Little Anthony of Little Anthony & The Imperials

Yes, the one and only Little Anthony.  The legendary vocal group, Little Anthony and the Imperials sold millions of albums.  Their iconic recordings of songs like “Tears on My Pillow,” “I’m on the Outside (Looking In),” and “Goin’ Out of My Head” continue to be heard on the radio decades after their debut.

What about Anthony?  He’s as vital as ever and shares his one of a kind perspective in this exclusive interview.  You know the music, now get to know the man.

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Visit Little Anthony and the Imperials online.

Don Williams passed away

The Gentle Giant, Don Williams passed away. What an incredible singer. Never saw him perform live, but one of my favorite memories of a concert was they played a recording of his song “I Believe In You” before a Charley Pride concert and everyone got up and slow danced.

Please listen to one of his songs.

May he rest in peace.

Händel Goes Wild – Can you handle it?

The great works of art aren’t meant to be put on a shelf to be forgotten. They are here to be interpreted by the artists of the time.  Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” can be played by a new crop of young actors.  In this sense, “old made new” is what makes a classic.

I’m grateful to have been sneaked an advance copy of the album “Händel Goes Wild,” an album by Austrian multi-instrumentalist Christina Pluhar and her ensemble L’Arpeggiata.  “Händel Goes Wild” breathes new life into the music of German baroque composer Georg Friedrich Händel.

Wild? Well, the interpretations are certainly lively.  I’ve been endlessly listening to the CD in my home and in the car, but perhaps Händel was a bit of a wild man as well. Apparently, at a rehearsal for his opera Ottone, the Italian soprano-diva Francesca Cuzzoni refused to sing the aria “Falsa Immagine.”  Händel responded by grabbing her around the waist and threatening to throw her out of the window.

Listening to “Händel Goes Wild” has been a pleasure and I recommend the album if you are looking for a lively introduction to the composer.  It’s a reminder that the great works of art are eternal and also without borders.  The ensemble L’Arpeggiata is joined by Spanish soprano Nuria Rial, Romanian countertenor Valer Sabadus and Italian jazz clarinetist Gianluigi Trovesi making it a truly global album, one that I’m sure would have driven Händel wild with enthusiasm.

“Händel Goes Wild” will be available September 1st from Warner Classics.

The Manchurian Candidate

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Most known as a singer, not everyone is aware of the magnitude Frank Sinatra had as an actor.  I recall my interview with Charles Pignone, the Senior Vice President of Frank Sinatra Enterprises.  Pignone told me that if Sinatra had never had the singing career, but only made movies he would have been a tremendous success.

As someone interested in hypnosis who has been self-hypnotized as well as hypnotized by others, the film The Manchurian Candidate has been mentioned in conversation a few times.  Recently, I saw it for the first time.  It did not disappoint.

A black and white film, The Manchurian Candidate  is a suspense thriller about the son of a very powerful, elite political family who have taken control of his mind.  It’s a very complicated plot and the sudden ending is something I couldn’t have predicted.  It stars such legends as Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, James Gregory and Henry Silva.

I’ll confess I didn’t immediately recognize Silva, who played the role of the Chinese secret agent Chunjin.  I came to learn he’ll be celebrating his 89th birthday in a few days and has had a prolific career, mostly portraying gangsters.  He’s got a very unique look and has portrayed characters of a diverse number of ethnicities.  Silva caught my attention and I enjoyed researching him.

Henry Silva

You’ll remember Silva as one of the crooks in the classic Ocean’s 11 starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford.  In 1977, he worked with Sinatra again in Contract on Cherry Street, which my friend the singer & actor Robert Davi also acted in.  Henry Silva also provided the voice for the villain “Bane” in Batman: The Animated Series, which I thought was an impeccable series.  He ended his acting career in 2001 with the remake of Ocean’s 11.

The Manchurian Candidate is a terrific film that will make you realize why Sinatra was so fond of the storyline.  Furthermore, it’s a great introduction to the thespian side of Sinatra.  His presence on the screen is undeniable.  I got my copy on DVD from NetFlix.

