Tag Archives: The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Thursday, August 9, 2018

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

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

On This Day In History: Bette Midler Was Johnny Carson’s Last Guest

Decider
Today in TV History: Johnny Carson’s Last Guests Were Robin Williams and Bette Midler
By Joe Reid @joereid
May 21, 2016 at 11:00am

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Of all the great things about television, the greatest is that it’s on every single day. TV history is being made, day in and day out, in ways big and small. In an effort to better appreciate this history, we’re taking a look back, every day, at one particular TV milestone. 

IMPORTANT DATE IN TV HISTORY: May 21, 1992

PROGRAM ORIGINALLY AIRED ON THIS DATE: The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

WHY IT’S IMPORTANTYou’d be hard-pressed to come up with too many TV events that had more far-reaching impact than Johnny Carson’s decision to leave The Tonight Show after thirty years as host. Not only did it set off the chain reaction of questionable decision-making and intrigue that were the original Late Night Wars (Leno versus Letterman edition), but it was also a massively important marker of the passage of time. The end of Carson’s reign was in many ways the end of a particular era of television, and even culture.

On his final show with guests (Carson’s actual finale the next night was a clip show), Carson welcomed two of the biggest stars of the era: Robin Williams and Bette Midler. (Both of them, coincidentally enough, were two months removed from being Oscar nominees for 1991.) Carson’s segment with Williams is typically manic, but its topicality is a window into history. The 1992 election, with all its intrigue and scandal, was THE hot topic, and vice-president Dan Quayle’s insistence on making a culture war out of Murphy Brown’s single motherhood had turned Clinton vs. Bush into a battle for the cultural direction of the country, if not the political.

Williams is a live wire in his portion of the episode, and you can see Carson’s genuine delight in not having any idea where he’s going to go next. Carson doesn’t shock easily, but the network censors remind us that they used to bleep out words like “ass” and “balls.” 1992, you adorable thing.

The Bette Midler segment that follows is more widely remembered, particularly for her emotional performance of “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road),” hands down one of the most beautiful moments ever broadcast on television. That camera angle that caught Carson, head perched on his hand, watching Midler serenade him was breathtaking.

Less remembered is the comedic ditty Midler came up with earlier in the show, set to the standard “You Made Me Love You.” And as if two show-stoppers in one hour weren’t enough, Midler and Carson engaged in a semi-impromptu duet on “Here’s That Rainy Day.” Talk about performers who knew how to capitalize on the sentiment of a moment.

Again, the appeal is watching Carson’s genuine rapport with and affection for his guest. That was Carson’s appeal. He was sharp as a tack and could be just as acerbic, but he genuinely loved entertainers, especially favorites like Williams and Midler.

Photo Flash: Inside HELLO, DOLLY’s Opening Night! (broadwayworld.com)
FULL LIST: Nominees, Tony Awards 2017 (rappler.com)
Bette Midler On Her Television Special For NBC: (bootlegbetty.com)
‘Dolly!’ Looks Delish At $1.7M As B.O. Takes Off – But Broadway Attendance Dips (deadline.com)

Bette Midler fan collapses during theatre show, but would rather die than miss Act 2 Read More

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Monday, April 17, 2017

BetteBack January 28, 2000: ‘Great’ Bette for a good time

The Boston Herald
January 28, 2000 | Verniere, James

original

Isn’t She Great.”

Rated R. At Copley Place and suburban theaters.

three stars

A kooky labor of love, “Isn’t She Great” confidently sports no question mark in the title and stars the Divine Miss M as Austin Powers’ favorite writer Jacqueline Susann.

Susann, as some may remember if this film is to have any shelf life at all, was the failed actress-turned-best-selling author of the shag-a-licious novels “The Valley of the Dolls,” “The Love Machine” and “Once Is Not Enough.” While she didn’t quite change the face of American publishing with her poodle and Pucci wardrobe and her sex-crazed, pill-popping starlets eager to trade their nubile flesh for movie roles as long as the supply of uppers and downers never ran out, Jacqueline Susann was something else, all right.

Her fame was a bona fidetriumph of the will, if not the quill, and her sex-crammed novels, typed apparently all in capital letters, were the literary and dietetic equivalent of potato chips. But ordinary people read them by the millions. On a whirlwind publicity campaign to sell Jackie’s first novel, husband-manager Irving Mansfield (Nathan Lane) lovingly describes “The Valley of the Dolls” as “like ‘Gone With the Wind,’ only filthy.” Although Susann owed a debt to schlockmeisters Harold Robbins and Sidney Sheldon, she was the pre-feminist pioneer in the field, and she gave birth to a thousand imitators and a few unforgettably godawful films.

