One of the most famous singing groups the world has ever known hails from the orange groves and bean felds that dominated the Orange County landscape prior to the 1960s. Of course, I am talking about The Righteous Brothers – Bobby Hatfeld and Bill Medley. The group’s career is storybook, beginning in 1962 and ending abruptly when Hatfeld died in 2003 from heart failure caused by his cocaine use. In the wake of the tragedy, Medley returned to perform solo like he did during the 1970s following the duo’s breakup in 1968. Despite their on-and oﬀ relationship throughout their early – and most successful – years, the group’s lone survivor continues to evoke fond memories of his deep bass-baritone vocals that are sometimes dubbed “blue-eyed soul.”
One of the most colorful “character actors” in Hollywood, Sam Elliott, seems larger than life, both for the roles he has played on the Silver Screen and TV. At 75, he’s still the “Marlboro man” cowboy with the voice that is mellow, pure and unmistakably distinctive.
As recently as last year, his star shone brighter than ever in the blockbuster remake of “A Star Is Born,” in which he costars with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Playing Bobby Maine, the elder half-brother of Cooper’s lead character, Elliott received critical acclaim for his performance, winning the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor. He was also nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, as well as the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Recently, I was TV binging on “Seinfeld” (1989-98) which reminded me how much I missed watching the comedic talents of Julia Louis-Dreyfus who today looks younger than her 58 years of age. As a comedian, actress, producer and singer, she has managed to accomplish more than mostwomen in show business without a ripple of the typical show business hype.
Before her fame she was known mostly as the daughter of businessman Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services in Manhattan, and great-great granddaughter of Leopold
Louis-Dreyfus, who in 1851 founded the Louis Dreyfus Group, a French shipping conglomerate, which members of her family remain in control.
There is no disputing the 65-year-old actor/director’s talent in either role. For those of us who grew up in the “Baby Boomer” era, how can we forget the little boy named Opie who played the son of Sheriﬀ Andy Taylor in the “Andy Grifth Show,” or the precocious teen in “Happy Days”? Ron Howard, who is the epitome of the coming of age stories he portrayed, including the iconic flm, “American Grafti,” is unlike most of the actors who gained fame at an early age and quickly faded as they matured.
After 15 years as one of Las Vegas’ major neon light showstoppers, Celine Dion is leaving the city of glitz and glitter and taking her angelic, one of-a-kind voice on the road again. Her show at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace ends June 8, so you still have time to catch her iconic performances with 11 dates this month and five in June. After that, the multiple Grammy Award winner is embarking on The Courage World Tour which celebrates the release of her new “Courage” album.
If you were born in the 1940s and didn’t spend most of your youth under a rock, you know that one of the most distinctive singing voices of the “Baby Boomer” – or as it was called, the Folk music era — was James Taylor.
His rich, mellow tenor vocals combined with his guitar strumming talent continue to capture young and old alike into the new millennium. If you are a fan and want to experience the unique musical experience which is James Taylor, his one-man concert is underway throughout April and May at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Now 85, you could say that this true Country-Pop music legend or, as he is referred to in the Country Music Hall of Fame, is a national treasure. His contributions to American culture are forever inscribed into folklore as a singer, songwriter, author, poet, actor and
activist. The critical successes of his
“Shotgun Willie” (1973), “Red Headed Stranger” (1975) and “Stardust” (1978) albums made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in Country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of Country music that developed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in more han 30 films, Continued on page 30 co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.
Here’s another case of “beware of what you read on the Internet:” Facebook reported on Nov. 12 that actor Robert Conrad had died. Hundreds of fans immediately started writing their messages of condolences on the Facebook page. Two days later, the story was confirmed to be a complete hoax and thankfully, the 89-year-old handsome star of TV, silver screen and radio is alive and well