Some Kind of Wonderful


It's not too late, baby, to get your hands on the grand piano that Carole King has played at home for nearly 50 years.

Christie's Rockefeller Center gallery in midtown Manhattan will auction off the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's 1924 model "M" Steinway on April 20 at 11 a.m. Bidding is expected to be in the range of $40,000 to $60,000 when the gavel comes down.

King can be seen playing the soon-to-be-sold Steinway on the cover of her 1971 album "Music," the No. 1 follow-up to her groundbreaking "Tapestry" album. It featured the Top 10 hit "Sweet Seasons," which she reportedly wrote on the same keyboard.

King's piano, once a fixture in her Los Angeles home and then her Idaho ranch, will be on display at Christie's Rockefeller Galleries beginning April 12.

By Kevin Haynes |

Nancy Drew Returns


Nancy Drew will be back on the case this summer.

The teenage sleuth will star in a new comic book series by an all-female creative team led by writer Kelly Thompson, whose credits include Marvel's "Hawkeye," and artist Jenn St. Onge, who illustrates Tee Franklin's "Bingo Love."

The first issue by Dynamite Entertainment premieres in June.

Drew, created in 1930 as a female counterpart to the Hardy Boys, will reemerge as a modern-day 17-year-old amateur detective who returns home to fictional River Heights to solve a mystery involving friends, enemies and a death threat.

The original Nancy Drew Mystery Series was written by a variety of authors using the pen name Carolyn Keene. The all-American character has been cited as a powerful, positive influence on generations of young female readers.

By Kevin Haynes |

The Forgotten


Oscar forgot to say goodbye to Glen Campbell and Batman last night.

Neither the country singer nor the caped crusader played by Adam West were mentioned during the Academy Awards' "In Memoriam" tribute, an annual farewell to stars and Hollywood workers who have died in the past year.

As photos and film clips of the recently deceased were shown on screen, Eddie Vedder paid homage to Tom Petty, who died at 66 in October, by singing the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's "Room at the Top," the opening song on Petty's 1999 album "Echo."

Campbell and West were not among the faces shown in the four-minute montage.

Campbell, who died last summer of Alzheimer's disease at 81, made his movie debut and sang the title song in 1969's "True Grit," the western that gave John Wayne his only Oscar. Campbell was also nominated for Best Original Song for "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," the theme of the 2014 documentary about his battle with Alzheimer's, "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me."

West is most famous for his three-season stint as ABC's "Batman" in the mid-1960s. But he also appeared in more than 50 movies in nearly 60 years, including 1962's "Geronimo" with Chuck Connors, 1965's "The Outlaws Is Coming" with the Three Stooges and, of course, the 1966 "Batman" feature. He was 88 when died of leukemia on June 9, 2017.

Other "In Memoriam" omissions included "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" director Tobe Hooper, actors Bill Paxton and Miguel Ferrer, singer/actress Della Reese, and Dorothy Malone, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1956 drama "Written on the Wind."

By Kevin Haynes |

The 'Vertigo' Effect


A rare chance to experience the dizzying heights of "Vertigo" on the big screen is coming to select theaters nationwide March 18 and 21 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's suspenseful tale about a mysterious blonde (Kim Novak) and an acrophobic detective (James Stewart).

Click here to find the nearest theater and buy tickets.

Though it opened to lukewarm reviews in 1958, "Vertigo" is now regarded as a classic example of film noir and one of Hitchcock's most accomplished movies. In 2012, it was voted the greatest film of all time by the British Film Institute, ending the 50-year reign of Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane."

"Paranoia and obsession have never looked better," claimed Italian film critic Marco Mueller.

Sixty years later, you can get the big picture and judge for yourself. Just be sure to follow Jimmy Stewart's lead—don't look down.

By Kevin Haynes |

Zen and the Art of Comedy


When Garry Shandling died unexpectedly two years ago, he left behind a lot of funny friends and a trunk of journals that he'd written over the last 40 years of his life.

Comedian, filmmaker and longtime pal Judd Apatow has now transformed those musings into "The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling," a four-hour HBO documentary that will air in two parts on consecutive nights, beginning March 26.

