ADAM LAMBERT GIVES FANS NEW ALBUM BIRTHDAY GIFT
THE GLORIOUS CORNER
Story By: G. H. HARDING
ADAM LAMBERT BIRTHDAY GIFT --- American Idol-star Adam Lambert decided to turn the tables and give his fans (Glamberts) a gift they'll never forget: his new album! Newly-signed to Warner Brothers, his new album (his third and first in three years) will be titled Original High, and the first single from the album will be released in April.
Adam also revealed that the producer of the album is Max Martin, who so successfully twirled the dials on his debut album.
REGIS ON LATE LATE SHOW --- Regis Philbin, whose been missing from the TV airwaves since he was unceremoniously dumped by Disney/ABC’s Bob Iger in November of 2011, returned this week to guest host 2 nights of The Late, Late Show this week … and, was fabulous. Though somewhat more reserved than he was during his ABC time, and his famous mop of hair now fully gray, he though had a bevy of terrific guests (David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, Alan Alda, and, Martin Short), the star as always was Philbin.
A broadcaster of tremendous skill and precision, he, along with the like of Johnny Carson, Jack Paar, Joey Bishop, Dick Cavett, and, yes, even Merv Griffin, helped usher in the type of show that was never seen before on TV. If you're of a certain age, you recall these shows nightly, coming into your homes and being funny as well as informative. Who can forget those instantly memorable shows on Carson with the likes of Don Rickles, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra? Classic for sure.
Nowadays, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, run their shows like a Saturday Night Live with a generous helping of often-funny skits and getting their guests involved in some of the most ludicrous games I've ever seen. I'm not saying it’s better, or worse …. just different.
Regis’ lifetime in show business shows and each question was brilliantly conceived and delivered. Has his time passed? I don't know, but it was sure good (and, comfortable) having him back on the small-screen this week.
WE ARE THE WORLD AT 30 --- Hard to believe that this past Wednesday, the all-star recording session for We Are the World, the biggest charity single of all time, reached its 30th birthday.
On Jan. 28, 1985, at A&M Recording Studios in West Hollywood, following Dick Clark’s American Music Awards, more than 40 artists gathered to record the song Lionel Richie (who hosted the AMA's) and Michael Jackson had written to raise awareness of widespread, life-threatening poverty in Africa.
Most of that show's winners - including Cyndi Lauper, Hall & Oates, Bruce Springsteen, Huey Lewis, Willie Nelson, Tina Turner, the Pointer Sisters, Kenny Rogers and the Jacksons - participated.
Originally inspired by the U. K. all-star charity single Do They Know it's Christmas?, released a few months earlier, We Are the World was released March 7, 1985, and went on to sell more than 20 million copies. The more than $75 million raised by non-profit organization USA for Africa helped to fight poverty on the continent. The song also won three Grammy Awards in 1986, including song and record of the year.
"A great song lasts for eternity," says Quincy Jones, who produced the track. "I guarantee you that if you travel anywhere on the planet today and start humming the first few bars of that tune, people will immediately know that song."
Here are some interesting facts about the recording session revealed to us by a close friend who was working for Kenny Rogers at the time:
* Many of the performers arrived in limousines, having just come from the awards show, but not everybody showed up in style. "I think Bruce Springsteen parked his truck in the parking lot of the Rite-Aid or grocery store that used to be across the street," Richie says. "He parked over there and walked in. He didn't know you could come through the gate."Today, you couldn't keep that a secret," Richie says. "You'd have to have a full-on runway, and everybody would have to check their phones."
*Most of the singers had never heard the song before walking into the studio.
"We did not have MP3s," Richie says. "We had cassettes back then. We had to send it to you, so most of them had not heard the song." Richie and Jackson had just barely finished the song in time for the initial tracking session held a week previous at Kenny Rogers' studio. Even Rogers hadn't heard it: "We didn't know what we were going to sing until that night," he says. Hall & Oates' John Oates, who sang in the backing choir, says, "It had the anthemic quality and the simplicity of melody that made pulling off a giant ensemble like that very easy to do. And it was a room full of amazing singers, so that wasn't exactly a problem."
*Says John Oates about Ray Charles:
"Ray Charles, being who he was, commanded a certain deference and respect from everyone, even though he didn't assert himself in any weird way. Lionel, Michael and Quincy were running the show. It was their song, their production, and everyone was very respectful, trying to make it happen. Ray, every once in a while, would just pipe up: 'C'mon. Hey. Let's go. Listen to Michael. Let's get this thing done.' He was there to sing, and he sensed that it could go south very quickly. He commanded a lot of respect, and I thought that was very cool."
USA for Africa is still around. Thirty years after We Are the World, the charity still works on behalf of communities in Africa. Recent initiatives have addressed climate-change issues, arts campaigns and the shipment of medical supplies to Liberia and Sierra Leone to combat the spread of Ebola.
Royalties from We Are the World continue to be the organization's primary source of funding.
"We still earn, but certainly not the kind of money we earned 25 years ago," says executive director Marcia Thomas, who joined the non-profit in 1986 to work on Hands Across America, another USA for Africa initiative. "Our biggest support in terms of where We Are the World is bought most frequently is not in the U.S. but other parts of the world, primarily Japan and Asia."
CLOSING NOTES --- There’s no question that Katy Perry’s half-time performance on Sunday’s Super Bowl 49 (estimated 110 million viewers!!!) will be a highlight, but word came down last night that NBC will run a short spot for their forthcoming variety show starring Neil Patrick Harris. The 15-second spot looks to take advantage of the wave of publicity surrounding Harris’ upcoming gig hosting the Oscars (next month) and a reminder to viewers that NBC has him full-time for next season. Based on the U. K. series Saturday Night Takeaway, the variety series will feature comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini game shows, hidden-camera celebrity pranks and appearances by A-list celebrities …
Frank Shiner, whose new single, the title track of his album The Real Me, was the #1 most added record to AC radio, right up there with Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson. Shiner will perform at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room on Saturday, March 21 …
SIGHTINGS: Mega-manager Ken Levy a Union Square’s Coffee Shop in NYC with client Shayna …