Showing posts with label NEW YORK CITY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NEW YORK CITY. Show all posts

Friday, October 24, 2014


DJ Martin Garrix

DJ Martin Garrix attended the 2014 Pencils of Promise Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City the other evening.


Kate Flannery

Kate Flannery attended the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance 40th Anniversary celebration with a unique Broadway event and play reading by ' Four Decades / One Community' at the Hudson Theater in New York City.


Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett attended the opening of Proper West, a  upscale sportsbar, restaurant and social club at Proper West, in New York City.

Thursday, October 23, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING

Tim McGraw

MONEY MONEY MONEY --- Everyone knows we are in the era of declining album sales, but it's is hard to fathom just how into the red it has gotten.

To date, no album that has been released in 2014 has made it to Platinum status, indicating sales of over one-million units. As of now, only the soundtrack from Frozen, released in 2013, has sold more than one million copies this year.

Albums are making it to Gold level (500,000 units sold) including eleven released this year including Michael Jackson's Xscape and the 70's infused Guardian's of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Volume 1.

Where there is a lot of gold and platinum being awarded is in singles (aka individual track downloads). For veteran artists, much of this action is in country music with Tim McGraw, alone, receiving four platinum singles in the last three months.

Continuing sales of older tracks is also moving some over the thresholds, including Fishin' in the Dark by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band which was released on June 1, 1987 and has just received its platinum certification, and the Mighty Mighty Boss Tones' The Impression That I Get which has gone gold.

The big news, though, for older albums is that Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (released in 1977) has been given its twentieth platinum certificate, indicating sales of over twenty million units. That moves it into a tie for eighth place with Shania Twain on the list of the biggest selling albums of all-time in the U.S. The current Top ten are:

1. Their Greatest Hits - Eagles (29 million)

2. Thriller - Michael Jackson (29 million)

3. Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin (23 million)

4. The Wall - Pink Floyd (Double) (23 million)

5. Greatest Hits Volume 1 and Volume 2 - Billy Joel (Double) (23 million)

6. Back In Black - AC/DC (22 million)

7. Double Live - Garth Brooks (Double) (21 million)

8. Come On Over - Shania Twain (20 million)

9. Rumours - Fleetwood Mac (19 million)

10. The Beatles (Double) (19 million)

Interesting to note, there’s no Taylor Swift; Katy Perry; Beyonce; or, event U2 in the list. Says vet-music biz gunslinger David Salidor, who operates his own PR/Mgmt. firm in Manhattan and L. A., “The business has swung from a singles market; to an album market; and, now back to a singles one. But, a good song is still a good song. The real money right now is in the live-arena … from heritage-type acts to Katy Perry. Radio remains the #1 forum to launch a new song and artist. Good music will always be here; but, the way one obtains it today is a bit different. Think of all the different platforms one now has for their music. In a way, the music business has never been better. ”

WHICH WITCH IS WHICH --- With a twitch of the nose and a little bit of magic, the beloved Bewitched is coming back. The comedy series, which ran from 1964 through 1972, is being revived and reformatted in a new take; and, the lucky winner is NBC.

This new series will center around Daphne, the granddaughter of Samantha Stephens (played by Elizabeth Montgomery in the original series) and the daughter of Tabitha Stephens (played by Lisa Hartman in the spin-off series in 1976).

Daphne is to be a single twentysomething witch who has always used her magical powers to conjure herself the perfect life, our source confirmed, but, the witch runs into a bit of trouble when she discovers she can't conjure up true love. Isn't that always the case?

The original series followed Samantha Steven, a witch who marries an ordinary man (Dick York, then Dick Sargent) and tries to live a magic-free life.

In 2005, Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell starred in a Nora Ephron remake that failed to enchant viewers.

Me, I always adored Agnes Moorehead on this show. I wonder if there'll have her character Endora?

Glen Campbell

ONE MORE FOR GLEN --- Glen Campbell's bittersweet final recording, “I'm Not Going to Miss You," has struck a chord with fans, sending the singer into the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in 33 years.

The track was recorded during Campbell's final recording sessions at a time when he was already suffering the effects of Alzheimer's disease, an illness that has now advanced enough that Glen can no longer record or tour. It comes from the soundtrack of the new documentary Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me; which is released today.

Debuting next week at number 90, the song actually has already charted better than his last Hot 100 single, 1981's “I Love My Truck,” which peaked at 96. Earlier that same year, his “I Don't Want to Know Your Name” went to 65. It's his 38th Hot 100 entry, including five top ten hits:

Wichita Lineman (1968 / #3)

Galveston (1969 / #4)

It's Only Make Believe (1970 / #10)

Rhinestone Cowboy (1975 / #1)

Southern Nights (1977 / #1)

Randy Jones

CLOSING NOTES --- Speaking of Glen Campbell - Thursday night, in rainy Manhattan at downtown Aleo restaurant, Randy Jones, from The Village People, serenaded Glen Campbell’s daughter with his version of her father’s “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Fete was for her new book, written with Mark Bego, called Life With My Father Glen Campbell (Overlook Press) ...