In the first trailer, Shandling can be seen making an offer that Apatow couldn't refuse. "I'll let the whole thing go for two installments of $9.95," he says, squatting near a pile of his diaries. "Here's what you get though: my entire fucking life."

What the audience gets is an intimate look inside the creative mind and searching heart of the nebbishy comedian, who was 66 when he died of a heart attack at his Los Angeles home on March 24, 2016.

"I feel like he had a neurotic voice in his head," Apatow tells Entertainment Weekly, "and the journals were how he tried to talk to his neurotic voice and calm it down and give it wisdom."

The slew of comedians who appear on screen to discuss Shandling's life and work include Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Sarah Silverman, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien.

"The journals are generally not funny," Apatow notes. "But every once in a while, in the middle of a very serious section, he'll just write a joke. So it will be him worrying about something, and then it will just say, 'I shave one leg so it always feels like I'm sleeping with a woman."

By Kevin Haynes |

On the Road Again

Willie Nelson Discusses "God's Problem Child" During An Album Premiere Special On His SiriusXM Channel Willie's Roadhouse At SiriusXM's Music Theatre In Nashville

For the second year in a row, Willie Nelson is releasing a new album just in time for his birthday.

"Last Man Standing," like last year's No. 1 country album "God's Problem Child," is a clear-eyed contemplation of mortality by Nelson, who turns 85 on April 29.

"I don't want to be the last man standing," Nelson croons on the upbeat title track. "Oh, wait a minute, maybe I do."

Click here to check out the video.

Other songs working the same existential turf include "Don't Tell Noah," "Bad Breath," "Heaven Is Closed" and "I'll Try to Do Better Next Time."

The country icon and his longtime songwriting partner, Buddy Cannon, wrote all 11 songs on the new album, which will be released April 27.

"Last Man Standing" comes in the wake of a recent flu-related health scare that forced Nelson to cancel a series of concerts this winter. He's scheduled to return to the stage February 27 in St. Augustine, Florida, the first of 19 tour dates through April. Another eight shows are planned for October and November.

Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for SiriusXM

By Kevin Haynes |

Money, Money


Liza with a Z will soon be Liza with a $.

Liza Minnelli is auctioning off an iconic costume she wore in her Academy Award-winning performance in "Cabaret" and more than 1,000 other personal possessions and Hollywood memorabilia, including rare, unpublished photos of her parents, Judy Garland and Italian director Vincente Minnelli.

The two-day sale, dubbed "Love, Liza," will be held in late May at Profiles in History, an auction house in Calabasas, California, near Los Angeles. The exact dates have yet to be determined.

"I hope my fans will be thrilled to not only have a chance to own a piece of my history but also that of my mother and father," Minnelli, 71, said in a statement that explained her decision to downsize. "I've reached a point in my life where I want to simplify and share with my fans who have always been there for me."

The "Cabaret" bowler hat, halter top and boots were the signature look of Sally Bowles, the Berlin nightclub performer played by Minnelli in the 1972 movie co-starring Joel Grey. Minnelli won the Oscar for Best Actress; Grey was honored as Best Supporting Actor.

Minnelli's hand-annotated "Cabaret" script will also be auctioned.

Other highlights include her 1971 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, photos by Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz, and more than 500 custom-made costumes and dresses by Halston, Minnelli's longtime favorite designer and fellow denizen of New York's Studio 54 in its 1970s heyday.

The entire lot will be displayed April 4-29 at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.

Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Love Is a Roseanne

Saturday Night Live - Season 5

"It's always something," Roseanne Roseannadanna liked to say in the early days of "Saturday Night Live"—and the latest something is something special for fans of the comedian who created the wacky character, Gilda Radner.

A new documentary, "LOVE Gilda," will open the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 15 at the Beacon Theater.

Using Radner's own words, the film chronicles the short, funny life of the Emmy-winning charter member of SNL's Not Ready for Prime Time Players from 1975 to 1980.

Director Lisa D'Apolito had access to Radner's personal audiotapes, diaries and home videos as well as her 1989 autobiography, "It's Always Something."