The kitschy cult of Jackie Susann, who died in 1974, might be panting at the prospect of this movie for all I know, and they might even embrace this sitcomish effort. Directed by Andrew Bergman (“The Freshman,” “Striptease”) from a script by Paul Rudnick (“In & Out”), =&0=&plays Susann as a force of nature, and her trashy, retro wardrobe alone is worth the price of admission. In a scene in which her uptight WASP editor (a typecast but funny David Hyde Pierce) first meets Jackie and Irving, =&0=& rocks the house merely by making three separate entrances in three smashingly hilarious frocks.

Stockard Channing also scores as Jackie’s best friend and muse, the ab-fab New York actress Florence Maybelle. And in a small role John Cleese, sporting his own hilariously outre fashions, is splendidly randy as Jackie’s tasteless publisher.

But the film, which is based on the New Yorker story “Wasn’t She Great” by Michael Korda and features two new songs by ’60s pop icon Burt Bacharach, is too polite and strives too hard to make Jackie a heroine. This is not “A Star Is Born” despite Bergman’s leanings in that direction. Two scenes in which Jackie and Irving stand under a tree in Central Park and talk to God would have been enough. Jackie and Irving’s visits to see their institutionalized, autistic son are anesthetic. Jackie’s courage in the face of her breast cancer, on the other hand, is allowed to speak for itself.

Typical of the movie is its re-creation of Jackie’s legendary appearance on “The Tonight Show.” In real life, a viperish Truman Capote was seated to Susann’s immediate right, and, no doubt jealous of her success, felt obliged to insult her, declaring she looked “like a truck driver in drag.” In the film, Jackie appears, “Zelig”-like, with a ’60s-vintage Johnny Carson, but Capote makes his remarks alone and on another show. Later, Jackie and Irving hobnob in the Aegean with Aristotle Onassis (Frank Vincent) and “the other Jackie.” But the filmmakers respectfully keep “the other Jackie” off-camera. They might be afraid of being accused of bad taste, but Jackie Susann never was. Moreover, the film upstages itself by showing us a scene from the deliriously awful 1967 film “The Valley of the Dolls.” The moral is: There’s no trash like real trash.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

BetteBack September 30, 1974: Bette Midler To Roast Johnny Carson At Charity Dinner

Anderson Herald Bulletin
September 30, 1974

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Anybody surprised that Bob Hope will be emcee at the Friar Club charity dinner honoring Johnny Carson on October 19. The combination of the King of Emcees saluting the King of Midnight should get the festivities off to a smashing start.

Others on tap will be Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler. Don Rickles, Alan King, Red Buttons, Jan Murray, Pat Henry, Bob Newhart, Jimmy Stewart, George Sega! and who else is in town?

President of the Friars, Buddy Hackett, has the event scheduled for the grand ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

BetteBack September 23, 1990: Bette Midler Wears Luxurious Reptile Accessories
Midler’s Almost-Forgotten Debut Album Still Remains A Classic Of The ’70s Nostalgia/Camp Boom
BetteBack September 13, 1972: Bette Midler’s Star Rises Fast | BootLeg Betty
On Being Compared To Barbra And Liza: | BootLeg Betty

BetteBack March 19, 1996: Who Will Play Mame In The TV Adaption | BootLeg Betty Read More

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

BetteBack January 28, 2000: Isn’t She Great? No. Grating? Yes.

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
January 28, 2000 | Gire, Dann

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Isn’t She Great

Written by Paul Rudnick; based on an article by Michael Korda. Produced by Mike Lobell. Directed by Andrew Bergman. A Universal Pictures release. Rated R (language). Running time: 95 minutes.

Cast:

Jacqueline Susann =&0=& =&1=&

Irving Mansfield Nathan Lane

Florence Maybelle Stockard Channing

Michael Hastings David Hyde Pierce

Henry Marcus John Cleese

Great? No.

Grating? Yes.

This cold comic look at the life and death of trash romance novelist Jacqueline Susann has ear-gouging dialogue, rude conversations with God and – something that time will eventually prove me right about – the single biggest miscasting of the new millennium.

