October 26, 1911 Happy Birthday Mahalia Jackson!
I love gospel singers and Mahalia Jackson was the original Queen of Gospel!
Well it just so happens we flew Cookie Watkins in from Vegas to sing at this Clive Davis tribute show for MMRF tomorrow night. Cookie sang with the Stingers for years and was in Beehive playing Tina Turner which she has continued in the show Legends and in her own show all over the world.
I’m thrilled she took a few minutes after a backstage rehearsal at the venue to sing Amazing Grace tonight with the wonderful singer Stanley Hopkins. I’m having Cookie sing Janis Joplin tomorrow night in our show and it will be amazing.
Rehearsal starts at 11, so I’m going to bed.
Amazing Grace! Coming to you from Old Greenwich, CT!
August 28 1986 – Tina Turner was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame!
I love me some Tina Turner. Attitude, killer voice and legs for days. We had a Tina section in the 2nd act of Beehive and after having Peggi Blu originate the role we were stuck when Peggi left to win Star Search and move to L.A. and I lost my favorite guitar player too, Ted Perlman! So my bass player Peter Brown took me to Kenny Castaways to hear a singer named Cookie Watkins!
When I walked into the club she was singing Piece of My Heart (Janis Joplin). I literally heard 2 lines of Cookie singing and immediately gave her the gig. It turned out that Cookie went to Manhattan School of Music with me and was an opera singer there. The singing I heard that night was NO OPERA. She was riffing higher and louder than anybody I’d ever heard. (just a side note: Kenny’s Castaways is closing their doors after 45 years on Bleecker Street. We will miss that club as we miss so many others that have gone…the Bottom Line, the Village Gate, CBGB’s…don’t get me started!)
Anyway Cookie went on from Beehive to play Tina in Vegas for years and then came in 2nd on ABC’s Next Best Thing as a Tina impersonator and lost to an Elvis impersonator. She should have won!
Anyway, Tina, Peggi, Cookie, I LOVE your sanging!
Here’s my Proud Mary for Tina’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!