Cool! Crazy! Go!

west-side-story

The movie that turned gang violence into an Academy Award-winning song-and-dance extravaganza, "West Side Story," will return to select theaters nationwide June 27 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The 1961 blockbuster, based on the 1957 Broadway musical, stars Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as Maria and Tony, the ill-fated lovers in a New York City drama inspired by Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."

Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, with music by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, "West Side Story" dominated the 1961 Academy Awards. It received 11 nominations and won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Rita Moreno) and Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris).

The hit soundtrack features memorable songs like "Maria," "Tonight," "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere."

The special screening, a follow-up to one that happened this weekend, is part of Turner Classic Movies' ongoing Big Screen Classics series, presented in conjunction with Fathom Events.

By Kevin Haynes |

Just Duet

elvis-lisa-marie

Like Natalie Cole more than 25 years ago, Lisa Marie Presley sings a technology-assisted duet with her late father on the title track of "Where No One Stands Alone," a new Elvis Presley gospel album.

"It was a very powerful and moving experience to sing with my father," Lisa Marie, 50, writes in the liner notes. "The lyrics speak to me and touch my soul. I'm certain that the lyrics spoke to my father in much the same way."

The 14-track compilation, available August 10, features Elvis Presley's vocals set to new arrangements on gospel standards like "How Great Thou Art" and "Amazing Grace."

In addition to his daughter, Presley is accompanied by some of the singers who recorded or performed with him, including Darlene Love and Cissy Houston, the mother of Whitney Houston.

The project brings to mind Natalie Cole's 1991 blockbuster, "Unforgettable…with Love." The daughter of velvet-voiced jazz crooner Nat King Cole covered 18 of her father's best-known songs. The Grammy Award-winning Album of the Year was highlighted by the father-daughter duet on "Unforgettable," which won four Grammys, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

By Kevin Haynes |

Anthony Bourdain Update

bourdain

Anthony Bourdain had a long history of heroin and cocaine abuse, but there were no drugs in his system when he hanged himself in his hotel room in France two weeks ago.

A French official reports that the only substance detected in the celebrity chef's blood was a "trace of a non-narcotic medicine in a therapeutic dose."

Bourdain, 61, was filming an episode of his popular CNN show "Parts Unknown," when he committed suicide on June 8 in the village of Kayserberg.

He often discussed his obsession with heroin, cocaine and crack when he was in his 20s. In a 2013 interview, Bourdain recalled an especially "awful" experience. "I was combing the shag carpet for paint chips in the hope that they were fallen crack bits," he said, "and smoking them anyway."

Bourdain was cremated in France earlier this week, but "a small, private ceremony of some kind" will be held by his family down the road.

"He would want as little fuss as possible," said his mother, Gladys Bourdain. She also plans to pay tribute to her heavily tattooed son by getting her first tattoo next week from his favorite artist.

"Tony" will be inked in small letters on her wrist.

By Kevin Haynes |

Slip Slidin' Away

paul-simon

For the final concert of his 62-year career, Paul Simon is truly homeward bound.

The legendary singer-songwriter will bring the curtain down on his farewell tour with a special benefit show on September 22 at 7 p.m. in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York, not far from his childhood home in Kew Gardens.

Tickets will be available at axs.com starting June 29 at 10 a.m. ET.

Simon, 76, says he will donate all profits from the show to a charity that will be named later.

The venue, located on the site of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 World's Fair, has not hosted a concert in decades.

The setting seems "more like fate than coincidence," says Simon, whose career began when he and childhood pal Art Garfunkel started performing as Tom & Jerry in 1956. Later, of course, they became better known as Simon & Garfunkel.

"I could have ridden my bike from home to the park in about 20 minutes when I was a kid," Simon adds. "But this is less a goodbye than a farewell. Thank you all for the ride. I had a great time."

The grand finale will follow immediately on the heels of a two-night stand at nearby Madison Square Garden, September 20-21.

Simon wraps up the first leg of "Homeward Bound—The Farewell Tour" tonight in Nashville. He'll then head to Europe in July before returning to the U.S. in September for the homestretch of a dozen shows in less than three weeks, starting September 5 in New Orleans.