In “Isn’t She Great,” =&0=& =&1=& plays Susann as a scary combination of Momma Rose and =&0=& Davis’ Baby Jane. She delivers every line with Ethel Mermanesque bombast, and creates a character so egregiously histrionic that she would be judged too “over the top” even for TV sitcoms.

The rest of “Isn’t She Great” isn’t so great, either. It plays like A&E’s “Biography” as put together by disgruntled interns at “Saturday Night Live.”

Nathan Lane, in a valiant attempt to rise above this material, narrates “Isn’t She Great” as a personal remembrance by New York press agent Irving Mansfield. He tells how he fell in love with a struggling young actress named Jackie Susann.

“I want you as a woman!” Irving shouts to Jackie, “and as a client!” Irving eventually uses his marketing savvy to transform her into America’s best-selling author of the 1960s.

With her first book, “Valley of the Dolls,” Susann bursts upon the best-seller lists with her no-holds-barred account of drugs, sex, booze, scandals and power struggles in Hollywood.

She continues to churn out trashy romances, many of which become movies. She hits the celebrity circuit, even trading jokes with Johnny Carson.

But Susann’s life hardly ranks as a fairy-tale existence. Early on, she suffers from breast cancer and undergoes extensive radiation therapy. She and Irving become parents to an autistic son, Guy, who they keep in a full-time care center.

From the get-go, “Isn’t She Great” strives for the same one-two punch of comedy and tears that James Brooks’ excellent “As Good As It Gets” managed to pull off effortlessly in every scene.

It never happens here.

Director Andrew “The Freshman” Bergman, working from Paul “In & Out” Rudnick’s script, gives =&1=& so much free rein that whatever warmth and tragedy the story might have held gets pushed aside by shrill caricatures and sketch comedy.

When Irving goes shopping for a gift for his wife, Jackie’s best friend, actress Florence Maybelle (an Elizabeth Taylorized Stockard Channing), suggests he pick up an expensive black-and-white pearl necklace.

“If a man gave that to me,” she purrs with a “Married … With Children” sitcom delivery, “I’d not only have sex with him … I’d enjoy it!”

“Frasier” sitcom star David Hyde Pierce recycles his uptight pigeon-holed personality as Michael Hastings, a persnickety editor for Jackie’s publisher, Henry Marcus (a wasted use of Monty Pythonite John Cleese).

The fastidious Hastings drags Jackie and Irving over to his mother’s posh homestead to work quietly. There, the flamboyant Miss J. gets his elderly Aunt Abigail and Grandma Mimsy to fondly talk about their lesbian leanings.

Har-dee-har-har-har.

“She never got the breaks,” Irving solemnly swears as he reflects on his late wife’s life, “so she made her own!”

Good for her, because “Isn’t She Great” doesn’t give us any.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

BetteBack August 3, 1974: “Tonight Show,” stepping stone or launching pad for new talent

Port Arthur News
August 3, 1974

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“When I did the Tonight Showâ last December 6. it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me It made me glad I decided to become a comic.”

This is how Freddie Prinze looks back on the first of five appearances on NBC television network s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”

F o r the “Tonight Show .” Freddie was a new comedian For Freddie, it became a stepping stone to his own series, “Chico and the Man.” which
co -stars Jack Albertson and premieres this fall on NBC-TV.

Now in its 12th year, the Tonight Show” Starring Johnny Carson” has been the launching pad. or high point, of many careers.

Says Freddie: “When I do the show and hear Johnny’s very distinguishable laugh, it’s an ego trip for me. I know I’m making it. It’s great to hear the audience laughing, but when Carson joins in too. then I know I’m going over. I think Johnny is the only one in TV in the past years to showcase young talent. H e’s the best, and he knows how it is to get started Few performers on the show get to sit on the panel their first time out. but I did It’s like talking to a friend in your own living room. If it wasn’t for the entire staff, Johnny, producer Fred de Cordova and director Bobby Quinn. I wouldn’t be in a series today.”

Introducing new ta le n t o r helping others with a needed push has been synonymous with Carson and the “Tonight Show.”

Since McLean Stevenson, a sta r of TV’s “M-A-S-H,” was first on, he has returned more than 14 times and has headlined in Las Vegas McLean confides that he gets more mail from his “Tonight” performances than from his TV series.

D avid Brenner has made more than 20 appearances on the “Tonight Show” and credits the success of his young career to performing on the program He now stars in Las Vegas and has made many concert tours.

Although it is difficult to single out the exact moment of Don Rickles’s big breakthrough. Rickies, him­ self, believes it really began on the night of Oct 7, 1965. during his first appearance with Carson.

