stardom

* She was in Sister Act and sang “Heatwave and My Guy”

* She was in Beaches and played the Diva Who Fell Into The Pit!

* She’s been in countless TV shows and Movies: Click Here

* Who was your favorite artist to perform with?

Well that would have to be BETTE MIDLER…she was so innovative and nobody was doing what she did the WAY she did it back then…kind of a mix between a 1940’s Movie Musical with the Andrew’s Sisters and a hard rock & roll act like Janis Joplin. WE worked hard as Harlettes and it shows from day one of when they were first created for her Lincoln Center show in the 1970’s. There have been some amazing theatrical moments with Harvey Feirstein in HAIRSPRAY on Broadway…we had SO much fun it was crazy. Amazing moments onstage…real moving mystical stuff! I love the Theatre

All you Betteheads can purchase her 2014 MP3 Album at Amazon. Just click image below. The samples sound incredible.

Join Charlotte Crossley’s Facebook Page: Click Here

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Black-ish Grandma Jenifer Lewis & Former Harlette Opens Up About Her Battle with Sex Addiction and Bipolar Disorder

Black-ish Grandma Jenifer Lewis Opens Up About Her Battle with Sex Addiction and Bipolar Disorder

Jenifer Lewis is not one to hold anything back.

“We are as sick as our secrets, so I tell everything,” says the 60-year-old singer and actress, who lived with undiagnosed bipolar disorder and a sex addiction through her 20s. Read More

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Jenifer Lewis (Former Harlette), The “Black Bette Midler”, recalls one-night stand with Jon Voight

Page Six
Jenifer Lewis recalls one-night stand with Jon Voight
By Derrick Bryson Taylor November 2, 2017 | 11:52am

Jenifer Lewis bared her soul in her memoir “The Mother of Black Hollywood,” including the details of her sex addiction and a one-night stand with Jon Voight.

In the chapter titled “A Doll Named ‘Killer,’” Lewis, 60, recalls performing at Studio 54 one year for an AIDS charity and catching Voight’s eye.

Lewis, who currently stars on “Black-ish,” writes that she and Voight began their night with a walk through Central Park and took a romantic carriage ride.

“We talked about being from families of hard workers,” she writes. “We stared into each other’s eyes and kissed. We went to his room on the 35th floor of the Essex House. I was spellbound by his sensitivity and kindness … Let’s just say he was a real ‘Midnight Cowboy.’”

Lewis told Page Six it was a night to remember.

“It was a beautiful night. Hansome carriage ride. We walked. And he was very sweet, he walked me home,” she said before digging into his political views. “Of course now he’s a Republican and goes with the NRA.”

Lewis said she never wanted more from Voight, who at the time had won the Best Actor Oscar a few years before in 1979. “I knew that was a one-night stand,” she elaborated. “That was just some young, part of the sex addiction, part of the drama of being in my 20s … It was ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ child, please. I went in!”

Jenifer with Jon Voight

While Lewis isn’t afraid of possible backlash that may come from her book, some of the names have been changed, others haven’t. “Come for me, bitch,” she ribbed. “I’m right here. I know who I am. I’m not afraid of that because I know who I am.”

In the book, Lewis discusses her sex addiction, her bipolar disorder and 17-plus years of therapy to overcome it all.

“This book damn near killed me,” she quipped. “I have kept a journal since the seventh grade. Day to day. I had to go back and read all 63 of them. I’m 60 years old. But I had three filled with feelings. It was the biggest challenge of my life to write this book. There were several times I wanted to quit. It was a very difficult process, but I continued because that’s really all I really know to do.”

Modal Trigger
Jenifer Lewis and Bette Midler backstage at “Hairspray”Getty Images
In the memoir — which also covers several dark moments from her past, including being molested by a pastor and calling out Jane Pauley for insulting her on the “Today” show — she also gives credit to Bette Midler for helping her career along.

“Bette has always been there for me,” Lewis said. “In my younger years, they were calling me the black Bette Midler. The quote was I was a combination of Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg and Mahalia [Jackson].”

She cautions that “The Mother of Black Hollywood,” out Nov. 14, isn’t a tell-all memoir, as there are more stories that didn’t make the cut. Instead, she considers it a learning tool.

“I didn’t want to preach nor teach in this book, I wanted to show my story, my song,” she advised. “This is what I did. You take from what you will … Don’t let me have written this sh-t in vain! You find some tool in here to help you make one more step to your goals, to your happiness.”

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Katey Sagal On Working With Bette Midler

LA Times
The Sunday Conversation: From Harlettes to Harleys to Donuts, Katey Sagal has lived a colorful life
By Meredith Blake
October 27, 2017

You performed with Bette Midler as one of the “Staggering Harlettes.” She’s such an accomplished performer. Did you learn from her?

She taught me so much about being disciplined and having a good work ethic. She taught me musically, the singing I did with her was all very intense harmony parts. I could never read music and I was always pretending I could read sheet music, but with her I just had to really learn how to sight-sing. I used to stand backstage and watch her night after night ,and she would do the same thing, but it would be like she was doing it for her first time. And she would make me cry, and make me laugh.

For The Full Interview: Click Here

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