Did you watch the Country Music Awards last month? If so, you would have seen one of the main highlights of the show – a performance by Sheryl Crow, a legitimate superstar of the genre.At 57, the singer, songwriter, musician, and actress is still bringing down the house as an entertainer, and it was vividly on display at the CMAs in Nashville. In a tribute to legendary Kris Kristofferson, Crow teamed with fellow country music stars Dierks Bentley, Chris Janson, John Osborne and Joe Walsh in a rendition of “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Known almost as much for his off-screen pastimes as his on-screen characterizations, Woody Harrelson is an actor for whom truth is undeniably stranger than fiction.
Son of a convicted murderer, a veteran of multiple arrests, outspoken environmentalist and tireless hemp proponent, Harrelson is colorful even by Hollywood standards.
Do you remember – like I do – watching a local TV station in 1981 where a black-haired woman wearing a revealing black, gothic cleavage-enhancing gown hosted a horror movie show? That woman, Cassandra Peterson who was a little-known actress at the time, gained immediate fame here and throughout the world as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
Do I have your attention now?
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.