Until that night. Don had been considered “too hot to handle” by TV variety-show producers and his television appearances had been limited to acting roles in situation comedies and dramatic shows.

Recently, Joan Rivers was asked if she still credits Carson with starting her career. “Everything started then ,” said Joan When I met Johnny it was all over. H e’s the one I’d put my hand in the fire for.”

Along the line there have been many more, such as Flip Wilson, Bette Midler and. recently 10-year-old singer Lena Zavaroni. New comedian Kelly Monteith has also appeared on the “Tonight Show,” continuing the show’s policy of giving new talent the opportunity to be properly showcased.

Bette Midler to bring KeyArena some ‘Divine Intervention’; Receives Script For Mae West
Midler’s Almost-Forgotten Debut Album Still Remains A Classic Of The ’70s Nostalgia/Camp Boom
BetteBack Emmy Nominations Commentary – But Bette Midler Nominated | BootLeg Betty

BetteBack May 22, 1992: Johnny Carson Given One Of His Greatest Shows | BootLeg Betty Read More

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Friday, February 10, 2017

BetteBack December 16, 1973: Danger Sign to the Divine Miss M?

Pacific Stars And Stripes
December 16, 1973

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The first time I heard Bette Midler on record I didn’t really care for her. She sounded a bit pretentious, a trifle overbaked and more than a little false. But then I saw her one night on Johnny Carson‘s show and it changed my whole opinion of her.

On that show, she wore a wonderfully tacky outfit, went through some horrendous choreography and sang “Chattanooga Choo Choo” with such enthusiasm that no one would be heartless enough to tell her the whole act was 30 years out of date.

But it was precisely that tragic sense of inappropriateness — and therefore daring — about her that made you know she was going to become a star. I made a note to myself that night to see her in person as soon as possible.

Luckily, she appeared at the Boarding House in San Francisco a few weeks later. In that engagement, she was every bit as engaging as she had been on television.

Before wild, cheering audiences at the Boarding House, the tiny (5 foot, 1 inch) fireball of energy combined all the gaudy show business exuberance of the 1940s with a steady stream of funny, exaggerated remarks (referring to herself as the “last of the tacky women . . . the divine Miss M . . . trash with flash”) and some highly stylized versions of such varied songs as “Am I Blue,” “Leader of the Pack” and “Delta Dawn.” Sensational.

Through it all, she exhibited a continuous display of energy: arms twirling, body twisting, eyebrows arching and, best of all, a wide, happy, rainbow of a smile. Both her music and manner ranged from the harshly cynical to the unabashed sentimental.

Her every move on stage was an effort to challenge her audience; an attempt to tell the audience to enjoy itself, to make it feel some emotion and step from the protective shell that engulfs so many during these troubled, isolated times.

“I’d like to think of my music as something positive,” she said in an interview back at her hotel.

“I would really like to wake up people in this country a bit and say to them that they really are alive. They’ve had a bad time of it the past 10 years. There isn’t a lot of humor around today. I’m trying to say, ‘Let’s have fun.’ Don’t be afraid to show your emotions.”

I came back to Los Angeles genuinely excited. I even began to like the album. I saw and enjoyed her at the Troubadour and at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

She remained an eager, refreshing talent.

I was a bit disappointed, however, when I saw her last summer at the Universal Amphitheater.

The music had less conviction and her stage manner was less engaging. Where there once was an overwhelming desire to reach her audience emotionally, she now seemed content to simply “entertain.”

There seemed to be less of that wonderful ‘divine Miss M’ character and more of the artistic and serious Bette Midler. Her second album, I figured, would be a crucial one for her — either a confirmation of my fears or a reason to erase them.

The second album is now available and it brings me back full circle. There are some nice moments in it, but, generally, I don’t care for it. In fact, I’m afraid, much of “Bette Midler.” (Atlantic SD 7270) strikes me as pretentious, overbaked and false.

Two problems are apparent.

First, it was the style of music more than the individual songs (i.e. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Leader of the pack”) that was her initial strength. She found styles that were far from the “hipness” of today’s musical scene and showed us we can still respond to them.

There was an almost philosophical, therapeutic message to her work: There is no reason to set limits on one’s emotions.

Unfortunately, Miss Midler has not, with the exception of the soul-favored “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home,” found new styles to release new, repressed emotions. Secondly, she has become much more self-conscious in her handling of the material.