We lost Oscar De La Renta this week; even after designing the wedding dress for George Clooney's bride earlier this month. 50 nears on the fashion scene ... an amazing run. I had the pleasure of meeting him once and was immediately charmed by his gracefulness and charm. Rest easy Oscar ...

Have you seen the trailer yet for the next Avengers movie-coming in 2015. Its terrific, but James Spader, as the villain-Ultron is awesome. Someone posted of his charms "No actor projects intelligence and subtle power in his voice the way Spader does." Couldn't have said it better myself. Take a look.



Jean Shafiroff

Jean Shafiroff stunned the crowd at the Alzheimer's Association -31st Annual Rita Hayworth Gala Celebrating a Timeless Hollywood Icon at the Waldorf Astoria the other evening.

 The dress was designed by Oscar de la Renta and hair was by Roman from Warren Tricomi. This beautiful pink dress shows us what New York fashion is all about. Style and grace!

Photo By: Patrick McMullan


Vivid Cabaret Round Card Girls

Vivid Cabaret New York, the upscale midtown Manhattan three-story gentlemen's club known for its seemingly unlimited supply of stunning topless performers, supplied the "round card girls" for the "Broadway Boxing" Show held at BB Kings in Times Square, New York City.

The sold-out show was filmed for airing on the sports cable channel "SNY-TV," home of the Mets and the Jets, for airing later this year.

The boxing card was a Dibella Promotion, known for putting on the very best in live entertainment. "It was so much fun," purred Vivid Cabaret NYC girl Shay. "The boxing was awesome and the audience was full of celebrities."

The official "After-Party" was held at Vivid Cabaret New York, where the boxers and assorted celebrities, VIPs, and dignitaries enjoyed watching the beautiful Vivid Cabaret girls perform on the city's tallest stripper pole (26 feet).


Sarah Hyland

Actress Julie Bowen sat down with HuffPost Live on Tuesday and set the record straight about her young "Modern Family" co-star Sarah Hyland. Bowen, who was present when Hyland ended her relationship with abusive boyfriend Matthew Prokop, said that her role in the conflict was "grossly overblown."

Bowen: "I love Sarah and I support her wholeheartedly, but I think legally I'm not allowed to talk about it. Honestly I didn't do anything special at all. Nothing that you wouldn't do for a anybody who's going through a break-up. I think it just got a lot of attention because she's an adorably cute person who's on TV."

Bowen: "I think I'm not allowed to talk about it, but it wasn't anything you wouldn't do if somebody called you up and said, 'Hey man, I'm going through a tough time.' You'd jump in." 




Maria Bello

Award-winning television and film actress Maria Bello, known for her roles in A History of Violence, The Cooler, Prisoners, Coyote Ugly, The Jane Austen Book Club, and more, has just narrated her first audiobook. Bello will be the voice behind BETRAYED, the upcoming novel by New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning author Lisa Scottoline. The much anticipated book and audiobook, published by Macmillan Audio, will both go on sale on November 25, 2014.

Mega-bestselling author Scottoline has already penned twenty-one novels and has twenty-five million copies of her books in print in the United States. She is delighted to have Bello animate her beloved characters with her strong, lively, and passionate voice.



John Hawkes

NEW YORK CITY -- Manhattan Theatre Club’s world premiere of Lost Lake, the new play by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn, directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan featuring Oscar nominee John Hawkes (The Sessions, Winter’s Bone) and Tracie Thoms (Rent, “Cold Case”) started previews for a Tuesday, November 11 opening night at MTC at New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street).

The team behind the Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof and The Columnist returns to MTC with Lost Lake, a riveting and spirited world premiere play by Tony winner David Auburn, directed by Tony winner Daniel Sullivan.

The lakeside rental Veronica (Tracie Thoms) has managed to afford is a far cry from the idyllic getaway she and her children so desperately need. And the disheveled property owner, Hogan (John Hakwes), has problems of his own – problems that Veronica is inevitably and irrevocably – pulled into.


The Wailers

The world's most iconic reggae band The Wailers just announced new UK and US tour dates to celebrate the 30th anniversary and recent top 5 ranking on the Billboard Top 200 charts of the re-release of their renowned 1984 album LEGEND. 

The emblematic reggae group will be performing the album in its entirety throughout their tour.

Having spent the last several decades touring the world and spreading the message of reggae far outside its Jamaican birthplace, The Wailers are now celebrating the 30th anniversary of LEGEND Named by Time Magazine as the "Best Album of the 20th Century" and #46 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, LEGEND is also the best-selling reggae album of all time, with over 30 million copies sold worldwide. 

