Tag Archives: Burt Bacharach

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Audio: Bette Midler – Superstar – (Burt Bacharach Special) – 1973

Bette Midler – Superstar – (Burt Bacharach Special) – 1973
Bette Midler - Superstar - (Burt Bacharach Special) - 1973

Audio: Bette Midler – Superstar – (Burt Bacharach Special) – 1973

  • Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett wrote this song, which is about a woman who falls for a rock star, has a tryst with him, but then in a bout of delusion awaits his return, apparently falling for it when he said he loved her.
    The word “Groupie” was just entering the lexicon when Russell and Bramlett wrote this song in 1969; Rolling Stone popularized it when they titled the cover story of their February 15, 1969 issue “The Groupies and Other Girls.” Groupies were often romanticized and admired for their style and fashion, but they were also at times denigrated as rock star playthings with a loose grip on reality, which is how they are portrayed in this song.
  • Delaney & Bonnie were the first to record this song, releasing it as the B-side of their 1969 single “Comin’ Home.” At the time, the song was called “Groupie (Superstar).” Rita Coolidge then began performing the song on Joe Cocker’s 1970 Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. A young Bette Midler started performing the song later in the year, and Richard Carpenter heard the song for the first time when Bette Midler performed it on The Tonight Show. Richard knew it could be a hit for the Carpenters, so he reworked the song in their style and recorded it, resulting in the most successful version. (Thanks to Dan Levitin, who got this from an interview with Richard Carpenter.)
  • A line in the second verse was considered too lyrically risqué at the time and was changed by Richard Carpenter to better fit the duo’s image. The Carpenters’ version of the lyric, “And I can hardly wait to be with you again” is “And I can hardly wait to sleep with you again” in the original version.
  • Richard Carpenter received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist for this song. It was the second of five nominations Carpenter received for his arrangements. He didn’t win any, although this is an impressive accomplishment. 
  • When the Carpenters version became a hit, Bette Midler took some shots at Karen Carpenter, often mocking her wholesome image. Karen claimed the jokes didn’t bother her, and after her death, Midler apologized in Redbook magazine and said she often thinks of Karen.
  • In 1987, a movie called Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story was released and shown at film festivals. The director, Todd Haynes, didn’t secure the rights to the songs, and the film was pulled after Richard Carpenter filed suit.
  • The alternative rock band Sonic Youth covered this in 1994 for the Carpenters tribute album If I Were A Carpenter. Released as a single with Redd Kross’ version of “Yesterday Once More” as the listed flip side, it peaked at #45 in the UK. Sonic Youth’s version later featured in the 2007 movie Juno where Jason Bateman’s character plays it to Juno. It is included on the film’s soundtrack.
  • In the movie Tommy Boy, Chris Farley and David Spade cry their eyes out listening to this song, which plays as they are driving along. They hit a moose before the song ends..
  • Luther Vandross did a medley of this song and “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” that reached #87 in 1984.
  • Ruben Studdard brought this song to a new audience when he performed it on Season 2 of American Idol. He won the competition, and “Superstar” was released as his first single along with “Flying Without Wings,” which for chart purposes was designated as the A-side and reached #2 behind “This Is The Night” from Clay Aiken, who finished second to Studdard on the show.
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    Thursday, August 30, 2018

    Video: Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty: Superstar – Burt Bacharach Special – February 25, 1973 – Haunting Performance

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    Thursday, August 9, 2018

    Video: Bette Midler – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy – Burt Bacharach Special – 1973

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    Thursday, April 12, 2018

    Kennedy Center Honors: Our top 50 recommendations who need to be chosen include Dick Van Dyke, Liza Minnelli, Jessica Lange, Bette Midler

    Mister D: Ok, I admit that I’m prejudiced, but this list could be whittled down in seconds for me. My standards are high, well in some things, and some of these people don’t really belong on this list.