“Skylark” and “Drinking Again,” two Johnny Mercer songs that open the album at a decidedly slow pace, are given the same kind of on-so-serious, d r a i n-them for-every-ounce-of emotion precision that one might have expected from an early Barbra Streisand album.

Things pick up sharply with Miss Midler’s spirited-to-the point-of-exaggeration version of Denise LaSalle‘s “Breaking Up Somebody Else’s Home” — a flashy combination of melodrama and humor that works.

Side two is much more in the early “divine Miss M” spirit and, therefore, a vast improvement.

After a taste of the celebrative “Optimistic Voices,” we find Miss Midler on her home turf on the lively, almost irresistible “Lullaby of Broadway” and “In the Mood.” She sings all the vocal parts on both songs.

Two strong tracks.

But we go downhill again with a pairing of “Uptown” and “Da Doo Run Run” that fails because the first song is too close to the style and spirit of “Leader of the Pack” to have much impact and Miss Midler’s version of “Da Doo Run Run” is so inferior to Phil Spector‘s original that it is almost unbearable.

‘Twisted is the boldest sample of the “divine Miss M” that we’ve received on record. It is complete with a “how ya doing girls, long time no see” introduction.

“Bette Midler” is a curiously conservative, unimpressive album — one that reflects little of the drive, imagination and joy of the woman I saw on the Carson show or at the Boarding House in San Francisco. I hope it’s just one bad album and not a danger sign in her career.

Midler’s Almost-Forgotten Debut Album Still Remains A Classic Of The ’70s Nostalgia/Camp Boom
New York Times: It’s The Girls…One Of Bette Midler’s Best
BetteBack September 23, 1973: Bette Midler Sings In Berkley
Johnny Carson coming back in reruns on Tribune Broadcasting channel

Bette Midler to bring KeyArena some ‘Divine Intervention’; Receives Script For Mae West Read More

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Friday, January 27, 2017

BetteBack November 30, 1973: What Can You Tell Me About Bette Midler?

Dover Times Reporter
November 30, 1973

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What can you tell me about Bette Midler? I think she is fantastic! H.C.

Bette’s personality has helped to get her songs right to the top of the charts. She is from Hawaii, which she savs is a wild place. While still there. Bette got some work as a movie extra. It paid S350 a week. The money helped convince her parents that maybe shoe business wasn’t such a bad business and Bette consequently flew to N.Y.

One day a talent coordinator for David Frost saw Bette and signed her for the Frost Show. The audience gave her quite a reception and Frost signed her to five more shows. Merv Griffin jumped on the bandwagon and so did Johnny Carson and Mike Douglas. She was on her way to fame!

Her catalog of songs is heavily nostalgic, old blues and a lot in the f930’s. One of the unusual things about Bette is that while other girls change costumes to change periods, she changed her posture and body movements.

Bette can hold her own on the talk shows too. She is one of (he most unusual singers to ‘make the scene’.

  • BetteBack September 23, 1973: Bette Midler Sings In Berkley
  • Johnny Carson coming back in reruns on Tribune Broadcasting channel
  • Conversations With Michael Eisner: Bette Midler Talks To Michael Eisner (2006 Transcript And Video)
  • Bette Midler to bring KeyArena some ‘Divine Intervention’; Receives Script For Mae West
  • Johnny Carson On Bette Midler
  • Read More

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    Sunday, September 18, 2016

    BetteBack December 16, 1973: Bette’s Second Album A Danger Sign?

    Pacific Stars And Stripes
    By Robert Hilburn
    December 16, 1973

    9-5-2012 6-57-53 PM

    The first time I heard Bette Midler on record I didn’t really care for her. She sounded a bit pretentious, a trifle over-baked and more than a little false. But then I saw her one night on Johnny Carson‘s show and it changed my whole opinion of her.

    On that show, she wore a wonderfully tacky outfit, went through some horrendous choreography and sang “Chattanooga Choo Choo” with such enthusiasm that no one would be heartless enough to tell her the whole act was 30 years out of date.

    But it was precisely that tragic sense of inappropriateness — and therefore daring — about her that made you know she was going to become a star. I made a note to myself that night to see her in person as soon as possible.

    Luckily, she appeared at the Boarding House in San Francisco a few weeks later. In that engagement, she was every bit as engaging as she had been on television.