"LEGEND is a sure example of how music that moves people will always stand up to the test of time," said lead singer Dwayne 'Danglin' Anglin. “We honor the songs on LEGEND to spread the message of Rastafari across the globe on our musical journey."

Just recently, LEGEND jumped to the number 5 spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart, making it the first time the album has reached the top 10 since its initial release thirty years ago.

Aston 'Family Man' Barrett laughs and says "It only took 30 years. My life with The Wailers has been an odyssey. To be in the top ten is hard for me to even imagine. We’ve come so far. Sharing this music with so many people around the world was my last promise to Bob and here we are."

Consistently touring for the past 40 years, The Wailers have worked tirelessly to keep the legacy of Bob Marley alive. They are the most successful reggae group in history, whose indelible mark on modern music can be measured in the sale of over 250 million of their albums worldwide and an estimated 25 million people across the globe who have seen them perform live. After touring in South America, Russia, Middle East, and Europe, The Wailers are eager to bring their good vibrations to festivals and venues across the country this fall.

Formed in the late sixties, The Wailers have created an extraordinary body of work that today can be heard in every corner of the world. Original members included Bob Marley and his vocal partners Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, alongside the ground-breaking rhythm section of the Barrett brothers, Carlton on drums and Aston “Family Man” on bass. Today, Aston leads the band as it continues its worldwide campaign to promote peace, love and equality through the message of reggae and Rastafari.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014



Story By: G.H. Harding

Adam Lambert

LAMBERT QUEEN COLLABORATION? --- Queen drummer Roger Taylor in an exclusive interview praised their new front man Adam Lambert as the greatest.

Taylor admitted that bringing Adam into the band as their vocalist was a great move and that it helped when they all got on so well when they traveled together. Seems the American Idol-man was a natural fit with the older stars, despite being decades younger than the legends.

“He fit in so well with us and he brought so much to the show.” Taylor explained “He’s a great front man and he looks great and he sings beautifully, and his style is very suited to our music. You know, it’s pretty theatrical music, some of our stuff. He’s the greatest.”

Taylor continued: “It was a really great experience and I’m thrilled. We're going to go on and do Europe in January and February. It’s all good.”

What about Lambert recording new material with the group, as well as having him perform Freddie’s classics at their gigs? Might that be a possibility?

“I think it would be great to do something, yeah.” Taylor continued, though he revealed that it wouldn't be a full album because Adam is currently placing priority on his third record, which is set for release within the next six months.

The drummer added that he believes a recorded collaboration would be very interesting, because his voice is “so extraordinary and I think we could really do something great with it.”

ADAMS MEETS A BRIT ---  Broadway-favorite Nick Adams, who has performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, checked a box off his bucket list this past weekend while performing in Las Vegas.

Adams, on the road since the beginning of the year, playing Fiyero in the National Touring Company of Wicked, spent his day off checking out a performance by Britney Spears during her multi-year residency at Robert Earl’s Planet Hollywood. Prior to the show, Adam was welcomed backstage by Britney. Adams has considered Britney his favorite singer since 1998, when she scored with her first hit record.

When he’s performed on Broadway in Priscilla Queen of the Desert or Chicago—The Musical, Adams has always displayed photos of Britney in his dressing room. He’s still in disbelief that he came face-to-face with favorite female singer. “I am beyond thrilled to have a photo as proof that I finally met Britney,” says Adams.

The singer-actor-dancer recently did a short tour with Micky Dolenz (Monkees) in the smash musical Hairspray.

Adams wraps up his 15 month Wicked tour on March 15th in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre.

SPEED KILLS --- Apparently, the big film projects aren't quite barreling toward Keanu Reeves like a speeding bus anymore.

The actor, who was last seen in Universal Pictures' 2013 flop Ronin 47, said that he wishes he would receive more offers from the Hollywood studios.

"It sucks, but it's just the way it is," Reeves said about the dearth of offers. "The last studio movie I did was 47 Ronin, but before that it had been a long time — probably The Day the Earth Stood Still." Fyi: Earth Stood Still is a very undervalued hit; Jon Hamm was terrific in that.

The Matrix star said he has always enjoyed making independent films, but acknowledges that a lot of good filmmakers work on studio movies, and so he would like to have more of a balance between the two.

Since The Day the Earth Stood Still, Reeves has appeared in a slew of independently financed projects, including The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Henry's Crime, Generation Um... and Man of Tai Chi.

Reeves can be seen this Friday as a hit man who cuts his retirement short in John Wick. Early buzz and reviews are very good.

CLOSING NOTES --- The Washington Post’s legendary, swashbuckling editor, Ben Bradlee, has passed. For those that remember, he basically took on the Nixon White House during the dark Watergate days. Portrayed in the terrific movie 1976 (directed by Alan J. Pakula), All the President’s Men, by Jason Robards, he was the greatest newspaper man of the post-war world. He’ll be missed …

Eric Clapton announced a series of concert dates in celebration of his upcoming 70th birthday on March 30, 2015. The shows will take place at London’s Royal Albert Hall beginning Thursday, May 14, 2015 through Monday, May 18, 2015. Eric will be accompanied by his band members Paul Carrack, Steve Gadd, Nathan East, Chris Stainton, Sharon White and Michelle John.

