Major Tom

tom-hanks-amblin

It's Tom Hanks' world, but now you can live according to its guiding principles.

A new book debuting today, "The World According to Tom Hanks" by Gavin Edwards, celebrates the remarkable career of the all-American actor and offers life advice to fans who want to act just like the two-time Oscar winner.

Like a responsible human being, a successful actor must navigate a series of specific tasks, says Hanks: "to actually walk in the world, to reflect what's going on in society, to be a breathing character others can recognize."

"Hanks wasn't a chameleon or a wizard with accents," Edwards writes in an excerpt published in Rolling Stone. "Again and again, though, he pulled off the magic trick of making it look like he was hardly acting, just saying his lines in a natural fashion. Only after the fact did you realize how much distance there was between, say, his HIV-positive lawyer, his marooned efficiency expert, his simpleton millionaire, and his washed-up baseball manager. Not just in their professions or their superficial appearances, but in their beliefs, their rhythms, and their emotional lives."

The new book, subtitled "The Life, the Obsessions, the Good Deeds of America's Most Decent Guy," follows the same game plan as Edwards' 2016 bestseller, "The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing."

By Kevin Haynes |

Hold on Tight

32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony - Show

Propelled by the recent success of their first U.S. tour in almost 40 years, Jeff Lynne and his refurbished Electric Light Orchestra will return next summer for another orbit of North America.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, who rocketed to fame in the 1970s with Top 10 hits like "Evil Woman" and "Telephone Line," will blast off on a 20-stop journey June 20 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Jeff Lynne's ELO will splash down six weeks later on August 1 at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

Presale tickets will be available starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. local time. The general public can begin buying tickets October 29.

The band, which wraps up a European tour this week, played 10 shows here in August, their first visit to the U.S. since 1981.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: Lulu

lulu

The song that moved to the head of class 51 years ago this week was a real Lulu: "To Sir With Love," the theme from the popular movie starring Sidney Poitier as a teacher who wins over a rowdy high-school class in London's rough East End. Lulu, then 19, played one of his grateful students.

The sweet thank-you note spent five weeks at No. 1 and was hailed by Billboard as the year's top single. Curiously, it wasn't nearly as successful in Lulu's native England, where "To Sir With Love" was relegated to the B-side of a No. 11 hit called "Let's Pretend."

Lulu, who also sang the title song of the 1974 James Bond adventure "The Man With the Golden Gun," went on to love other notable sirs. They include David Bowie, Davy Jones of the Monkees and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, who she married in 1969 and divorced four years later. From 1977 to 1997, she was married to hairdresser John Frieda.

Photo by Jim Gray/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Hats Off to Larry

larry-david

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" enthusiasts will be pretty, pretty, pretty happy to hear that production started today on Season 10 of the HBO comedy.

Larry David's caustic series has been on hiatus since Season 9 ended last December, though the "Seinfeld" co-creator made it clear that future episodes were in the works.

No word yet on plot lines or a premiere date.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" debuted in 2000 and routinely took extended breaks between seasons after its third year. The longest sabbatical came after Season 8 ended in 2011, when the series shut down for six years before returning last fall.

"As I've said many times," David once told Entertainment Weekly, "when one has the opportunity to annoy someone, one should do so."

Photo: HBO

By Kevin Haynes |

Still My Guitar...

George Harrison

George Harrison's guitar weeps even more gently on a soft acoustic version of the classic track, just unveiled to promote the upcoming release of a 50th anniversary Super Deluxe edition of the Beatles' White Album.

Dubbed "While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Acoustic Version, Take 2)," the demo from the summer of 1968 features Harrison slowly playing an acoustic guitar, accompanied by Paul McCartney on harmonium.

The previously unreleased rendition reveals a work in progress as Harrison stops singing after the now-familiar first line to offer instructions to producer George Martin and the engineers at the Abbey Road studio in London. "Maybe you'd have to give him his own mike," Harrison says.

The track is just one of 50 outtakes from the recording sessions for 1968's eclectic White Album that will be included in the Super Deluxe edition of the reissued White Album (officially titled "The Beatles").

The 7-CD set also features a disc of the so-called "Esher Demos," 27 acoustic tracks recorded at Harrison's home in May 1968, and a Blu-Ray disc offering DTS-HD and Dolby True HD 5.1 surround sound as well as mono and high-resolution audio. A 168-page hardback book, poster and art cards are also in the package.