By Kevin Haynes |

Coming Up

paul-mccartney

Paul McCartney is teasing fans with a double-edged message, "Come On To Me" and "I Don't Know," the intriguing titles of his new single, premiering today.

The double A-side release offers a preview of Sir Paul's first studio album since 2013's "New," due this fall on his old label with the Beatles, Capitol Records.

No word yet on the coming album's title or exact release date.

The two new songs are "polar opposites," notes a statement on McCartney's website. "I Don't Know" is described as "a plaintive, soul-soothing ballad" while "Come On To Me" is "a raucous stomper."

News of the single comes just in time for McCartney's appearance Thursday night on "The Late Late Show," where he will ride shotgun with host James Corden on the next edition of Carpool Karaoke. The two Brits drove around McCartney's native Liverpool two weeks ago, stopping along the way in a small pub, where the 76-year-old Beatle and his band performed a surprise set for a stunned crowd of day drinkers.

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: Carole King

carole-king

Back in April 1971, Carole King's record label released the first single from her "Tapestry" album: "I Feel the Earth Move," a buoyant, piano-driven celebration of love.

Then a funny thing happened.

Radio stations started playing the B-side, a slower, painfully mature assessment of a breakup. "It's Too Late" caught fire with listeners, flopped places with the A-side on the charts and, this week 47 years ago, was the No. 1 record for the first of five consecutive weeks.

King's jazz-like arrangement was fortified by lyricist Toni Stern's contemplative look at a doomed relationship (supposedly, the end of her love affair with James Taylor).

"It's Too Late" won the 1972 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and is ranked No. 469 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time. It's also No. 213 of 365 Songs of the 20th Century by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

For the record, Billboard officially categorized King's one-two punch as a double-A-side single, a designation created in 1965 when the Beatles released "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work it Out" on one 45.

So, technically speaking, "I Feel the Earth Move," was also No. 1 on this date in 1971—even though it wasn't getting nearly as much airplay at that point.

Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Bruce Plays Bowling Alley

bruce-springsteen

If you didn't know better, you'd think Bruce Springsteen's career had taken a dramatic nosedive.

Last night, the "Born to Run" legend and current Broadway star played the blues at a bowling alley in Asbury Park, New Jersey—and he wasn't even the headliner.

That's right: Bruce Springsteen sat in with the warm-up act, Danny Clinch's Tangiers Blues Band, at the spanking new Asbury Lanes, where the main attraction was Alaska's alternative rock heroes, Portugal. The Man.

To woo the "Springsteen on Broadway" star to his native New Jersey on an off night, Asbury Lanes donated $125,000 in Springsteen's name to the Boys and Girls Club.

A capacity crowd of 700 non-bowlers saw Springsteen join the harmonica-wailing Clinch, whose day job has established him as one of rock's most prominent photographers and directors. His Springsteen credits include "The Rising," "Live in New York City" and the DVD performances on "Devils & Dust."

Springsteen's guest stint kicked off with Johnny Rivers' 1972 hit "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" and a 10-minute version of Muddy Waters' blues anthem "I Just Want to Make Love to You." The hour-long set wrapped up with the ultimate party song, "Twist and Shout."

The strangely punctuated Portugal. The Man was quick to acknowledge the hole in the stage that Springsteen blew open. "Did you see Bruce Springsteen was here?" frontman John Gourley asked the crowd. "Anyway, we're good too."

By Kevin Haynes |

Michael: The Musical

michael-jackson

A Michael Jackson musical will soon moonwalk on Broadway.

The King of Pop's estate announced today that it is developing a stage show based on the life of Jackson, who died in 2009 at the age of 50.

The untitled musical, aiming to premiere in 2020, is sure to feature an array of Jackson's biggest hits, including "Beat It," "Billie Jean" and "Thriller."

The homage will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon ("An American in Paris"). The book will be written by Lynn Nottage, the first and only woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, for 2009's "Ruined" and 2017's "Sweat."