The shows also mark 50 years since Clapton first played at Royal Albert Hall – his debut was on December 7, 1964 when he performed as part of the Yardbirds for BBC-2 TV’s Top Beat Show. Clapton returned to the venue four years later for Cream’s U. K. Farewell Concerts on November 26, 1968.

After his time with the Yardbirds in 1963, Clapton began a career as a professional musician that has seen numerous bands, an abundance of albums, countless worldwide sold out shows, an impressive array of accolades, unwavering critical acclaim and his consistent display of legendary guitar work. These concerts will mark his return to the stage after his limited global tour 2014 which included a headlining set at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and shows in Japan, Singapore, UAE, Bahrain UK, Germany, Austria and Poland. A new DVD, Planes, Trains and Eric, is out next month.

SIGHTINGS: Mark Bego with Debby Campbell at NYC's Aleo, celebrating their book Life With My Father Glen Campbell ...

Rocket Music's Tony King and pr-pasha David Salidor at Palm West ...

Jersey Boys Donnie Kehr at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village (in NYC) prepping his Rockers On Broadway set for November 17.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Robert Funaro

New York – After eight preview performances of Vincent Amelio’s ‘How Alfo Learned To Love Women,’ it has been announced that there will be an encore performance on Thursday, November 6.

After the final preview performance this past Saturday night at the National Opera Center in NYC, Amelio said that he’s reached a new sweet spot in his play. “After two weeks of tweaking the script, I think the play is at its optimum performance. Our last two shows we had people literally stacked up at the rear of the theater.”

Directed by Sopranos-actor Robert Funaro, the two-act affair has elicited a bevy of positive notices, including Times Square Gossip which said, “Amelio and Funaro have fashioned a terrific cast for this cleverly-written play (Armen Garo, Christian Thom, Danielle Guldin, Kelli K. Barnett, Gordon Silva) and, Funaro has lovingly and beautifully-directed this presentation, where some of the actors even speak from the floor before arriving on stage. We caught their last performance before their-hiatus and absolutely loved it; definitely coming from Woody Allen-land with scintillating dialogue and a universal theme almost everyone can relate to, we felt it clicked immediately. Gordon Silva as the father was terrific; channeling the best of Jackie Gleason; and, Armen Garo (a big Sorsese-favorite) just off the charts.”


Jean Shafiroff In Oscar de la Renta

Jean Shafiroff, noted philanthropist who is actively involved as a volunteer fundraiser and leader of several New York City and Southampton charitable causes, has been elected to NYC Mission Society’s Board of Directors, effective October 15, 2014.

Ms. Shafiroff already has devoted her time to helping NYC Mission Society. On March 12, 2014, Ms. Shafiroff was honored by NYC Mission Society at its annual Gala and received the Dina Merrill Award for Public Service. She co-chaired a successful event in East Hampton on August 30th and the nonprofit’s Bicentennial Gala in December 2012, and she is co-chairing the annual Gala planned for Spring 2015.

“I believe deeply in the work of NYC Mission Society and how it changes the lives of our most underserved children in New York City. NYC Mission Society is interested in adding business and community leaders to its Board – individuals who are focused on advancing our city's children forward through education and supportive after school programs,” Jean Shafiroff said. “I am here to support the Board and Elsie McCabe Thompson, who I believe is moving NYC Mission forward with strong leadership.”

Monday, October 20, 2014


Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan’s rise to NFL greatness was improbable, and his second coming as a television star is even more remarkable. After 15 years with the New York Giants, the 6 foot 5 former football superstar now juggles three TV jobs and has even more ventures to keep him occupied. But despite his physical size and drive to defy categorization, this gentle giant also has an admitted shy side off the small screen.

The November cover story in Cigar Aficionado hits newsstands October 28th. A selection of quotations include:

On knowing no limits: “I don’t limit myself and I tell my kids not to let anyone limit you. That’s one of the great things I learned from my dad. He never said, ‘If…’ It wasn’t ‘If you’re drafted by the pros.’ It was always ‘When.’ When you’re drafted by the pros. He made things seem like they were supposed to happen.”

On his football field strategy: “I always looked at football as psychological. It was like chess, where you’re figuring out what your opponent’s next move will be, or how to make them move where you want them to…That’s one of the things I miss—that chess match.”

On the difference in his life since leaving football: “I’m not sore every morning.”

Co-host Kelly Ripa on Strahan’s surprising shyness: “All he has are strengths. He can talk about anything…If charm was a drug, you could extract it from his body and give it to everyone…People run up and hug him. They see a big personality. But in his private time, he’s really very shy.”