Other editions range from a standard reissue of the original double album on 180-gram vinyl to 3-CD and 4-LP sets that include remastered stereo mixes and the "Esher Demos."

Click here to check out all available White Album options at the official Beatles store.

Photo by Steel/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

All for You

Dubai World Cup

Thirty-six years after stepping out from the enormous shadow cast by superstar brother Michael Jackson, Miss Janet continues to rule the music world.

The latest proof: Janet Jackson will receive the Global Icon Award at MTV's European Music Awards in Bilbao, Spain, on November 4.

The six-time Grammy Award winner, who earlier this month wrapped up her year-long State of the World Tour, will acknowledge the honor by performing a medley of her greatest hits.

The EMA festivities, hosted by singer and Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld ("True Grit"), will air on MTV stations in more than 180 countries.

MTV hailed Jackson, 52, for her "incredible artistry" and "indelible impact on pop culture."

Michael Jackson's kid sister released her self-titled debut album in 1982. Four years later, "Control" became the first of nine consecutive albums to peak at No. 1 or No. 2 on the Billboard 200, including her most recent, 2015's "Unbreakable."

Jackson also racked up 19 consecutive Top 10 hits from 1989 to 2001, a record for a female artist. Her 10 No. 1 singles span three decades, including 1986's "Miss You Much," 1993's "That's the Way Love Goes" and 2001's "All for You."

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Puppet Master Retiring

"SiriusXM's Sesame Street Town Hall," Featuring Original Cast Members From The Series, Celebrates The Show's 45th Anniversary

Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch have lost their voices.

Caroll Spinney, who has performed the vocals for both "Sesame Street" characters since the series debut in 1969, is retiring Thursday at the age of 84.

The puppeteer appeared in more than 4,400 episodes of the iconic kids show over the past 49 years, dressing as Big Bird until 2015, when he decided he could no longer physically lope around the set in an eight-foot-two-inch costume. He continued, however, to supply the sweet voice of the child-like feathered friend as well as the husky grumblings of Oscar.

"Playing Big Bird is one of the most joyous things of my life," says Spinney, who received the Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. "I always thought, how fortunate for me that I got to play the two best Muppets."

Spinney's apprentice, Matt Vogel, will take over Big Bird duties just in time for the 50th anniversary season of "Sesame Street." Vogel previously assumed the roles of Kermit the Frog and Count von Count.

By Kevin Haynes |

Faking It

can-you-ever-forgive-me

Melissa McCarthy begs the question "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"—and it's got nothing to do with her impression of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on "Saturday Night Live."

The new film, based on the true story of a New York writer who forged and sold letters "written" by famous people, opens October 19.

McCarthy plays Lee Israel, a celebrity biographer whose career was in decline in the early 1990s when she began stealing celebrity letters from archives and libraries and selling them to collectors.

Israel often forged copies of the notes, embellishing them with tantalizing details that increased their value. The scam, however, was soon exposed.

"Can You Ever Forgive Me?," directed by Marielle Heller ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl"), co-stars Richard E. Grant as Israel's partner in crime and Jane Curtin as her flustered agent.

The comedy-drama premiered at last month's Telluride Film Festival and has racked up a perfect 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, an online aggregation of reviews by critics and movie fans.

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: 'I'll Be There'

jackson-five

If you have any doubt that time flies, just look over your shoulders, honey. "I'll Be There" soared to the top of the pop charts on this day 48 years ago, the Jackson 5's fourth consecutive No. 1 hit in less than a year—and their last.

Michael Jackson was just 12 years old when he sweetly offered a pact to bring salvation back. (His ad-lib about looking over your "shoulders" gave props to the Four Tops' 1966 hit "Reach Out I'll Be There.")

The ballad, co-written by Motown founder Berry Gordy, held on to No. 1 for five weeks until its spell was broken on November 21, 1970, by another family band's biggest smash, the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You."

"I'll Be There" was a calculated change of pace for the Jackson 5, who had been typecast as a "bubblegum soul" act. Of course, that bubblegum was pretty tasty. Their first three singles all blew up to No. 1 earlier in 1970: "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "The Love You Save."

But "I'll Be There" was bigger than all of them, selling more than 6 million copies worldwide. It's also been covered over the years by artists ranging from Andy Williams to Mariah Carey, who earned a Grammy nomination for an arm-swaying live version that soared to No. 1 in 1992.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Have the Time of Your Life

MAMMA MIA!, front, from left: Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep,  Julie Walters, 2008. ©Universal/cou

ABBAcadabra: "Mamma Mia!" will reappear in 400 theaters next month to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the movie musical starring Meryl Streep.

