LOUD AND PROUD — Sunday was the finale of Showtime’s excellent series The Loudest Voice; focusing in on the creation of Fox News and the man behind it, Roger Ailes. Now, Ailes was certainly no picnic. I first met him when he was working at The Mike Douglas Show in Philly from the long-gone Westinghouse production concern. Douglas really had the first daytime variety show that was a hit. He had a wide, wide array of guests – ones at the top and ones on their way up. He actually had John & Yoko as guest hosts for a whole week of shows (actually they were shot in two days) and Lennon was just exemplary. He had Chuck Berry on and backed up by the Elephant’s Memory band and performed all of Berry’s hits. It was an inspired moment.
Cementing his ideas from there, Ailes soon wound up at CNBC, creating a whirlwind of productivity. He also consulted on several presidential campaigns (the de factor Republican-adviser if you will) and then found himself face-top-face with Rupert Murdoch with a charge to start up a new news broadcast:, hence Fox News.
Ailes will best be remembered for his Me Too-antics and for broadcaster Gretchen Carlson, who brought him down, but insiders know that Ailes possessed a fierce competitive streak and brilliant creativity that he brought to bear with his creation of Fox News. He was Fox News.
Fox News today is still #1 in the ratings,
The eight episode series was simply terrific, with Russell Crowe as Ailes, surrounded by the likes of Noami Watts, Seth MacFarlane, Josh Charles and Sienna Miller. Based on the book by Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman, it was a terrifically produced show. Crowe was just outstanding.
The first episode ended with a Dylan Song and the finale ended with John Lennon’s utterly brilliant “Gimme Some Truth.”
NILSSON’S UP — On Netflix’s Russian Dolls series, every time the main character Nadia dies, she wakes up to Harry Nilsson’s madcap “Gotta get Up” – the show is now nominated for 13 Emmys. Here’s the story of how they got that song and what it took via The Hollywood Reporter: Every time Nadia dies, she wakes up at her birthday party where the late Harry Nilsson’s 70’s pop song “Gotta Get Up” blasts in the background. It’s a song that Natasha Lyonne had written into the script, and music supervisor Brienne Rose spent more than a year working on licensing it. “The song is such a fabulous juxtaposition, it sounds really happy on the surface and almost disorienting,” Rose explains. “But lyrically, it’s really devastating.” Production paid a pretty penny to license the tune from Nilsson’s estate. Each time the song played in the series — even if just for a few seconds — would constitute a separate use, making for a costly final bill. Rose says the team considered replacing “Gotta Get Up” with an easier get, but “nothing resonated in the same way.” In the end, she says they struck a balance between what the series could afford and what worked for Nilsson’s camp. The song plays upward of 12 times in the series, and all uses were packaged in a single synchronization license. But it was worth it for the show and the Nilsson estate. In the first full week after the show’s premiere, streams for the track increased by 2,466 percent, according to Nielsen Music.
VETS AID — Over Veteran’s Day weekend, guitarist Joe Walsh will once again host his VetsAid benefit, raising money for a variety of veterans’ services charities.
2019 marks VetAid’s third year, and the lineup will boast Walsh, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Sheryl Crow, ZZ Top and Brad Paisley.
According to a press release, veteran’s rights is an issue close to Walsh’s own heart, as he is a member of a Gold Star family himself: “His father was a flight instructor for the first US operational jet powered aircraft, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, and died while stationed and on active duty on Okinawa when Walsh was 20 months old.”
VetsAid will take place on Sunday, Nov. 10 at Houston’s Toyota Center.
“It’s about time we brought VetsAid down to Texas and who better to share the stage with than my old buddies and Houston’s own ZZ Top!” added Walsh. “With Brad, Sheryl, Jason and more special guests to be announced joining us too this will be yet another historic night of incredible music for our vets.”
Tickets for VetsAid go on sale this Friday, Aug. 16 at 10 AM.
SHORT TAKES — Am loving the new David Browne book: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: The Wild, Definitive Saga of Rock’s Greatest Supergroup. If you’re of a certain age, then CSN&Y were like manna from heaven. Browne, who has written for Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly, weaves his story brilliantly. Me. I’ve always been a huge Stephen Stills-fan and his notes on Stills’ work with Manassas is inspired. A must read for fans … Netflix dropped the trailer for their Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell movie, The Morning Show and it’s a zinger … if only for the fact, that its just a voice-over … no scenes, no characters, just snippets of dialogue. Wonder if they knew (and, they probably did) that the Regis & Kathie Lee show, a morning-staple for years, was first called The Morning Show. Call Gelman … he’ll verify it … I’ve been seeing throughout the Hollywood Reporter, after an interview, the legend: Interview edited for length and clarity. Interesting, right? …MIcky Dolenz at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio this Saturday night … Classic of the week: Paul McCartney’s RAM album (released in 1971) featuring “Backseat Of My Car,” “Monkberry Moon Delight” and “Heart Of The Country.’ Great stiff … and RIP Ron Fleeger.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Doug Morris, Ahmet Ertegun; Leslie Morris; Graham Nash; Marc Shulman; Judy Libow; Steve Leeds; Evan Levy; Bruce Goldberg; Jane Blunkell; Jay Casell; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mark Bego; Efrem Harkham; and, CHIP.