On his “Live with Kelly and Michael” audience: “Those are the only ones we really think about talking to. If I started thinking about how many people are actually watching us on TV, it would freak me out.”

On being in the limelight: “One of the most embarrassing things to me is people yelling out my name in the street, I want to be the guy who can walk in and out of a room and you don’t know I’ve been there…I miss being able to sit in a restaurant and not have people try to sneak a photo with their cameras.”

On finding anonymity within the community of cigar smokers: “Cigars solicit conversation. You see someone smoking a cigar and you feel instantly closer to them.”

On his choice cigars: “For the most part, I like my cigars light and sweet. Sometimes, though, give me something robust that will knock my socks off. I think the little ones look funny in my hand because I’m such a big guy. But I don’t want a cigar that’s the size of my thumb either.”

On his many ventures off of the field and what’s next: “Someone asked me what I’d like my legacy to be. When I thought about it, I decided I’d like to have been more successful outside of football than I was in it…I’m not done yet. I’ve got a long way to go.”


Oscar de la Renta

Famed fashion icon Oscar de la Renta,who designed Americas First Ladies including Jackie Kennedy, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush has died at 82. He recently designed Michelle Obama's dress for a White House party and the wedding gown worn by George Clooney‘s new wife, Amal Alamuddin.

No other details were available on how de la Renta died.

The award-winning designer was born on July 22, 1932, in Santo Domingo, and became one of the happening designers for American First Ladies and celebrities. Recently in 2006, the fashion legend was was diagnosed with cancer.

Last year, Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Executive Director Fern Mallis called him "the sultan of suave." At that event, he spoke of his cancer, saying, "Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life."

Photo By: RD/Leon/Retna




Story By: G. H. HARDING
Micky Dolenz In Rock Thiz

ZEP DENIED --- A judge has denied Led Zeppelin‘s first attempt to defend a lawsuit claiming that “Stairway to Heaven” was lifted from a song by Randy California and his band Spirit called “Taurus.” The ruling had nothing to do with the merits of the case, but rather a pre-trial motion to dismiss on the question of jurisdiction.

According to sources, Zeppelin had challenged whether the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the suit was filed, had the right to rule on the case. Zep's barristers said, "The individual defendants are British citizens residing in England, own no property in Pennsylvania and have no contacts with Pennsylvania, let alone ties sufficient to render them essentially at home here."

However, Judge Juan Sanchez sided with the plaintiff, who, in an amendment to the lawsuit, said that the defendants “make millions of dollars from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by directly targeting this district for the exploitation of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ through CD sales, digital downloading, radio and television play, advertising, marketing, concert performances, other performances, licensing, and otherwise targeting resident individuals and businesses to profit off the exploitation of ‘Stairway to Heaven.’”

Earlier this year, the children of Spirit guitarist California (born Randy Craig Wolfe) filed suit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement on the grounds that the opening riff from “Stairway to Heaven” was appropriated from “Taurus.” They are seeking monetary damages and co-writing credit. Zeppelin opened for Spirit in 1968, the year “Taurus” was released.

REAL STUPID HUMAN PET TRICK --- Here’s an unfortunate bit of news here for David Letterman’s final run in late night: longtime Late Show cue card handler Tony Mendez has been fired from the show.

According to insiders, Mendez assaulted Emmy award-winning staff writer Bill Scheft following an argument and was notified last Monday that he'd be let go from the show.

Mendez, 69, who had been with Letterman for 21 years, got into a verbal altercation with Scheft and Letterman over changes in cue cards, went home overnight and stewed about perceived slights from Scheft over a long period. When Mendez came back the next day, he grabbed Scheft by his shirt and pushed him against a wall.

A representative for Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, which produces The Late Show, said the company cannot comment on a confidential personnel matter.

Cameras frequently cut to Mendez during the show’s broadcasts as he handled Letterman’s cue cards. Mendez previously handled cue cards for Saturday Night Live and The Hollywood Palace.

Letterman would sometimes use Mendez in bits on the show, referring to him as the resident cue card boy and sometimes sending him out to film other segments. Mendez also had a long-running behind the scenes show titled The Tony Mendez Show that was normally uploaded with the rest of The Late Show clips the following day.

"I know I shouldn't have put my hands on him," said Mendez, "But, this has been coming for a long time."

"(Scheft) encroaches on my work. He tells me what to do, and I have to say, ‘I know what I'm doing.’ And a lot of time when I am making changes([to the cards]), he'll stand there looking over my shoulder, and he'll say something like, ‘Put that on top,’ because he got an idea."

“Bill was always undermining me — making himself out as Dave’s No. 1,” Mendez said. “Trying to pretend that I wasn't even in the room . . . little passive-aggressive things.”