The source material is supplemented by interviews with SNL creator Lorne Michaels and cast members past and present, including Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong.

Radner was 42 and married to actor Gene Wilder when she died of ovarian cancer in 1989.

Photo by Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: Barry Sadler


In the heyday of protest music, patriotism stood at full attention 52 years ago this week, when Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler's "The Ballad of the Green Berets" began its five-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Sadler co-wrote the earnest tribute to the U.S. Army's elite special force while recovering from an injury suffered during his stint as a medic in Vietnam. Borrowing the theme of a traditional folk song ("The Butcher Boy"), the ballad was partly inspired by the first native Hawaiian to die in the war, James Gabriel Jr., a Green Beret executed by the Viet Cong in 1962.

Sadler performed his smash hit in uniform in late January 1966 on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and soon sold more than 9 million singles and albums. A choral version served as the theme of John Wayne's 1968 film, "The Green Berets."

Sadler would go on to record more patriotic songs and write nearly two dozen books about mercenary soldiers. His life took a dark turn in 1978, when he killed country music songwriter Lee Emerson Bellamy with one shot to the head in a dispute over a girlfriend. Sadler initially pled self-defense, then changed his plea to guilty. Convicted of voluntary manslaughter, he was sentenced to four to five years in prison, but an appeals court apparently accepted Sadler's claim that he had been threatened and reduced the sentence to 21 days.

In 1988, while training Nicaraguan rebels in Guatemala, he was shot and critically wounded during a robbery attempt. Partially paralyzed and suffering brain damage, he remained in the hospital until his death on November 5, 1989. Sadler was 49.

By Kevin Haynes |

Travelin' Bands


Put them in, coach, they're ready to play. Credence Clearwater Revival founder and "Centerfield" singer John Fogerty will hit the road with ZZ Top this spring, sharing a stage in nearly two dozen casinos, music centers and amphitheaters in the eastern half of the country.

"The Blues and Bayou Tour" pairs two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acts on a five-week outing that launches May 25 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and winds down June 29 in Welch, Minnesota.

Ticket sales begin today.

Fogerty, 72, had nine Top 10 singles with CCR in the late 1960s and early '70s before embarking on a solo career highlighted by the Top 10 hit "The Old Man Down the Road" in 1984 and the No. 1 album "Centerfield" in 1985. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with CCR in 1993.

ZZ Top is notorious for boogie, beards and "Legs," the band's biggest hit, peaking at No. 8 in 1984. The Texas trio of guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard has been strutting its bluesy rock roots since 1969. They joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

"ZZ Top is one of my favorite bands," Fogerty said in a statement, adding that Gibbons is one of his "all-time favorite" guitarists. "Riffs, blues and bayous—bucket list!"

Photo: Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Shine a Light


Turner Classic Movies thinks Martin Scorsese is a goodfella.

The cable channel announced today that it is honoring the legendary director of "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas" with its first Robert Osborne Award, named after the longtime host and Hollywood historian who died a year ago this month at 84.

The annual prize was created to recognize individuals who have "significantly contributed to preserving the cultural heritage of classic films."

Scorsese's Film Foundation, established in 1990, has restored more than 800 old but important movies that were disintegrating in film cans worldwide.

"Bob and TCM have been trusted allies in this mission," Scorsese, 75, said in a statement. "Bob was a true believer in the cinema, so to receive this award in his name means a great deal to me."

The award will be formally presented to Scorsese April 26 at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Photo: Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

See How They Shine


Roused by the Beatles' "Let It Be," Paul Simon handed a new song to buddy Art Garfunkel and told him to sing it solo, "the white choirboy way."

Garfunkel obliged, delivering the duo's biggest hit and signature song, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which began its six-week span at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1970.

Simon has long described the stirring ballad as "a little hymn" that evolved into something bigger and better than he ever expected.

"It was one of the most shocking moments in my songwriting career," Simon once said. "I remember thinking, 'Where did that come from? It doesn't sound like me."