Featuring 20 songs by the Swedish pop quartet ABBA, the seventh-highest grossing musical of all time will return to the big screen November 4 and 6 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. local time.

Click here to find the nearest theater and buy tickets from Fathom Events, which is presenting the special screening in conjunction with Universal Pictures.

In addition, the featurette "Meryl's Big Number" will be shown for the first time in theaters. The short film follows Streep as she prepares to sing the title track of "Mamma Mia!"

The 2008 movie was inspired by the jukebox musical that ran on Broadway from 2001-2015. The film was directed by Phyllida Lloyd, who also helmed Streep's Oscar-winning portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 biopic "The Iron Lady."

"Mamma Mia!" co-stars Amanda Seyfried as Streep's 20-year-old daughter and Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard as her three possible fathers.

The main cast, including Christine Baranski and Julie Walters, returned in this summer's sequel, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," highlighted by a cameo appearance by Cher.

The Grammy-winning soundtrack includes signature ABBA hits from the 1970s like "Waterloo," "SOS," "Super Trouper" and "Dancing Queen."

By Kevin Haynes |

Page Turner

Tina Turner Performs in New York

Retirement has been a lot of hard work for Tina Turner.

Her new memoir, "Tina Turner: My Love Story," details setbacks ranging from a series of health woes—including cancer, a stroke, and a kidney transplant from her husband, Erwin Bach—to the suicide of her oldest son, Craig, this past summer. He was 59.

But the 78-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer keeps fighting—and thriving.

"I've had bad karma and more than my share of struggles, but I've always been given the strength to endure them," Turner tells Entertainment Weekly. "When there's a choice, I choose happiness."

"Looking back," she adds, "I realized that life has a way of turning poison into medicine, bad can turn into good. Coming through all this made me believe that I was meant to survive—that I'm here for a reason—[and] maybe to share my story, so others can learn from it."

The new book, which went on sale today, comes 32 years after her bestselling autobiography, "I, Tina," which inspired the 1993 biopic "What's Love Got to Do with It?"

Turner recounts growing up in Nutbush, Tennessee, where she struggled with an emotionally abusive mother and body issues. "Women were supposed to be curvy," the "Proud Mary" singer says, "not built like a pony, which is what I always thought when I looked at my long, dangly legs."

Those legs, of course, paid off big-time in Turner's long career as one of the most dynamic female performers of all time, from her collaboration with ex-husband Ike Turner in the 1960s and '70s to a solo career highlighted by '80s hits like a remake of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," "Better Be Good to Me" and "The Best."

She hasn't released a solo album since 1999 and retired from the stage after a 50th anniversary world tour 10 years ago. "I was ready to retire long before I got sick," Turner says. "I didn't want people to come to a show and think that I used to be great. 'Leave the party before it's over,' I like to say."

But she's never left the spotlight. A documentary about Turner's life is in the works, directed by two-time Oscar winner Simon Chinn ("Man on a Wire," "Searching for Sugar Man") and the jukebox musical "Tina" will make its way to Broadway next fall, just in time for her 80th birthday.

"I've always wondered what I would be like at that age," Turner says. "Actually, age is just a number to me. I'm a 16-year-old at heart. Turning 80 won't change that."

Photo by Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Politics as Usual

James Stewart

What better way to warm up for next month's midterm elections than to bask in the angst of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," one of the most lauded political films of all time.

The 1939 comedy-drama starring Jimmy Stewart will be screened at select theaters nationwide October 14 and 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

Click here to find a nearby theater and buy tickets.

Stewart was 31 when he played Jeff Smith, the naïve scout leader appointed to replace a recently deceased United States Senator. The political neophyte soon becomes the unwitting victim of a corruption scheme and attempts to clear his name by engaging in a 24-hour filibuster on the Senate floor.

Co-starring Jean Arthur ("You Can't Take It with You") and Claude Rains ("Casablanca"), "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Outstanding Production (the precursor to Best Picture), Best Actor and Best Director (Frank Capra). The sole winner was screenwriter Lewis R. Foster, for Best Writing, Original Story.

Capra and Stewart would revisit the theme of a good man trying to make the world a better place seven years later in the 1946 holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life."

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Prince Estate Draws a Line

prince

Looks like the forecast no longer calls for "Purple Rain" at President Trump's campaign rallies.

