January 10, 2016
Kitty Kallen, 94, the silken-voiced pop singer who sang with some of the most popular big bands of the 1940s - including groups led by Artie Shaw, Jimmy Dorsey, and Harry James - and who achieved her biggest success as a solo artist with the 1954 chart-topping hit "Little Things Mean a Lot," died Thursday at her home in Cuernavaca, Mexico. A onetime child radio star in her native Philadelphia, Ms. Kallen grew into a singer who evinced an expressive style on both sweet and bluesy numbers.
November 20, 2015 |
Jesse Thorn is coming to Philadelphia to have old-school medical devices tested on himself. "I should have thought about this more before saying yes," he says on the phone from his home in Los Angeles. Thorn is the host of Bullseye , a radio show - hear it Thursdays at 10 p.m. on WHYY-FM (90.9) - and popular podcast, on which he interviews far-ranging artists, from comedians to rappers to directors, from revered soul singer Bill Withers to actress and director Elizabeth Banks to author Margaret Atwood.
April 12, 2013 |
Anthony DeVuono, 97, a tap dancer who dazzled audiences with acrobatic moves in the 1940s and 1950s and operated a dance school in South Philadelphia for 50 years, died Sunday, March 31, at his home in Columbia, Md. In the 1940s, Mr. DeVuono and a friend, Sam Perna, were known as the Vanderbilt Boys, a dance duo. The pair performed in theaters and nightclubs from coast to coast, combining precision tap dancing, acrobatics, and comedy skits....
December 10, 2012 |
"Money doesn't make you happy. "But it sure buys you a better class of misery. " That joke, and thousands more, came from the mouths of top-drawer comics. But they were hatched in the overactive, irrepressibly silly, charmingly warped, and unfailingly funny mind of Sol Weinstein. A once-destitute Jersey boy who honed his gift for gags while banging out obituaries at the Trentonian, he rode a wave of laughs all the way to Hollywood. From the late 1950s into the '80s, he spun shtick for such legendary comedians as Joe E. Lewis and Bob Hope; wrote for The Love Boat , The Jeffersons , Three's Company , and Maude ; composed a signature song for Bobby Darin; and fathered James Bonds' Yiddish alter ego, Israel Bond, filling four popular books with the exploits of Agent Oy-Oy-7.
November 15, 2012 |
IN 1967, TV variety show host Ed Sullivan wanted the Rolling Stones to sing their hit as "Let's Spend Some Time Together," rather than make it a one "Night" stand. But who'd have guessed that we'd still be spending lots of days and nights with the band, as they make yet another sweep of audio and video releases to mark 50 years as a unit. Among the "new" stuff is the just-out, 50-track "Grrr!," boasting two fresh and decent songs, plus a small (or so they claim) batch of performances to celebrate "50 Years and Counting" at the rock 'n' roll game.
July 31, 2012 |
IT'S NOT BILLED as such, but Donny and Marie Osmond's gig this week at Caesars Atlantic City is a journey into the past. And not just back to the 1970s, when the impossibly adorable singing, dancing and wise-cracking siblings solidified their place in the show-biz firmament with their fondly remembered ABC-TV variety show. Instead the program, which runs Tuesday through Sunday, offers a bridge back to the time when the phrase, "The show must go on!" was the mantra of the entertainment industry.
July 14, 2012 |
Not a single public opinion survey would have hinted at it in the mid-1970s, but it turns out that stories about Norwegian bachelor farmers, mock ads for the American Duct Tape Council, and musical sets mashing together bluegrass and bossa nova have a bit of staying power. Writer and radio host Garrison Keillor has proved, once again, that people don't know what they want until you give it to them. He has serenaded public radio audiences with his vaguely plaintive, bemused voice and idiosyncratic variety show since Gerald Ford sat in the White House.
March 16, 2012
Friday Forever in green clover Andy Cooney will bring his Forever Irish show to Upper Darby Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday for the start of St. Patrick's Day weekend. Cooney's repertoire includes the crowd favorites, "Danny Boy" and "Galway Bay. " He will be accompanied by the Irish Sopranos, plus Irish dancers, and his own "World-Famous Irish Band" for this variety show at the center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill. Tickets: $20 to $25 (Arts Center members receive a $2 discount)
February 2, 2012
When we were growing up as teens in the 1970's, Saturday mornings filled my sister and me with funky anticipation. We'd race downstairs, flip on the Magnavox, and settle in to experience "the hippest trip in America" - Soul Train . See, Soul Train wasn't just any television dance show. Soul Train belonged to us. Soul Train showcased our R&B music, our artists, our dances, heck, even our black hair-care products. It was our cultural touchstone at a time when we were learning that, yes, black was beautiful - even if we weren't quite sure if we believed it yet. But Don Cornelius, Soul Train's pinstripe-suited, haystack-afro'ed, deep silken-voiced creator and host, affirmed it for us. That's why it's so ironically sad that news yesterday of Cornelius' death at 75, from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home outside of Los Angeles, came on the first day of Black History Month.
December 16, 2011 |
Tony Braithwaite is committed to Johnny Carson. Younger talk-show hosts may come and go - and by younger, I mean anyone post-Letterman, including Letterman - but in Laughing All the Way , his family-friendly variety show at Act II Playhouse, Braithwaite once again pays homage to his hero with a variety show that even includes a segment featuring Carnac the Magnificent. If you're too young to remember Carnac (Carson in a turban), a medium who divined jokey answers to a series of questions presented to him in sealed envelopes, you probably also won't recall Art Linkletter or Bill Cosby's Kids Say the Darndest Things . No matter.