    Gold Derby
    Kennedy Center Honors: Our top 50 recommendations who need to be chosen include Dick Van Dyke, Liza Minnelli, Jessica Lange, Bette Midler
    Chris Beachum
    April 11, 2018 6:00AM

    The next recipients for the Kennedy Center Honors will be announced in the late summer, often around Labor Day. The all-star event is held each year in the nation’s capital during the first weekend in December and then airs on CBS as a two-hour special after Christmas. Read More

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    Monday, March 5, 2018

    The Oscar for best original song is a garbage category – Bette Midler Proves It In One Segment

    The Washington Post
    The Oscar for best original song is a garbage category
    By Dan Zak
    March 2 at 1:42 PM

    CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Phil Collins grasps his Oscar in 2000; Robin Williams performs “Blame Canada” the same year; Mariah Carey, left, and Whitney Houston perform “When You Believe” in 1999; and, from left, Peter Allen, Christopher Cross, Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager claim their shared prize in 1982. (Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images; Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images; Clary/AFP/Getty Images; ABC/Getty Images)

    Remember when Ann Reinking lip-synced — and danced to — “Against All Odds,” the No. 1 hit by Phil Collins from the movie of the same name, at the Academy Awards in 1985? No?

    It was nearly five minutes of theatrical fog, odd lunges and wide-eyed emoting, and Collins had to watch the slow-motion oddity from his seat. The academy wanted a “variety” of entertainers to perform the nominees for best original song, so it didn’t enlist the English rocker, then at the peak of his career. Read More

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    Saturday, November 11, 2017

    Director Mark Rydell On Seeing Bette Perform Superstar On The Burt Bacharach Special

    Director Mark Rydell On Seeing Bette Perform Superstar On The Burt Bacharach Special: “I realized then that she was tremendously gifted. I realized then that she is an arc light waiting to be turned on.” (The Times News, January 19, 1980) – Bette Midler

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    Thursday, May 4, 2017

    Bette Midler On When She Realized She Was A Star:

    Bette Midler On When She Realized She Was A Star: “When did I realize I was finally a star? I haven’t realized it yet. It all seems like a fairy tale; and mine’s not really a fairy tale life. So it’s hard to believe it’s me people are talking about.” (Times-Picayune, November 6, 1977)

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    Sunday, February 26, 2017

    BetteBack December 25, 1998: What Makes A Top 10 Chick Flick?

    Aiken Standard
    December 25, 1998

    bette-midler-beaches-w724

    Not every chick flick has all these elements. In fact most of them just have a couple. But with that in mind, at least one of the following attributes must be present in order for a flick to be deemed “chick.”

    Terminal illness – at least mom or an apple-cheeked daughter is dying – and they must get progressively beautiful as they do.

    Failed romance – “There’s not a lot of mileage in a love story if all goes smoothly,” say NYU film prof Toby Miller. Read More

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    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    BetteBack May 23, 1974: Young Stars Don’t Want To Do Television

    South Mississippi Sun
    May 23, 1974

    2016-07-18_4-34-07

    Jackie Gleason was drawing laughs from stage – hands and musicians at a most unfunny hour of the morning. Watching him, Gary Smith said American television needed other stars to treat it with the respect the Great One brings to the medium.

    Gleason flew the Atlantic for the first time to guest star in a Julie Andrews Special. It was his first guest appearance in a generation of television.

    It was also his first time on a Smith and Hemion show. Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion, honored with Emmy s and othe r awards, have attracted stars to Britain since they were lured from the United State s by Sir Lew Grade of ATV to head his Specials program. Read More

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    Monday, December 19, 2016

    BetteBack August 10, 1973: Bette Midler – One of a special kind

    Lowell Sun
    August 10, 1973

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    NEW YORK: No one could say that success has crept up on Bette Midler-it burst upon her like one of those tropical thunderstorms that ‘sometimes hit her native Hawaii. Unknown only a short time ago, she has become one of the most popular young talents in America today.

    Her performance on last winter’s Burt Bacharach special was sensational!

    When asked’when she first realized s.he had become a star, she replied: “I haven’t realized it yet! It all seems like a fairy tale life. So it’s hard to believe it’s me people are talking about.” Read More

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