Prince's family asked the President to stop playing the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's music at public events. "The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or the White House to use Prince's songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately," said a statement issued yesterday by Omarr Baker, the late musician's half-brother.

Neither the President nor the White House has responded to the request.

"Purple Rain" has been one of the songs in heavy rotation on the Trump playlist at rallies nationwide.

Other artists who have objected to having their music showcased at the President's events include Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Elton John, Queen, R.E.M., the Rolling Stones, Twisted Sister and Neil Young as well as the estate of George Harrison, which characterized the unauthorized use of "Here Comes the Sun" as "offensive."

Photo: Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Ozzy Is 'Bummed'

Billy Morrison - Aude Somnia

Plagued by an infected right hand that will "likely require" further surgery, Ozzy Osbourne has canceled the final four shows on his latest solo tour.

The Black Sabbath singer was scheduled to perform tonight at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and Saturday at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. He had already postponed two California concerts this past week after undergoing surgery last weekend to treat the infection at a Los Angeles hospital.

All four shows will reportedly be rescheduled early next year.

No further details about the infection or the need for an additional operation were revealed.

Osbourne said he was "bummed" about the decision to officially end "No More Tours 2," which kicked off with two Florida shows in April. After touring South America in May and a summer swing through Europe, he played 17 dates in North America in the past five weeks before pulling the plug.

"The tour had been going great and we were really looking forward to these last few gigs," Osbourne, 69, said in a statement posted on his official website. "We're hoping everyone will be patient and we'll look forward to seeing them at the shows next year."

A year ago, Osbourne announced that his latest world tour would be his last. "But I can't say I won't do some shows here and there," he added.

Black Sabbath played its final concert in 2017 and disbanded, 49 years after its founding in Birmingham, England. The heavy-metal legends were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: 'Cheap Thrills'

cheap-thrills

"Cheap Thrills" proved priceless 50 years ago this week when Janis Joplin's third and final album with Big Brother and the Holding Company topped the Billboard 200.

The breakthrough 1968 LP was released one year after the band's self-titled debut album and three months after Joplin & Co.'s star turn at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Hoping to regenerate that historic concert's electricity, the album's producer incorporated snippets of crowd noise throughout the seven songs on "Cheap Thrills." But the only live track was the nine-minute grand finale, Joplin's show-stopping rendition of Big Mama Thornton's "Ball and Chain," recorded in March 1968 at the Fillmore East in New York.

"Cheap Thrills" also showcased two of Joplin's most enduring vocal performances: the Top 20 hit "Piece of My Heart" and a bluesy remake of George Gershwin's "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess."

Hailed by critics as an epic example of blues rock in the psychedelic 1960s, "Cheap Thrills" is also remembered for its comic book cover art by Robert Crumb. (Joplin was a huge fan of the "Keep on Truckin'" cartoonist.)

The album, released in August 1968, boogied its way to No. 1 on October 12, overtaking the Doors' "Waiting for the Sun." In mid-November, "Cheap Thrills" was eclipsed by the Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Electric Ladyland" for two weeks before recapturing the top spot at the end of the month for three more weeks.

By then, Joplin had announced she was leaving Big Brother and the Holding Company to pursue a solo career. She died of a heroin overdose less than two years later at the age of 27, just three months before the release of her second and final solo album, 1971's "Pearl," and her posthumous No. 1 hit "Me and Bobby McGee."

By Kevin Haynes |

Smart Alec

69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Yes, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin will be talking to you on the premiere episode of "The Alec Baldwin Show" Sunday at 10 p.m. on ABC.

In addition to chatting with the 75-year-old Oscar winner, Baldwin will sit down with Taraji P. Henson, the Emmy Award-nominated star of the Fox drama "Empire" and a Golden Globe Award winner for her performance in the 2016 film "Hidden Figures."

Future guests on the weekly talk show include Kim Kardashian on October 21 and Ricky Gervais and Jeff Bridges on October 28.

"The Alec Baldwin Show" debuted with a sneak peek after the Academy Awards in March, when the host interviewed Jerry Seinfeld and Kate McKinnon of "Saturday Night Live."

The new talk show is similar in format to "Here's the Thing," the public radio show and podcast that Baldwin, 60, has hosted since 2011.

This marks Baldwin's second foray into hosting a TV interview program. MSNBC's "Up Late with Alec Baldwin" first aired in October 2013, but was cancelled after five episodes.