The production added to the grandeur, building on a simple piano intro to create a "wall of sound" replete with horns, strings and cannon-like drum shots recorded in an echo chamber to achieve an effect worthy of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

At Garfunkel's insistence, Simon expanded the scale by adding a third verse, the one that begins, "Sail on, silver girl." Musicologists interpreted that as a reference to heroin, but Simon insists it was just a playful nod to then-wife Peggy Harper's fretful reaction to her graying hair.

The chorus also had familiar roots. Simon was quick to point out that one source of inspiration was "Mary Don't You Weep," a 1959 gospel song by the Swan Silvertones that included the line, "I'll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me."

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Contemporary Song, Best Engineered Record and Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists. Its namesake album was named Album of the Year.

The song has since been covered by dozens of artists ranging from Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and the Jackson 5 to, most memorably, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley. "That's it," Simon supposedly said when he heard Elvis' version at a Las Vegas concert. "We might as well all give up now."

By Kevin Haynes |


David Bowie Portrait

David Bowie is back on the record in Brooklyn, starting Friday. A limited edition of three colorful vinyl releases will be sold at the Brooklyn Museum during an exhibition celebrating the life and music of the rock and roll icon, "David Bowie Is."

A silver 45 rpm single pairs two cuts from 1973's "Aladdin Sane" album, "Time" and "The Prettiest Star," in a picture sleeve.

"Live in Berlin (1978)" is an orange mini-LP featuring concert renditions of eight songs, including "Heroes," "Fame" and "Rebel Rebel."

There will also be a red vinyl version of "iSelect," a Bowie-curated mix of 12 tracks, including an exclusive remix of 1987's "Time Will Crawl" and a live recording of "Hang On to Yourself," a song that appeared on the 1972 album, "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars."

This is the final stop on a worldwide tour that began five years ago. The exhibition, open through July 15, has previously been staged in London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Tokyo, Melbourne, Bologna and Chicago. Now it will take its final bow in New York, where Bowie lived for years and died of liver disease on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday.

The "electrifying" show, raves The New York Times, is "a far-reaching survey of his artistry, which includes music, costumes, sketches, stage props and videos."

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Prince on Deck

Photo of PRINCE

"Take Me Out to the Ballgame" ain't exactly a Prince song, but the Minnesota Twins will be singing the praises of a hometown hero this season at the second annual Prince Night at Target Field.

The first 10,000 fans to attend the Twins' June 8 game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will receive an inflatable Prince guitar.

A new merchandising deal between Prince's estate and the Twins will also unveil a line of souvenir baseballs, caps and T-shirts branded with Prince's signature glyph and the team's logo. The merchandise will be sold exclusively at Target Field.

The Twins honored Prince last season at a game on April 25, four days after the first anniversary of the musical icon's death on April 21, 2016. He was 57.

The team wore purple gloves and sleeves in Prince's honor. Fans received purple umbrellas.

Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns

By Kevin Haynes |

Rebel, Rebel

James Dean

The rebel without a cause will soon be without his favorite jacket.

The red nylon windbreaker donned by James Dean in the 1955 film that premiered a month after his death is on the auction block.

Palm Beach Modern Auctions in Florida expects the trim, cigarette-burned jacket to fetch $400,000 to $600,000 when the gavel comes down on Saturday.

That's far more than the $12,000 paid at auction in 2015 for a switchblade used by Dean in the film's knife fight at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

"It just represents a really significant period of our culture in the 1950s," says Rico Baca, Palm Beach Modern's co-owner.

The jacket's provenance can be traced to Leon Roberts, a wardrobe supervisor on "Rebel Without a Cause." He brought the windbreaker home after filming ended.

Dean played an angst-ridden high school student in the classic film about teenage rebellion in surburbia. Co-stars Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

Dean was 24 when he died in a California car crash on September 30, 1955.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Joan Baez's Swan Song

Pathway To Paris Concert For Climate Action

Joan Baez will play her way into retirement from "formal touring" this fall with a coast-to-coast swing through the U.S. and Canada.

The 77-year-old folk legend is hitting the road one last time, starting September 11 at the State Theatre in Ithaca, New York. The two-month tour consists of one-night stands in 24 cities and two shows each at the Wang Theatre in Boston and the Beacon Theatre in Baez's native New York.