Record Producer Buddy Cannon

Buddy Cannon is a large part of the equation when it comes to the success of several iconic country music recording artists.  He is the longtime producer for the bulk of Kenny Chesney’s discography and for the last 5 years he has been the producer of choice for country music legend Willie Nelson.  Other artists he has produced include George Jones, Chely Wright, Reba McEntire, and Merle Haggard.

Buddy Cannon has also been very successful as a songwriter.  With country artists Bill Anderson and Jamey Johnson, Buddy Cannon wrote the hit song “Give It Away.”  He’s written and co-written songs for artists as diverse as Vern Gosdin and Willie Nelson.

Although this interview covers many topics, it takes a close look at the acclaimed Willie Nelson album “Heroes,” which featured guest appearances by Merle Haggard, Lukas Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Billy Joe Shaver, Sheryl Crow and Snoop Dogg.

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Singer-Songwriter Bo Ramsey

Bo Ramsey’s music sits at the intersections of blues, folk and rock.  A singer-songwriter, concert and recording artist, as well as producer, Ramsey is an inductee of the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame and the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.  He’s released several solo albums and has also served as a record producer for Lucinda Williams, Joan Baez, Iris DeMent, Ani DiFranco and Elvis Costello.  Singer & actor  Jeff Bridges covered his song “Either Way” on his second studio album.

Bo Ramsey performed on such television shows as The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and is closely associated with singer-songwriter Greg Brown.  In addition to producing and performing with Greg Brown he appeared on A Prairie Home  Companion with him in 1999.

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Jazz Singer Cyrille Aimée

Hey.  It’s me.  There are certain artists who continue to touch the world ever since they presented their art to the world.  For our guest the French-born Cyrille Aimée, that artist was the Belgian-born French Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

When you hear the recordings of this incredible vocalist, you’ll be glad Cyrille is inspired to share her artistry with the world.  As she states in this interview, originality isn’t something she strives for, it comes natural to her.

This is the tradition of jazz.  Cyrille Aimée was influenced by many of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century, and  she carries the traditions of their work into the current century.  Cyrille’s dedication and proficiency in her art leaves me with little doubt that the next generation of jazz singers will be listing her as an influence.

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Visit Cyrille Aimée online, like her on  Facebook and Follow her on Instagram & Twitter

Randy Moore: Singer-Songwriter, Performing & Recording Artist

WALKING into a bar in downtown Nashville, I heard Randy Moore singing and playing his guitar.  He sang with the utmost sincerity.  I knew he had a story to tell and as it turns out, not unlike the life of many artists, Randy Moore has done some incredible things including performing at the Grand Ole Opry, and was a friend and song co-writer with the late, great Carl Perkins.  Let’s meet Randy Moore.

 

Arlene Dahl: Actress & Author

By her own admission, ARLENE DAHL has had an “amazing life” and her zest for living is evident in this interview.  Arlene Dahl has starred in 30 films, 19 stage plays, and authored 16 best-selling books on topics ranging from beauty to relationships.  She is forever known as one of the great beauties in motion pictures with her trademark red hair and for being paired with Hollywood’s most famous leading men.  Arlene Dahl was a former MGM contract star and is known for starring in “Reign of Terror,” “Slightly Scarlet,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” and many others.  “Three Little Words,” the musical film biography that tells the story of songwriters Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby starred Arlene Dahl along with Fred Astaire, Red Skelton and others.

Arlene Dahl was one of the first celebrities to receive a star on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame.”  Due to Broadway’s massive influence on popular culture and New York in her opinion being the “capital” of the Entertainment world,  Arlene Dahl is working to create a similar “walk” of stars for Broadway.  Arlene Dahl is the President & Founder of The Broadway Walk of Stars, working to embed uniquely designed “stars” onto the sidewalks of Broadway at Times Square in New York City.  These star squares recognize the greats of Theater, Motion Pictures, Television, Music and Dance.

It’s a lively conversation with Arlene Dahl, and you’ll be glad you’ve got a ticket!