I’m on the record being a real sucker for the Kennedy Center Honors, an “awards show” like no other. Five legendary performers get to sit with the President and First Lady and watch others honor them by singing their songs, saying their words, and the like, with the performers, kept secret from the honorees until the curtain opens. The event will be recorded Sunday, December 7, 2014, and broadcast on CBS-TV on December 30, 2014, at 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT. This year’s honorees, like most years, features four people I know quite well, and one, I must say, who is unfamiliar to me.
The one is Patricia McBride, “renowned American ballerina.” However, my wife has seen her perform when the New York City Ballet would perform at the Saratoga Performing Art Center.
Barack Obama famously sang Let’s Get Together by Al Green; expect a mention of that fact. The running joke I’ve had is that Al Green is my cousin, “cousin Al,” but I stopped because people actually believed me. He was born Albert Greene, but “corrected” the spelling later. If I were to sing karaoke, I might pick Take Me To the River, but it’d be more like the Talking Heads’ version because I can’t sing like cousin Al. (There, I did it again!)
The back catalog of Hi Records, Al’s label, was distributed for a time by Motown, which explains how an Al Green song ended up on a Motown compilation I own.
Need to LISTEN to:
Tired of Being Alone
Let’s Get Together
Take Me To the River
When I was watching Bosom Buddies, starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, I had no idea that the former was going to become a huge star. What have I seen him in? Splash, Nothing in Common, Dragnet, Big, Punchline, A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, That Thing You Do!, You’ve Got Mail, The Green Mile, Cast Away, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Charlie Wilson’s War, and Saving Mr. Banks. I’ve heard him as Woody in three Toy Story movies, plus the TV episode Toy Story of Terror.
I remember watching him on some late-night show talking about the Johnny Seven OMA (One Man Army) toy gun, which I used to have when I was a kid, which oddly endeared him to me.
There’s No Crying in Baseball – from A League of Their Own
Houston, We Have a Problem – from Apollo 13
La Mamma Morta – from Philadelphia
I have only a vague recollection of Lily Tomlin before her breakthrough appearances on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, starting in 1969, where Ernestine the telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the six-year-old in the massive big rocking chair, came to prominence. But I’ve watched her regularly ever since, from her comedy specials to Nashville, Nine to Five, All of Me, The Player, I Heart Huckabees, and A Prairie Home Companion.
She had supporting roles on TV shows such as Murphy Brown and The West Wing. Go to YouTube and put in “magic school bus full episodes” to listen to her voice as the awesome teacher, Ms. Frizzle
According to the bio, “she is the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2003 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, seven Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Grammy, and two Peabody Awards.”
Violet and the boss in 9 to 5
Edith Ann’s sandwich from Sesame Street
The soul transference scene from ALL OF ME
My Minnesota Home – A Prairie Home Companion
Texas Monthly Talks: Lily Tomlin
I’m sure I first heard The Police on WQBK-FM in the Albany area, which was my favorite radio station in 1979. The bass player, lead singer, and principal songwriter was a guy with the unlikely name of Sting. I bought all their albums, twice, actually, since their CD box set included the albums plus rarities.
I still have his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles from 1985, but I’ve gotten more than a few of his subsequent albums on CD. One of his best songs, I Hung My Head, got covered by Johnny Cash, and that became the definitive version of the song.