When it arrives on Broadway, the Jackson tribute will be the latest in a long stream of jukebox musicals. The success of long-running hits like ABBA's "Mamma Mia!" and the Four Seasons' "Jersey Boys" has inspired recent shows like Jimmy Buffett's "Escape to Margaritaville," and "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical." Upcoming productions include "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical," "The Cher Show" and Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill."

By Kevin Haynes |

Pump It Up

elvis-costello

With a new album coming out "very shortly," Elvis Costello just announced that he will hit the road with the Imposters this fall.

The nationwide tour, dubbed "Look Now and Then…It's Elvis Costello & the Imposters," kicks off November 2 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The 63-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, now on tour in Europe for the next month, will play 20 shows in 33 days in the U.S. and Canada, wrapping up with his only Canadian gig, December 4 in Vancouver.

Ticket sales begin Friday on Costello's official website.

The Imposters, backing Costello since 2001, are longtime keyboardist Steve Nieve, drummer Pete Thomas and bassist Davey Faragher. They will be joined by backing vocalists Kitten Kuroi and Briana Lee.

The new album's title and release date have not been revealed, but those details are "imminent," according to the statement posted on the "Alison" singer's website.

It will be Costello's 24th studio album since his heralded 1977 debut, "My Aim Is True," and his first since 2010's "National Ransom."

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: 'Dreams'

FLEETWOOD MAC ARCHIVE PHOTO

Relationship nightmares were the stuff of "Dreams," Fleetwood Mac's only No. 1 hit, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a solitary week 41 years ago.

All five band members were dealing with tumultuous breakups when they got together in the summer of 1976 to record the album now widely regarded as their masterpiece, the mega-selling, Grammy-winning "Rumours."

Keyboardist Christine McVie and bass player John McVie had divorced after six years of marriage; drummer Mick Fleetwood was separated from his wife, who was having an affair with his best friend; and the stormy love between guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks had dissipated in "dreams of loneliness," contemplating what they had and what they lost.

"What was going on between us was sad," said Nicks, who wrote the bittersweet ballad in a neighboring studio where Sly Stone had installed a huge bed and covered the walls with red velvet. "We were couples who couldn't make it through. But, as musicians, we still respected each other—and we got some brilliant songs out of it."

Thunder only happens when it's raining.

By Kevin Haynes |

Déjà Vu All Over Again

graham-nash

Graham Nash looks back at his half-century recording career on "Over the Years…," a new two-CD retrospective that includes some of his greatest hits as well as 15 demos of signature songs like "Teach Your Children" and "Our House."

The 30-song anthology on Rhino Records, available now for pre-order on Amazon and Apple Music, will be released June 29.

Vinyl aficionados can pick up a 15-track double LP starting August 31.

"Over the Years…" draws from Nash's work as a solo artist as well as his duets with David Crosby ("Immigration Man") and their collaborations with Stephen Stills and Neil Young.

Disc One kicks off with "Marrakesh Express," the first hit from CSN's 1969 self-titled debut album, along with later Top 10 hits like 1977's "Just a Song Before I Go" and 1982's "Wasted on the Way."

The second disc features 15 demos and remixes dating from 1968 to 1980. Twelve of those cuts have never been released, including "Horses Through a Rainstorm," a song that was left off CSN&Y's landmark 1972 album, "Déjà Vu."

"It does my heart good to present my songs this way," Nash, 76, said in a statement on his website.

Nash will launch a month-long European tour on June 20 in Italy. He returns to U.S. stages with a 16-date tour that begins September 19 in Austin, Texas, and wraps up October 13 in San Diego.

By Kevin Haynes |

'Judy' in Disguise

judy-garland-renee-zell

Liza with a Z wants nothing to do with another Academy Award-winning actress, Renee with a Z.

Liza Minnelli is bristling over recent reports that she's been bonding with Renee Zellweger on the set of "Judy," the biopic about Judy Garland, Minnelli's late mother.

"I have never met nor spoken to Renee Zellweger," Minnelli, 72, reported on her Facebook page. "I don't know how these stories get started, but I do not approve nor sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way. Any reports to the contrary are 100% Fiction."

