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!
June 17, 1946 Happy Birthday Barry Manilow!
I Made it Through the Rain is probably my favorite Barry Manilow tune because I played it with the great Peggi Blu with an arrangement written by Ted Perlman who is an unbelievable guitarist, arranger and producer.
When Peggi got to the modulation she just blew me away. I get chills when I think of her singing. It’s one of my great musical memories playing for her and Ted. We played so many shows together in the 80’s (did you notice my 80’s t-shirt? ) in Sweetwaters. I met them when Peggi came in with Whitney. They’re in L.A. and I wish they lived back here in NY!
Barry Manilow is not only a great songwriter, he is also a great pianist, producer, arranger, performer and singer.
The Complete Musician! Happy Birthday!
May 23, 1984 Tina Turner releases the album, Private Dancer.
I'm the Dad
Three singers who are among my favorite singers of all time, and who have had their successes but to me should be huge superstars are Peggi Blu, Alyson Williams, and Ebony Jo-Ann. Playing for singers like these are an accompanist’s dream. When they sing, they have such a distinguishable feel that you know just where you fit in — like a puzzle.
With the amazing Peggi there is a gospel sensibility where you lead the singer, with Alyson a jazz sensibility where she leads and you fill in behind, and with Ebony you just lay it down on the beat and she will glide right over you.
Tina Turner has elements of all these qualities. And her songs are a great choice for a great singer.
Peggi used to rip apart “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”
Ebony had “Private Dancer — another song I love but it didn’t seem right for me to sing “I’m your private dancer.”
And Alyson would sing “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”
Every time these women sing a cover song they make it their own, which is the sign of a legend.
Here’s my stab at “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”