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.

    Each year, the selection committee chooses five entertainment veterans from a variety of fields – film, television, popular music, theatre, and the fine arts (dance, opera, classical music). Selected artists are almost always over 50 and generally are 60 and beyond.

    The first recipients in 1978 were singer Marian Anderson, actor and dancer Fred Astaire, choreographer George Balanchine, composer Richard Rodgers and conductor Arthur Rubinstein. The most recent honorees in 2017 for the 40th anniversary program were dancer Carmen de Lavallade, singer Gloria Estefan, singer LL Cool J, producer and writer Norman Lear and singer Lionel Richie.

    But there are a number of notable performers missing from the honors roll. Our photo gallery features 50 entertainers who deserve to be selected soon. For our purposes a person must be at least 60 years old to be in our gallery. We are not going to include the retired Doris Day and Gene Hackman as well as the reclusive Woody Allen since attendance at the event is mandatory. Tour through our photos and sound off in the forums about who you think should be selected soon.

    1. Dick Van Dyke
    Van Dyke is just an Oscar away from EGOT status. He is a five-time Emmy Award winner for “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Van Dyke and Company,” and “The Wrong Way Kid.” He won a Tony Award for “Bye Bye Birdie” (1961) and a Grammy Award for “Mary Poppins” (1964). Van Dyke is a member of the Television Academy Hall of Fame and received the Screen Actors Guild life achievement award in 2013.

    2. Liza Minnelli
    Minnelli is very close to EGOT, having never won a Grammy Award before. She won a Tony Award for “Flora the Red Menace” (1965), an Oscar for “Cabaret” (1973), and an Emmy for “Liza with a Z” (1973). The daughter of legendary entertainer Judy Garland, other films have included “The Sterile Cuckoo” (1969, her first Oscar nomination), “New York, New York” (1977), and “Arthur” (1981).

    3. Denzel Washington
    Washington is the only African-American with two Academy Awards for acting (“Glory,” 1989; “Training Day,” 2001). His other Oscar nominations were for “Cry Freedom” (1987), “Malcolm X” (1992), “The Hurricane” (1999), “Flight” (2012), “Fences” (2016, producing and acting), and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” (2017). He also won a Tony Award for the same role in “Fences” (2010).

    4. Gladys Knight
    The “Empress of Soul” started her career in 1952 on Ted Mack’s “Original Amateur Hour” TV show. Her group Gladys Knight and the Pips joined Motown in 1966 and became one of the top recording artists of the 1960s and 1970s with such hits as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “If I Were Your Woman,” “Neither One of Us,” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The six-time Grammy winner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

    5. Mick Jagger
    Whether he gets selected by himself (like Paul McCartney) or with his group The Rolling Stones (like The Who and Led Zeppelin), this honor is long overdue. The lead singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with his band in 1989. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003. Their lengthy list of hit singles has included “Satisfaction,” “Get Off My Cloud,” “Ruby Tuesday,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Angie,” and “Start Me Up.”

    6. Jessica Lange
    Lange is just one notch away from EGOT. She is a two-time Academy Award winner (“Tootsie,” 1982; “Blue Sky,” 1994) among her six nominations. She is a three-time Emmy champ (“Grey Gardens,” 2009; “American Horror Story,” 2012; and “American Horror Story: Coven,” 2014). Lange won a Tony Award in 2016 for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” Other films in her career have included “Frances,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Crimes of the Heart,” “Cape Fear,” and “Big Fish.”

    7. Alan Alda
    Alda has established himself as a triple threat on television, on stage, and in films. He won five Emmy Awards for the legendary comedy series “M*A*S*H” spread out over acting, directing, and writing (the only person to prevail in only three fields). He also took home a sixth Emmy for his role on “The West Wing” and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1994. He’s been nominated at the Oscars (“The Aviator,”), Grammys (“Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself,” 2008), and three times at the Tony Awards (“The Apple Tree,” 1967; “Jake’s Women,” 1992; “Glengarry Glen Ross,” 2005).

    8. Bette Midler
    Midler was a big hit right out of the gates when she won Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 1974. It was the first of three Grammys along with three Emmys for her variety specials and a Tony Award in 2017 for “Hello, Dolly.” That just puts her an Oscar away from EGOT, and she has competed at those awards twice as a leading actress for “The Rose” and “For the Boys.”