“As Dave is giving me a change, Bill will start yelling the same change — but his own version — because he'll thinks it’s funnier. And I have to say, ‘One at a time, I can't hear anybody!’ ”

I know Bill Scheft and, like Letterman, he is a writer; as unpredictable as always. What many of the reports failed to mention, is that Scheft for a time had his owns segment on the show … which was as funny (or, unfunny, depending on your perspective) as Mendez’s.

Letterman and Scheft are artists … wild, unpredictable and play fast and loose with the interns.

In a sign of solidarity: the show will cover Mendez’s salary and benefits through Letterman’s departure.

LOVE TRAIN STOPPED FOREVER --- The “Love Train” that has carried “The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP)” to “people all over the world” for almost half a century made its last physical stop at 309 S. Broad Street last week as the legendary Philadelphia International Records label, founded by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame producer-songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, was officially shut down with the sale of its historic building to a prominent local developer.

"The closing of the company and building is definitely bittersweet, but we are extremely proud and honored to have been able to create so much great music out of our ‘309’ location,” said Gamble & Huff in a joint statement. “It was such a blessing and miracle how all of this came together over 50 years. More importantly, we would like to thank all of the wonderful musicians, artists and staff members who helped make Philadelphia International Records what it became – and what it remains – an incredible African-American institution and music and cultural brand.”

Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records became the birthplace, incubator and launching pad for the Philly Soul sound aka The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP), a unique blend of R&B rhythms, sweet soul vocals, deep funk grooves, pulsing horn charts and lush string arrangements with melodic structures combining elements of pop, jazz and world music.

With a stable core of artists led by the O'Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, MFSB and the Three Degrees, Gamble & Huff co-founded Philadelphia International Records and began creating monster hits from nearly the first day of its inception in 1971. They continued to record, collaborate and produce major hits with a galaxy of stars from the pop, rock, soul and jazz universes, including Michael Jackson and the Jacksons, Elton John, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Patti LaBelle, the Spinners, the Stylistics, the Delfonics, Dusty Springfield, Jerry Butler, Wilson Pickett, LaBelle, Archie Bell & the Drells, the Soul Survivors, Laura Nyro, the Trammps, McFadden & Whitehead, Phyllis Hyman, the Dells and many more.

The label produced some of the world’s greatest hit songs such as “Love Train,” “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” "For The Love Of Money," "Don't Leave Me This Way," “Me and Mrs. Jones,” "Enjoy Yourself," "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," "Only the Strong Survive," “You'll Never Find A Love Like Mine,” “Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now,” "TSOP" (better known as the Soul Train theme) and many other Top 10 Billboard hits over the past 50 years.

The iconic Philadelphia International Records blue neon sign that adorned the historic Sound of Philadelphia building at 309 S. Broad Street was permanently removed last week in final preparations for the famous structure’s demolition. The lowering of the sign symbolized the end of a legendary record label and an era whose music will continue to resonate deeply with people all over the world for generations to come.

Prior to the PIR era, this building also was the place where Chubby Checker recorded “The Twist,” and Dee Dee Sharp recorded “The Mashed Potato,” as the home of the legendary Cameo-Parkway record label.

The building – owned since 1973 by pioneering songwriting partners Gamble, Huff and Bell – was formally sold this week to Dranoff Properties. The building, ravaged by a 2010 arson fire from which it never recovered, is scheduled to be demolished in 2015, when ground will be broken at that site on the 47-story SLS International hotel and luxury condominium. The span of South Broad Street in front the building was previously renamed Gamble Huff Walk.

CLOSING NOTES --- Vincent Amelio’s play How Alfo Learned to Love Women (director by The Sopranos-Robert Funaro) ended a SRO-run Friday night with a standing ovation. Says Funaro, “Alfo will make you laugh and cry which all great theater does. It's a universal theme which resonates throughout time of the passing on of one family’s legacy to the next generation. Yet more importantly without someone to love Alfo realizes he has nothing to live for.”

Amelio has added an encore performance on Thursday, November 6. Check it out here:

Micky Dolenz, profiled on Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now (November 9) is the subject of a terrific 9-page cover story, by Jay Luster, in the national mag Rock Thiz . Here’s the link: ...

This weekend's Chiller Theatre event in New Jersey just added Debbie Gibson; fresh from her induction into the Long Island Rock & Roll Hall of Fame award - ...

Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon, the singer who had national hits with songs such as “Tallahassee Lassie,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” and “Palisades Park,” has successfully undergone quadruple bypass surgery. Cannon is now home and resting comfortably although, with this type of surgery, he will have a fairly lengthy recovery period.

The Forgotten Hits tip sheet broke the story back on October 9 that an original acetate had been found of Cannon from 1958 with the song “She's My Rock and Roll Baby.” That song, written with his mother, was an early version of what would become one of his biggest hits, “Tallahassee Lassie.”