Baez will take her final bow November 17 at Fox Theater Oakland in Oakland, California.

Ticket sales begin March 2, the same day that the "Diamonds and Rust" singer releases her first album in 10 years, "Whistle Down the Wind."

Photo by Kevin Kane/Getty Images for UNDP

By Kevin Haynes |

Next Wave


Long after burning down the house with Talking Heads, David Byrne is burning up the charts for the first time in 26 years.

The quirky singer's new single, "Everybody's Coming to My House," has risen to No. 8 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart dated February 24.

Byrne, 65, last scored a Top 10 hit in April 1992, when his solo single "She's Mad" peaked at No. 3 on the Alternative Songs chart. Two months earlier, Talking Heads topped that chart with "Sax and Violins," which appeared on the soundtrack of the 1991 film "Until the End of the World."

"Everybody's Coming to My House" is the lead single from Byrne's upcoming album, "American Utopia," due out March 9. It's his first solo record since 2004's "Grown Backwards."

Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Shakedown, Breakdown


Lingering back woes may spell the end of Bob Seger's night moves.

The 72-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer reports he's still recovering from spinal surgery last year, hoping for the best but admitting the end of his career may be at hand.

"The pain is down," Seger says. "I'd say it's one out of 10, but it's constant. It's nagging and, unfortunately, I can't sing or play or lift anything more than five pounds until it's gone."

Seger's back pain and subsequent surgery last fall forced him to cancel the final 19 shows of a 32-date tour promoting his latest album, "I Knew You When," which was released in November.

"I hope this pain goes away," he says. "If it doesn't, then I'm done…I think it's gonna be okay, I really do. But, God, it's taking a long time."

Photo by Scott Legato/WireImage

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack

The success of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song," which began its month-long run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 exactly 45 years ago this week, is almost as fascinating as the story behind it.

Composer Charles Fox and lyricist Norman Gimbel, whose best-known work includes the themes for "Happy Days" and "Laverne & Shirley," wrote the song.

Or did they?

In late 1971, the two were collaborating with a budding, 20-year-old singer-songwriter, Lori Lieberman. She claims "Killing Me Softly" sprang from a poem she wrote after seeing Don McLean perform at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. She was especially chilled by "Empty Chairs," a pensive ballad from the "American Pie" album.

But Gimbel says he got the idea for the song in the mid-'60s from a bar scene in Argentinean novelist Julio Cortazar's "Hopscotch." The protagonist listens quietly as the pianist tries to "kill us softly with some blues." Gimbel says that when he and Fox presented "Killing Me Softly" to then-girlfriend Lieberman for her 1972 debut album, she told them it reminded her of the night she saw McLean.

None of that really mattered to Flack. She heard Lieberman's version on an in-flight audio program and called Quincy Jones when she landed to see if he could arrange a meeting with the songwriters.

"Killing Me Softly," eventually bumped from No. 1 by the O'Jays "Love Train," recaptured the top spot for one more week on March 31, 1973.

It would go on to win the 1974 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, and Record of the Year, making Flack the first artist to win in that category two years in a row. (She won for "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" in 1973.)

"Killing Me Softly" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Flying High Again


Ozzy Osbourne is taking another bite of reality. Black Sabbath's bat-eating frontman and his family will revisit their reality TV roots on "The Osbournes Podcast."

The weekly show will premiere March 5, the 16th anniversary of the debut of MTV's groundbreaking series, "The Osbournes." The podcast will offer a new episode every Monday for 10 weeks.

The show is the latest iteration of the amusing family saga that ran on MTV from 2002-2005. Osbourne, 69, will be joined by his wife Sharon and two of their children, Jack and Kelly. The family will look back at their MTV days and discuss whatever's happening in their lives today.

"There's been talk about bringing 'The Osbournes' back, but it would never work," says Jack Osbourne, who was a teenager when the show originally aired and is now a 32-year-old husband and father of a 5-year-old girl. "Well, this is probably the next best thing."

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Live Nation

By Kevin Haynes |