Though known primarily as a film actor, Baldwin is no stranger to TV. He hosts ABC's recent revival of the classic game show "Match Game" and has won Emmy Awards for playing network executive Jack Donaghy on NBC's "30 Rock" and impersonating Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live."

Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

By Kevin Haynes |

Hey, Hey, It's the Holidays

monkees-getty

You might want to add an early bit of Monkees business to your Christmas shopping list.

The 1960s teen idols will unwrap their first-ever holiday album, "Christmas Party," on Friday.

Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork monkey around on fresh renditions of seasonal hits like "The Christmas Song," "Merry Christmas, Baby" and Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime," as well as the traditional carol "Angels We Have Heard on High."

The album's 13 tracks also showcase two songs featuring late bandmate Davy Jones, whose archived vocals have been set to new arrangements on "Silver Bells" and "Mele Kalikimaka." Jones died of a heart attack in 2012 at 66.

The Monkees are backed on "Christmas Party" by the same roster of contemporary musicians who worked on the band's 50th anniversary album, 2016's "Good Times," including producer Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne's co-founder and bassist.

The original songs on "Christmas Party" include the title track, written by R.E.M guitarist Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5, and the album's opening number and lead single, "Unwrap You at Christmas" by Andy Partridge of XTC.

Photo: Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

On the Road Again

carpool-karaoke

An eclectic mix of celebrities, including Jason Sudeikis chauffeuring the Muppets, will hit the road for the second season of "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" on Apple TV.

The Emmy Award-winning series, a spinoff of the popular segment originated by James Corden on "The Late Late Show," will start streaming for free Friday at 1 pm. ET on Apple TV and its app on iPad and iPhone.

The one-minute trailer released today offers glimpses of the rides coming down the pike this season. Highlights include Sudeikis joining Miss Piggy and her fuzzy friends on Run-DMC's "It's Tricky," Snoop Dogg and Matthew McConaughey rocking out to Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Nite," and "Weird Al" Yankovic riding shotgun with Andy Samberg when they supposedly hit something in the road.

New episodes will be available weekly through December.

By Kevin Haynes |

And the Nominees Are...

Elton John AIDS Foundation's Benefit, New York, USA - 15 Oct 2012

Stevie Nicks, Todd Rundgren and Devo are among the artists nominated today for the first time for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.

The three hitmakers who shot to stardom in the 1970s are joined by fellow rookie nominees Def Leppard, John Prine and Roxy Music as well as two bands that were nominated for the first time last year, Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine.

Also in the running are seven acts who have been in the running two or more times but have yet to get in the door of the Cleveland institution established in 1983: the Cure, Janet Jackson, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, MC5, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, and the Zombies.

Eligible artists had to release their first single or album in 1993 or earlier.

Fans can visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's website to vote once a day for up to five of the 15 nominees. The fan favorites will then be added to the votes cast more by than 1,000 artists and music industry executives, historians and writers to elect the winners.

The Class of 2019 will be announced in December. The induction ceremony will be staged March 29, 2019, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and aired at a later date on HBO.

Last year's honorees were Bon Jovi, the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: 'Yesterday'

beatles-paul-mccartney

"Yesterday" was a long, long time ago.

It was 53 years ago today that the Beatles' signature ballad topped the Billboard Hot 100, a position it held for four weeks.

Legend has it that the melody came to Paul McCartney in a dream during a visit to the London home of then-girlfriend Jane Asher's family in early 1965. After rushing to the piano to play the tune out loud, he was convinced he had heard it somewhere before. So for about a month McCartney bounced it off friends in the music business.

"People said to me, 'No, it's lovely, and I'm sure it's all yours,'" he said in the 1997 biography "Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now" by Barry Miles. "It took me a little while to allow myself to claim it, but then like a prospector I finally staked my claim."

There was, however, one small problem: The poignant music that came to him so easily had no lyrics. For months, McCartney held the cadence in place with the nonsense title "Scrambled Eggs." Its opening line: "Scrambled eggs/Oh my baby how I love your legs."

He continued to work on the song during the filming of "Help!" and finally finished at the end of May, while he and Asher were vacationing in the Algarve region of Portugal.

"Yesterday" was the first Beatles song to feature only one band member, accompanied by a string quartet. It was the Fab Four's 11th No. 1 single in the U.S. since their explosive debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in February 1964 and the fourth out of five No. 1 hits in 1965 alone.

The enduring ballad has been covered more than 2,200 times over the past half-century, rivaling the Righteous Brothers "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" as the most covered song of all time.

By Kevin Haynes |