The Glorious Corner: The Grammys, The Go-Gos, Carole King and More

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Alicia Keys, Michelle Obama
G.H. Harding

GRAMMYS — Last night’s Grammys was a pretty good affair – from starting off with Michelle Obama and ending with a big win for Kacey Musgraves, it was a pretty stellar show. Last year’s show, if you recall, faced a major backlash when it was called out that women were not being recognized enough for their efforts. Neil Portnow, the public face of the Grammys, said it wasn’t true, yet he is stepping down this year, amid a major scandal due to the show being held in NYC last year. Dana Tomarken, long a mainstay in the Grammy-office and MusicCares, was dismissed and the whole affair mysteriously disappeared.

Alicia Keys was the host and did a fairly serviceable job; especially when she did double-duty playing two pianos in a solo moment. When she launched into her “Empire State of Mind,” it was sensational.

The performances were pretty amazing too, from Miley Cyrus’ duet with Shawn Mendes, to the celebration for Dolly Parton, featuring Cyrus and a wonderfully sounding Katy Perry. Parton’s “Jolene” with Cyrus was stunning too.

Also sensational was Post Malone and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Brandi Carlisle, whose voice was utterly elegant and Lady Gaga’s performance of “Shallow,” looking like she stepped out of a David Bowie-video shoot. Kudos to Gaga for making every performance unique. She’s now a major star for sure.

Diana Ross, celebrated for her 75th birthday was terrific and performing “Reach Out And Touch” (written by Ashford and Simpson) was just splendid.

Music sure has changed; rap is now firmly entrenched in the scene, and though to me, the quieter songs and moments carried much more resonance, there’s enough to go around for everyone. It wasn’t the best Grammy show I’ve seen, but you’ve got to continue to credit producer Ken Erhlich, for continuing to stage just impressive moments. 

The Go-Gos

GO GO’S — A documentary about rock band the Go-Go’s is coming to Showtime.

The premium cable network announced Saturday it has acquired U.S. rights to The Go-Go’s, directed by Alison Ellwood (History of the Eagles, American Jihad).

Born out of the Los Angeles punk scene, the Go-Go’s shot to the top of the charts in the 1980’s. The girl group was made up of Charlotte Caffey (lead guitar, keyboards and vocals), Belinda Carlisle (lead vocals), Gina Schock (drums), Kathy Valentine (bass and vocals) and Jane Wiedlin (guitar & vocals).

The band’s 1981 debut album, Beauty and the Beat, featuring the hits “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat,” was one of the most successful debut albums of all time, resulting in a Best New Artist Grammy nomination.

The band granted full access for the documentary feature, Showtime said. The doc will include interviews with members of the band and archival footage to tell the story of their rise to fame and the struggles they faced along the way.

The Go-Go’s will premiere later this year.

Carole King’s “Tapestry” cover
Van Dean with Micky Dolenz

SHORT TAKES — Van Dean (Broadway Records) in L. A. for the Grammys, visited with Micky Dolenz. Dolenz released his album A Little Bit Broadway; A Little Bit Rock & Roll on Van’s Broadway Records; as live recording from Feinstein’s/54 Belowin NYC. Dolenz resumes his Mike & Micky tour March 1 in Medford, MA … As Carole King turned 75 this weekend, her landmark album Tapestry marked its 48thanniversary … Tim Boxer was legendary columnist’s Earl Wilson’s leg-man for years. Boxer went out, gathered the info and wrote it with Wilson for 20 years. Tim started 15minutesmagazine and on his own web site has posted polaroids he took with many of the stars he wrote about. He also had them sign them. Looking at it, it is like a history of early New York. Check it out here: … American R&B singer and soul icon Al Green has announced his first tour in seven years. Green, 72, will be performing in Austin, Houston and Irving in Texas, as well as in Atlanta, Georgia, and at the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival. Supported by funk band Tank and the Bangas and folk duo The War and Treaty, the five-date tour will begin in Austin on 24 April. Green has not released a studio album since 2008’s Lay It Down, although he did record a cover of Freddy Fender’s “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” last September  – his first new recording in a decade. Initially known as the lead in Al Greene & the Soul Mates, the singer found solo success in the early 70’s. With his new take on soul – smooth vocals with falsetto embellishments – he quickly gained superstar status: the eight albums he released during the decade sold more than 20 million copies and his huge hits “Tired of Being Alone” and “Let’s Stay Together” remain popular … and, RIP Vince Pelligrino.

Al Green

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Van Dean; Donna Dolenz; Roger Friedman; Sam & Joyce Moore; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Rebecca Pollack; Mark Bego; Keith Girard; Curtis Urbina; Brad LeBeau; Robert Miller; Andy Greene; Steve Leeds and CFS. 

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