The Glorious Corner: Alec Baldwin, Duane Betts, The Monkees “Head” Flick and More

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Duane Betts

G.H. Harding 

GREAT DUANE — After a successful launch last week of the new Duane Betts video, “Downtown Runaround,” Americana-oriented, Ditty TV (based in Memphis), has added the video (as well as Bett’s “Taking Time” video) to their  regular rotation. Accompanied by a terrific interview by Billboard’s Gary Graff, the video has immediately generated a heightened visibility for Betts. According to his PR-rep David Salidor, “Billboard remains the standard-bearer in terms of industry acceptance and visibility, so that was a natural choice. Duane’s manager David Spero championed it from the start. It’s a terrific video, directed by Todd Labrowski.  Everyone who has seen it has enjoyed it tremendously. It’s a great song, and signals the arrival of a talented new personality on the scene.”

“Ditty TV”

Ditty TV is a most interesting phenomenal, as they’ve featured terrific concerts by the likes of John Oates, John Nemeth, Larkin Poe, Chris Robinson and Blackberry Smoke. Performances like these have become the bedrock of DittyTV,the four-year-old Memphis-based music television network. The network broadcasts 24 hours of programming daily – comprised of live concerts, artist interviews, music, news, music videos, festival coverage, and documentaries. DittyTV (https://dittytv.com/) – which can be streamed on Tivo equipped cable boxes, SmartTVs, Roku, AppleTV, FireTV, and ChromeCast – has quietly become a local music industry success story. “Viewers seem to find us on the web and mobile then realize they can watch on their streaming devices at home,” says Ditty-co founder Ronnie Wright (along with partner/wife Amy). “Literally, via word-of-mouth, we’ve gone from 5,000 and 10,000 and 15,000 visitors a month, to millions of viewers and growing every month.”

And the Wrights have done it on their own, fully independently. “There’s no board, no investors, no red tape, it’s just Amy and I and our great staff,” says Ronnie. “We’re proud of where we are, but not yet where we want to be.” The marriage of music and technology that DittyTV represents was a natural for the Wrights. Amy is from Memphis, Ronnie was raised in California, but both came up playing music, and eventually made their careers in the tech world. “We have a background in technology. We started and still own a software implementation company. So we came to DittyTV from a tech background, but as lovers of music.”

Adds Salidor,” I was there when MTV began, so the similarities are striking, but with Ditty and the explosion of the Americana-genre, their focus is terrifically polished and positioned perfectly. Their concerts are technically just perfect and their enthusiasm is unparalleled. I thoroughly  believe Ditty TV to be the next big thing.”

Alec Baldwin

BALDWIN’S TICKET — The din of a Friday afternoon was broken mid-afternoon with the revelation that actor Alec Baldwin was arrested for some traffic incident, outside his home, in Greenwich Village in NYC. Seems Baldwin had a friend hold a parking spot for him, but by the time Baldwin arrived in his vehicle, another car had taken it. An argument ensued and quite possibly, Baldwin slugged the driver.

Now, first, a few facts: Parking garages in that area of NYC can sometimes be upwards of $50.00 an hour; Baldwin has a habit of stealing spots; Baldwin and Page Six’s Richard Johnson were for a time, to engage in some sort of boxing battle; and, lastly: it was Alec Baldwin! Buyer beware. Whatever happened, this will be Baldwin’s most expensive parking ticket ever!

We spoke to PR-pasha David Salidor about Duane Bettts, but he himself has a Baldwin-story:

“I was in East Hampton two summers back, in their town parking lot, waiting for a spot. I spied a couple walking to their car; they pulled out and before I could even get half-way in, a black SUV pulled in, parked and out hopped Baldwin. I thought for a moment of getting out and engaging in some sort of conversation, but when I saw Baldwin, I quickly drove away!”

Baldwin’s a great actor and his Trump-persona on SNL is hilarious, but, he’s from the bad-part of Long Island: Massapequa. From Saturday on, he was spotted taking a car-service. Brilliant idea … this man should NOT be behind a wheel.

“Head”

SHORT TAKES — Elton John back in New York this Thursday and Friday at Madison Square Garden. This show is not to be missed Watched the fourth episode of Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs (Expectation) and it was simply spectacular.Written by Semi Chellas, who served as producer on Mad Men, it was just terrific. Starring Amanda Peet, John Slattery, Jon Tenney and Mary Kay Place, it rang with the intelligence of Mad Men. Again, the first three we watched were far removed from brilliant … The 50th Anniversary screening of The Monkees Head in L.A. last week produced some interesting responses from Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith, both on-hand for a Q&A. Read Variety’stake on it here: https://variety.com/2018/music/news/monkees-head-50th-anniversary-screening-1203018711/ … The new (third) season of HBO’s True Detective takes place … in the Ozarks! Isn’t that the name of a show on Netflix? Guess when you’re hot … you’re hot! … We got into Change’s new album Love 4 Love and really enjoyed it. One immediate thing we loved was the fact that all the album’s tracks are somewhat segued together. What a cool idea. Its mellow disco at its best. We love it.

Change

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Matt Lauer; Robert Miller; Brad Balfour; Carol Baldwin; David Spero; Evan Levy (Happy Bday!); CEN; Vinny Rich; Adam Pollock; Keith Girard; Jacqueline Boyd; Gino Soccio; Steve Leeds; and, CFS.

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