    9. Harrison Ford
    Ford is the biggest box office star in American history but still hasn’t had much of an awards career but did receive an Oscar nomination for “Witness” (1985). He was awarded the American Film Institute life achievement in 2000 and the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in 2002. His film career has included “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Working Girl,” “Regarding Henry,” “Patriot Games,” “The Fugitive,” “Air Force One,” and “42.”

    10. Reba McEntire
    McEntire is a Country Music Hall of Fame member who has been one of the most popular singers and performers in the 1980s and beyond. She has had the most CMA Award nominations (49) and ACM Awards nominations (45) of any female artist. She has won two Grammy Awards for “Whoever’s in New England” (1987) and “Does He Love You?” (1994) among her 12 career nominations. McEntire has had a successful TV show with “Reba” (2001-2007) and was widely acclaimed for her Broadway debut in “Annie Get Your Gun” (2001).

    11. Tommy Tune
    Tune has been one of the top choreographers and dancers in Broadway history. He is a nine-time Tony Award winner for his performances in “Seesaw” and “My One and Only,” for his direction of “Nine,” “Grand Hotel” and “The Will Rogers Follies” and choreography of “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine,” “My One and Only,” “Grand Hotel” and “The Will Rogers Follies.”

    12. Betty White
    White is one of the favorite comedic performers in TV history and was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1995. She has won five prime-time Emmy Awards for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Golden Girls,” “The John Larroquette Show” and “Saturday Night Live” plus a Daytime Emmy for “Just Men.”

    13. Burt Bacharach
    Bacharach has composed hundreds of songs in his lengthy career, many of them popular hits. He is a three-time Oscar winner for his original song and score in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and original song in “Arthur.” He is a two-time Grammy champ for “Cassidy” and “I Still Have That Other Girl” plus an Emmy winner for his 1971 variety special.

    14. Diane Keaton
    Keaton is an Oscar-winning actress (“Annie Hall,” 1977) who has been primarily working in films since the early 1970s. Her career has included “The Godfather,” “Reds,” “Marvin’s Room,” “Baby Boom,” “Father of the Bride,” “The First Wives Club” and “Something’s Gotta Give.” She was the 2017 recipient of the American Film Institute life achievement award.

    15. Arturo Sandoval
    The Cuban-born Sandoval is one of the greatest trumpet players in music history. He defected to America in 1990 while performing with previous KCH recipient Dizzy Gillespie. He is a 10-time Grammy winner, Emmy winner and recipient of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    16. Cynthia Gregory
    Gregory is one of the most famous American prima ballerinas of recent decades. She first became well known in San Francisco as a teenager before joining the American Ballet Theatre in 1965. She has had roles in “Giselle,”” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Coppelia,” “Don Quixote,” “The Eternal Idol” and “At Midnight.”

    17. Bob Newhart
    Newhart has proven to be one of the most beloved comedians in American history since the early 1960s. In fact he won at the 1961 Grammy Awards as Best New Artist and for Album of the Year. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1993 for his roles on “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Newhart.” He won his only Emmy Award in 2013 for a guest role on “The Big Bang Theory.” He was the 2002 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.

    18. Whoopi Goldberg
    Goldberg is one of the few people who have achieved EGOT in her entertainment career. She won an Oscar for “Ghost,” a Grammy for her comedy album “Direct From Broadway,” a Tony Award for producing “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and a Daytime Emmy for hosting “The View.” Other film roles have included “The Color Purple,” “Sister Act” and “The Lion King.” She was the 2001 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.

    19. Jerry Lee Lewis 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

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    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.

    Wistful disappointment –  what could be more wistfully disappointing than “Ghost” in which Patrick Swayze comes back from the dead to romance his wife, Demi Moore, and then goes back to wherever he came from, breaking her heart a second time?

    Family Focus – Four Chinese women and their four American daughters tell their heart-twisting family tales in “The Joy Luck Club.”

    Women against the world – In “First Wive’s Club” three fifty something women discarded by callous, dirtbag husbands don’t get mad; they bond and then they get even.

    10. The Way We Were – a failed romance, wistful disappointmnet – and a Barbra Streisand song,

    9. Waiting To Exhale - Lots of failed romances, plenty of women against the world – and a Whitney Houston song doesn’t hurt either.

    8. Sleepless In Seattle- wistful disappointments up the wazoo, happy ending non withstanding.

    7. Beaches –  Women against the world, a terminal illness, oh and a Bette Midler song that doesn’t disappoint doesn’t hurt either.