Boston-DJ Eric Lee found the acetate and, through the web site, contacted Cannon who admitted he did not even have a copy of the song. Get better soon Boom Boom!

Saturday, October 18, 2014



Photos By: James Edstrom

Jean Shafiroff

Rosemary Ponzo With Colin Lively

Sonja Morgan

Christopher Pape With Anna Kulinova

Claude Stanton And Flo Anthony

Hanane Nafidi And Lisa Bernstein

Dr. Steven J Pearlman With Donna Graziano And Larry Romano

Michael Travin With Jean Shafiroff And Tomaczek Bednarek

Rob Shuter With Noah Levy, Delaina Dixon And Chloe Melas

Resident Magazine celebrated their October Entertainment Issue, which features the cast of VH1’s celebrity news show “The Gossip Table” on its cover, at Texas de Brazil Steakhouse on Thursday, October 16, 2014.

Attendees joined Resident Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Christopher Pape and President Michael Travin, for hors d’oeuvres and Brazilian cocktails, to salute the highly-anticipated new October issue.

Guests included the cast members of the Gossip Table – Rob Shuter, Noah Levy, Delaina Dixon and Chloe Melas; as well as RHONY star, Sonja Morgan; co-host of VH1’s Big Morning Buzz show, Michelle Beuteau; philanthropist Jean Shafiroff; noted plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Pearlman; and columnists Flo Anthony and Lauren Lawrence.

Friday, October 17, 2014



Jean Shafiroff

Diana Taylor And Jean Shafiroff

The New York Women’s Foundation (“NYWF”) held a luncheon recently hosted by Board Member and noted philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, at Le Cirque Restaurant recently in support of the NYWF, which is a cross-cultural alliance of women, serving as a voice for women and a force for change.

The event featured an intimate conversation between Diana L. Taylor, former NYWF Board Chair Alumna & Advisory Council Chair, and Dina Habib Powell, head of Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s Urban Investment Group & Global Head of the Office of Corporate Engagement. The conversation was moderated by Priscilla Painton, Executive Editor of Nonfiction at Simon & Schuster and former Managing Editor at Time Magazine.


Story By: G. H. HARDING
Robin Williams

WILLIAMS FILM FINALE --- Lakeshore Records will release the A Merry Friggin’ Christmas – Original Soundtrack (the last film featuring Robin Williams) digitally and on CD on November 4, 2014. The album features original tracks and exclusive covers – making this the perfect alternative rock holiday album. Artists featured on the album include Rufus Wainwright, The Belle Brigade, Ben Kweller, FM Radio, Anna Su, and Ryan Culwell.

The album kicks off with a new version of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” performed by Rufus Wainwright with a 55-piece orchestra. Wainwright also contributes the new soon-to-be classic “Christmas is for Kids." Ben Kweller has two tracks on the album, the original song “Try to Love (Joy to the World)” and a new version of “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane).”

Other original songs on the album include “Going Home For Christmas” by The Belle Brigade, “It’s Christmastime I Know (Ho, Ho, Ho)” by Ryan Culwell, “Santa Will Be Flying Over the Moon” by Anna Su, “Best Time of the Year” by Alex Rhodes, and “The Weather Outside” by Spencer Shapeero. Other new songs include “Up on the Housetop” by California Feetwarmers, “Jingle Bells” by Chuck Meade, and FM Radio’s “More Than I Wished For.”

A Merry Friggin’ Christmas is directed by Tristram Shapeero and stars Williams, Joel McHale, Lauren Graham, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Clark Duke, Candice Bergen and Oliver Platt.

KEYS DOWN --- The Rolling Stones are ready to begin their long delayed run of dates in Australia and New Zealand, but longtime sax player Bobby Keys won't be along this time.

The band broke the news on its official site, saying Keys is “a bit under the weather” and adding that he’s “under doctor’s orders to take it a bit easy for the next month and hopes to see everyone soon.” He'll be replaced for those dates by Karl Denson, who’s quoted on the Stones’ site as saying, “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to see the world through a giant pair of lips. It’s going to be amazing to get even closer to this music that I have listened to all my life.”

Denson paid tribute to Keys on his own Facebook page, telling fans and followers, “While we celebrate my good fortune, let’s also pray for Bobby Keys’ quick recovery. I’ve been studying his playing since I was 19 or 20 years old. He is what I call the original ‘slow hand’ saxophonist. Sometimes less is more. Get well soon Bobby … ”

Whatever befell Keys must have happened recently, as he was profiled in an Oct. 14 article in the West Australian that found him looking forward to the tour. “It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve played ‘Brown Sugar,’ I never get tired of playing it,” he insisted. “It’s pretty scripted on the road; very organized and compartmentalized, and that’s the way it has to be with so many people involved in a Stones tour. It’s quite a bit different to when I first joined the band and there were only two security guys. But I’m not complaining. The music is still good, the checks still cash, and I still enjoy playing.”