Minnelli's retort was sparked by Radar Online's claim that the two Oscar winners "have taken a genuine liking to each other." That report has since been deleted from the gossip site.

"Judy" chronicles the final year in Garland's life, from a series of sold-out shows at a London club in 1968 to her accidental overdose of barbiturates in a rented home there on June 22, 1969. She was 47.

The photo above, which shows 49-year-old Zellweger dressed in character as Garland, was taken on the first day of filming.

By Kevin Haynes |

Elvis' Drummer Dies

djfontana-elvis

Drummer D.J. Fontana, the last surviving member of the trio that helped catapult Elvis Presley to superstardom in the 1950s, died in his sleep Wednesday night at his home in Nashville. He was 87.

His wife, Karen, told the Associated Press that Fontana had been dealing with complications from a hip fracture two years ago.

Fontana was the house drummer for "Louisiana Hayride," a live country music showcase, where he met the 19-year-old Presley in 1954. Fontana was soon hired to join guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black in the Blue Moon Boys, the band that would back Presley on signature hits like "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog," and "Jailhouse Rock."

Moore was 84 when he died in 2016; Black died of a brain tumor at 39 in 1965.

Hailed for his simple, straightforward approach to drumming, Fontana backed Presley in the recording studio and on stage for 15 years. He was behind the kit when Elvis appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" as well as the critically acclaimed 1968 NBC special "Singer Presents…ELVIS," which has long been referred to as the '68 Comeback Special.

"I think the simple approach comes from my hearing so much big band music," Fontana once told an interviewer. "I mixed it with rockabilly."

Priscilla Presley, Elvis' widow, remembered Fontana as "a tremendously talented musician and a wonderful man."

Fontana was inducted as a sideman into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, three months after joining the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

By Kevin Haynes |

The Name of the Rosé

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Jon Bon Jovi is offering an unexpected new twist on an old Neil Young song: Love is a rosé.

The freshly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is hoping to capitalize on the world's growing thirst for the refreshing blush wine with the introduction of Hampton Water, a rosé that retails for $25.

Bon Jovi, 56, has embarked on the new venture with his 23-year-old son, Jesse Bongiovi, and winemaker Gerard Bertrand.

Wine connoisseurs, take note: Hampton Water is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvedre grapes. The label shows an illustrated woman in a stylish one-piece swimsuit diving into pink water. "Graceful, elegant, and always adventurous, her name is Pink," says the Hampton Water website, "and our girl sure knows how to get the party started."

"I'm a wine guy," says Bon Jovi, who owns a house in the Hamptons. "My license is still New Jersey. But I have primarily lived here for 10 years."

The younger Bongiovi notes that Hampton Water is already being served in "high-end really impressive French restaurants" and has received "a lot of great reviews from a lot of high-end, legit publications."

His famous father says the beautiful label sums up the experience. "Classic and timeless is always what I do," Bon Jovi says. "Classic and timeless."

By Kevin Haynes |

Here Comes the Fun

carpool-karaoke

Paul McCartney has apparently delivered a singing telegram to James Corden: "Baby, you can drive my car."

"The Late Late Show" host just revealed on Twitter and the show's CBS website that the 75-year-old Beatle will slip into the passenger seat in the next edition of Carpool Karaoke.

"It's happening!" Corden announced above a photograph that shows him and Sir Paul wrapped in an embrace in front of a black Range Rover.

"I can't wait for you all to see this," Corden added, retweeting the announcement on his personal page. "It was a day that will live with me forever x"

The sing-along joy ride will air next week during the show's four-night stay in London. Corden and McCartney were spotted in Liverpool last Saturday, visiting the former Beatle's childhood home and the street he made famous in a 1967 No. 1 hit, "Penny Lane."

By Kevin Haynes |

Dream Weaver

bob-ross

If you're having trouble perfecting the art of falling asleep at night (a common problem once you've reached a certain age), forget counting sheep and try a brush with greatness.