    6. Four Weddings And A Funeral –  Just dare a man to sit through this. Just dare him.

    5. Steel Magnolias - Women against the world, family focus, terminal illness, failed romance, and all in cute southern accents.

    4. Little Women - Women against the world, Family focus, a failed romance or two, a near terminal illness, and a couple of cute boys thrown in for good measure.

    3. Thelma And Louise - a ground-breaking women against the world chick flick. A classic example of the quest movie where feelings count more than resolution.

    2. Ghost - Ditto. Four Weddings And A Funeral.

    1.Terms Of Endearment – A chick flick jackpot. All the essential elements sans Bette Midler. A two kleenex boxer,

    BetteBack March 16, 1997: Is Miss Piggy Based On Bette Midler Or Barbra Streisand?
    Miss M’s Cultural Corner: They’re Playing Our Song: A Memoir By Carole Bayer Sager (Oct. 18th)
    BetteBack January 5, 1997: Paris Review’s 10 Best & Worst Movies Of 1996
    Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand duet axed, but there’s always next time!

    Bette Midler – The Films Of Bette Midler | BootLeg Betty 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

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    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.

    Gleason was the latest in a line which includes Barbra Streisand, Glen Campbell, Steve Lawrence, Burt Bacharach, Liza Minnelli, Rowan and Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, John Wayne, Dinah Shore and many others.

    Of cours e Sir Lew’s checkbook helped—though he paled when Miss Streisand demanded they repeat a scene for the 20th time because she didn’t like a highligh t o n he r cheek!—but stars also have bankable reputations to protect and they feel more secure with a creative team whose judgment they respect.

    “We’ve brought a style to variety performance and most artists seek us out because of it,” Smith said. “We like to think we’ve found a way of making a variety show warm and literate, of giving it a point of view. And we do this by drawin g ou r themes from the talents of the stars themselves.

    “For example with John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Burl Ives on a show we gave it a vaguely western feel—Wayne talking about the old frontier to a young boy and some of the numbers ecolving from that.”

    That basi c approac h may seem obvious but it’s amazing how many directors and producers still go for the old get-in-front-ofthe-camera-and-do-your speciality routine . But ther e is mor e to Smith than glasses, a thick brown mustache, a well covered thatc h and a 67-year background of top TV shows at age 39.

    He was an award-winning designer before he turned to larger things and can brilliantly create the settin g fo r whateve r theme he chooses for his star. And he ha s some thoughts on why television isn’t better.

    “Younger stars don’t like TV,” he said, “and it’s difficult to get them to do a show. Neil Diamond won’t appear. Bette Midler isn’t anxious. You can stretch the list a long way.

    ” I don’t blame them. The average person in show business looks upon television as purely commercial, insignificant, tasteless. It doesn’t have status in their eyes.” ‘

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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.”

    ONE OF BETTE’S particular specialties is her vivid interpretation of the tunes from.the 1940’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” one of the numbers she sang in the Bacharach special — makes it easy to jump to the conclusion that Bette has seized upon a gimmick.

    “What actually happened,” she explained, “is that I was brought up in the ’40’s and all the records my parents had were, of course of the 30s and 40s. I found myself fascinated by the music but even more fascinated by the women singers. Like the Andrews Sisters, whom I imitate in ‘Chattanooga.”

    “The fascination lasted, and later I really began to research that era. I spent hours at a time in music libraries listening to old show tunes and pop songs and absorbing the stories of the stars. I became something of an expert, simply out of personal interest not because I
    intended to exploit it.

    “I wanted to be an actress, really,” continued Bette. “But everyone wanted me to be conventional, to fit a stereotype, which I couldn’t. I’m, not a conventional person, it was quite a fight.

    “I never intended to concentrate on the oldies — in fact, I don’t. 1 sing contemporary numbers as well. But everyone has seized on the way I sing the oldies, so I guess that’s my strenght.”

    WHO COOKED UP “The Divine Miss M?”

    “That just happened, too! she answered. “I was always imagining myself as the people I wanted to play — real people and characters, alike. I seemed to feel their presence and would be carried away, by them. And people started saying ‘Isn’t she divine?’ Before I knew’where I was,’l was being called ‘divine’ and it stuck.-”

    “The Divine Miss M” is the title of her reaply chart-topping first album which combines the oldies, but goodies, and .some great current songs,’ including her Top 40‘s hit “Do You Wanna Dance.”

    Bette’s exuberant vitality is one of her most appealing characteristics. It’s no gimmick — it’s genuine.

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