Keys’ signature-Stone sax riffs have filled their music for years. He’s lived with them, partied with them … and, hopefully will continue with them. Get well Bobby … soon!

Adam Lambert

LAMBERT ROCKS --- Adam Lambert rocked a fierce cowboy hat as he hit the red carpet while attending the Marco Marco: Collection Three Runway Presentation held at the Vibiana Cathedral on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Later the same day, Adam was spotted making his way through LAX Airport after returning from his New York City flight, where he performed an intimate acoustic set at the AT&T Live Proud Concert.

HAUSER TRANSFER --- Tim Hauser, the only member of the Manhattan Transfer to have been with the group from their forming until today, died on Thursday from an undisclosed cause. He was 72.

The group announced Hauser's passing on their Facebook page:

*It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Tim Hauser’s passing with you all... As many of you know, Tim was the visionary behind The Manhattan Transfer. We spent more than 40 years together singing and making music, traveling the world, and sharing so many special moments throughout our lives... It's incomprehensible to think of this world without him.

We join his loving wife, Barb, his beautiful children, his family, and the rest of the world in mourning the loss of our dear friend and partner in song.


Janis, Cheryl and Alan

Hauser was born in Troy, N. Y. but spent much of his youth in and around Asbury Park, NJ where he began singing professionally at age 15. His doo wop group, the Criterions, recorded two songs for Cecelia Records and they appeared on Alan Freed's Big Beat Show.

In 1969, Hauser, Gene Pistilli, Marty Nelson, Erin Dickins and Pat Rosalia formed the first version of the Manhattan Transfer and, in 1971, they released their only album under this lineup, Jukin'.

After working in a number of odd jobs, Hauser met Laurel Masse and, a short time later, Janis Siegel. The three decided to reform the Manhattan Transfer, officially becoming a group on October 1, 1972 with the addition of Alan Paul.

The group started performing at NY clubs like Max's Kansas City and Reno Sweeney where Atlantic's Ahmet Ertegun saw their act and signed them to the label. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1975, going to number 33 on the Billboard charts and spawning the hit “Operator” which reached number 22.

More albums were released through the rest of the 70's including Coming Out (1976 / #48) and Pastiche (1978 / #66) and they hosted their own summer replacement variety series in 1975 on CBS but it was in the U. K. where they were becoming a major sensation. Pastiche went to number 10 on the British charts and the follow-up Live album hit number 4 while they had a number of hit singles including a remake of the 50's hit by Art and Dodie Todd, Chanson D' Amour, which went to number 1.

In 1978, Laurel Masse was seriously injured in a car accident and left the group to be replaced by Cheryl Bentyne, rounding out the lineup that remained together until Hauser's death. Their first album together was a jazz and pop landmark, Extensions (1979), which modernized their sound and included such hits as Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone (1980 / #30) and their extraordinary version of Weather Report's “Birdland.”

Overall, Hauser and the Manhattan Transfer won ten Grammy Awards, won numerous Downbeat, Playboy and JazzTimes polls and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

Hauser released his only solo album, Love Stories, in 2007. A classic-group, they will be missed.

CLOSING NOTES --- There'll be a reception next week in NYC for Mark Bego’s new book (written with Debby Campbell), Life With My Father Glen Campbell. The book, since its release on September 25, has been a consistent Top Ten Amazon best seller. It’ll be interesting to meet Debby Campbell in person as the fabulous documentary on her father Glen (entitled I’ll Be Me) will be released on October 24 … looking forward to this one …

David Letterman's three-segment interview with actor Michael Keaton (tub thumping his brilliant new movie Birdman) shows why he's unquestionably the best talk-show host since Carson. Funny, poignant and just plain good entertainment, Dave knocked it out of the park ... yet again. If you didn't know about the movie, after this interview not only did you now know, but you'll probably run to the theaters today to see it. Just superlative work from both Dave and Michael Keaton; one my all-time favorites ...

Actress Sean Young (Blade Runner) expected at the Robert Funaro-directed play How Alfo Learned To Love Women; written by brilliant new playwright Vincent Amelio. We'll be there and have more Monday ...

November 2 is the date for a tribute in L. A. to the genius of writer/satirist Stan Freberg. This evening at The Egyptian Theater will be hosted by actor Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Le Show, This is Spinal Tap) and will feature special appearances by “Weird Al” Yankovic, Micky Dolenz (Freberg appeared on The Monkeess/NBC TV show), award-winning filmmaker Bob Kurtz, animation experts Jerry Beck and Eric Goldberg, and many other Freberg colleagues and celebrity fans. Ad Age dubbed him "the Father of the funny commercial" ...

Jon Shecter, has just overseen the publication of an expansive appreciation of Larry Smith, the hugely influential -- and now largely forgotten -- producer Run-DMC's and Whodini's first albums. The writer is Robbie Ettelson.

Check it out HERE