A new app on Calm.com offers to introduce you to la la land with the soothing voice of Bob Ross, the late artist who hosted PBS' "The Joy of Painting" from 1983-1994.

The audio-only "sleep stories" may not make you a better painter, but Ross' calm instructions from some of his show's classic episodes, coupled with the scrape and hiss of his brushstrokes, are designed to put your mind at ease.

"You don't need the visual," a physiology professor tells The New York Times. "Just his voice and sounds could trigger a relaxing state."

The Calm.com project has been approved by the estate of Ross, who was 52 when he died of lymphoma in 1995. "We asked ourselves, 'What would Bob do?" said the president of Bob Ross Inc., Joan Kowalski. "Using his voice to help put people to sleep? Well, he would love that."

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: The Beatles

beatles

It was 48 years ago today that "The Long and Winding Road" marked the beginning of the end for the Beatles.

The tender ballad, the last single ever released by the band, topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks beginning on June 13, 1970, and proved to be an unintended but apt farewell. It was the Beatles' 20th and final No. 1 hit, reaching that position one month after Paul McCartney announced that he was going solo.

Despite its success, the song played a key role in McCartney's decision to quit the band. He hated the horns, strings and women's choir that were added by producer Phil Spector and cited the "intolerable interference" in a legal move to dissolve the Beatles.

McCartney was much happier with the 2003 version of "The Long and Winding Road" on the "Let It Be…Naked" album, which is stripped of Phil Spector's signature Wall of Sound.

By Kevin Haynes |

Let's Go Crazy

prince

A young Prince, at the dawn of his "1999" uprising, can be heard working on an eclectic mix of songs on a new album,"Piano & a Microphone 1983," available September 21.

The collection features nine previously unreleased solo tracks that the soon-to-be superstar, then 25, recorded on a cassette at his pre-Paisley Park home in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The "raw, intimate recording," says a spokesman for the Prince estate, "is similar in format to the 'Piano & a Microphone Tour' that he ended his career with in 2016. "

Highlights include an early version of "Purple Rain" as well as "International Lover" from 1984's "1999" album and "17 Days," which was later reworked for the B-side of the "When Doves Cry" single.

Prince also covers Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" and a Civil War-era spiritual, "Mary Don't You Weep," which will accompany the end credits of Spike Lee's new film, "BlacKkKlansman," opening August 10. Click here to hear it.

"Piano & a Microphone 1983" is the latest of what promises to be a steady stream of material gleaned from Prince's vault. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was 57 when he died of a prescription drug overdose at home in 2016.

By Kevin Haynes |

Another Cup of Coffee

cars-coffee-cicgc-degeneres

Jerry Seinfeld is perking up a new season of his popular streaming series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," which shifts to Netflix beginning July 6.

The guests riding shotgun in Season 10 include Jerry Lewis, whose episode was filmed shortly before the legend's death last summer at 91. "Spending an afternoon with him in Vegas," Seinfeld said at the time on Instagram, "was a comedy life moment for me."

The lineup also features Alec Baldwin, Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres and "Saturday Night Live" veterans Kate McKinnon, Dana Carvey and Tracy Morgan.

"Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" premiered on Crackle in 2012. The series is moving to Netflix as part of a lucrative deal that the streaming service signed with Seinfeld last year.

By Kevin Haynes |

'Scarface' Back in Theaters

al-pacino-scarface

Say hello to Al Pacino's little friend one more time.

"Scarface" will mark its 35th anniversary by returning to select movie theaters nationwide on June 10. Among the cities that will be hosting big-screen showings: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.

The announcement comes after last month's cast reunion at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, where the 1983 gangster epic was celebrated at the Beacon Theater. Following the screening, there was a panel discussion with Pacino, who played Cuban drug lord Tony Montana, co-stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Steven Bauer and director Brian DePalma.

That chat, which made headlines when the moderator asked Pfeiffer an awkward question about her weight, will be shown after "Scarface" at the June 10 screenings.

The anniversary event is sponsored by Universal Pictures, the studio that is working on a remake to be directed by Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day").

By Kevin Haynes |