    Before wild, cheering audiences at the Boarding House, the tiny (5 foot, 1 inch) fireball of energy combined all the gaudy show business exuberance of the 1940s with a steady stream of funny, exaggerated remarks (referring to herself as the “last of the tacky women . . . the divine Miss M . . .trash with flash”) and some highly stylized versions of such varied songs as “Am I Blue,” “Leader of the Pack” and “Delta Dawn.” Sensational.

    Through it all, she exhibited a continuous display of energy: arms twirling, body twisting, eyebrows arching and, best of all, a wide, happy, rainbow of a smile. Both her music and manner ranged from the harshly cynical to the unabashed sentimental.

    Her every move on stage was an effort to challenge her audience; an attempt to tell the audience to enjoy itself, to make it feel some emotion and step from the protective shell that engulfs so many during these troubled, isolated times.

    “I’d like to think of my music as something positive,” she said in an interview back at her hotel.

    “I would really like to wake up people in this country a bit and say to them that they really are alive. They’ve had a bad time of it the past 10 years. There isn’t a lot of humor around today. I’m trying to say, ‘Let’s have fun.’ Don’t be afraid to show your emotions.”

    I came back to Los Angeles genuinely excited. I even began to like the album. I saw and enjoyed her at the Troubadour and at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

    She remained an eager, refreshing talent.

    I was a bit disappointed, however, when I saw her last summer at the Universal Amphitheater.

    The music had less conviction and her stage manner was less engaging. Where there once was an overwhelming desire to reach her audience emotionally, she now seemed content to simply “entertain.”

    There seemed to be less of that wonderful ‘divine Miss M’ character and more of the artistic and serious Bette Midler. Her second album, I figured, would be a crucial one for her — either a confirmation of my fears or a reason to erase them.

    The second album is now available and it brings me back full circle. There are some nice moments in it, but, generally, I don’t care for it. In fact, I’m afraid, much of “Bette Midler.” (Atlantic SD 7270) strikes me as pretentious, over-baked and false.

    Two problems are apparent.

    First, it was the style of music more than the individual songs (i.e. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Leader of the pack”) that was her initial strength. She found styles that were far from the “hipness” of today’s musical scene and showed us we can still respond to them. There was an almost philosophical, therapeutic message to her work: There is no reason to set limits on one’s emotions.

    Unfortunately, Miss Midler has not, with the exception of the soul-favored “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home,” found new styles to release new, repressed emotions. Secondly, she has become much more self-conscious in her handling of the material.

    “Skylark” and “Drinking Again,” two Johnny Mercer songs that open the album at a decidedly slow pace, are given the same kind of on-so-serious, d r a i n-theitf •for-eyery-ounce-ofemotion precision that one might have expected from an early Barbra Streisand album.

    Things pick up sharply with Miss Midler’s spirited-to-the point-of-exaggeration version of Denise LaSalle‘s “Breaking Up Somebody Else’s Home” — a flashy combination of melodrama and humor that works.

    Side two is much more in the early “divine Miss M” spirit and, therefore, a vast improvement.

    After a taste of the celebrative “Optimistic Voices,” we find Miss Midler on her home turf on the lively, almost irresistible “Lullaby of Broadway” and “In the Mood.” She sings all the vocal parts on both songs.

    Two strong tracks.

    But we go downhill again with a pairing of “Uptown” and “Da Doo Run Run” that fails because the first song is too close to the style and spirit of “Leader of the Pack” to have much impact and Miss Midler’s version of “Da Doo Run Run” is so inferior to Phil Spector’s original that it is almost unbearable.

    ‘Twisted ‘ is the boldest sample of the “divine Miss M” that we’ve received on record. It is complete with a “how ya doing girls, long time no see” introduction.

    Bette Midler” is a curiously conservative, unimpressive album — one that reflects little of the drive, imagination and joy of the woman I saw on the Carson show or at the Boarding House in San Francisco. I hope it’s just one bad album and not a danger sign in her career.

    Midler’s Almost-Forgotten Debut Album Still Remains A Classic Of The ’70s Nostalgia/Camp Boom
    New York Times: It’s The Girls…One Of Bette Midler’s Best
    BetteBack September 23, 1973: Bette Midler Sings In Berkley
    Bette Midler – Lullaby Of Broadway-Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy-Johnny Carson-1973 | BootLeg Betty

    Skylark – Johnny Carson Show – Bette Midler – 1985 | BootLeg Betty Read More

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    Saturday, June 4, 2016

    Bette Midler – Lullaby Of Broadway-Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy-Johnny Carson-1973

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