Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: November 20, 2016
By: Laura Deni


The world premiere cast recording of the British stage hit The Bodyguard: The Musical has been released by First Night Records.

The release coincides with a United States tour which begins with a November 25, 2016-January 1, 2017 staging at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, prior to the official start at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis January 10-15, 2017. The tour stars Grammy nominated singer Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron.

A certainty is that there won't be criticism of the music.

The CD features the voices of Start Reed, Alexandra Burke, Mensah Bediako, Sion Lloyd, Mike Denman, Chisea Musonda, Adam Venus, Melissa James, Edward Clarke, and Glen Fox.

The ensemble includes Jade Albertsen, Omari Bernard, Jamal Crawford, Lydia Fraser, Jamie-Kay Hartshorne, Annie Kitchen, Sophie Usher, Matthew Wesley and Emmy Willow.

Burke is the standout. She's a previous star of the London cast production and winner of the fifth season of the British television series The X-Factor.

Of the 20 selections Burke, as Rachel, performs on 12. Melissa James as Nikki is heard on four. Both women possess stunning voices.

It's a lush, rich album of Whitney Houston hits performed by singers who know how to deliver them with their own vocal nuances, yet with the same arrangements and in a manner than would have garnered the Houston approval.

Based on Lawrence Kasdan's 1992 Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film, which I didn't see, and adapted by Academy Award-winner Alexander Dinelaris for the stage, The Bodyguard - The Musical features classics from the original film, including - of course - the legendary I Will Always Love You, plus many other feel-good hits.

The powerful and beautiful Greatest Love of All is softer than the Whitney Houston version, but in non-the-less effective. It's backed by a gentle piano. Also performed by Burke on Tract 8 I Have Nothing in an arrangement which makes beautiful use of violins and ends Act One.

All The Man That Need begins as a tender moment and ramps up to almost a gospel declaration. I'm Every Woman also includes the ensemble and is rhythmically high octane calypso. A softer touch is displayed in the short orchestra presentation of Fletcher, leading into Nikki (James) delivering the emotional All At Once.

Jesus Loves Me leads into the orchestra offering an ominous Nikki's Death followed by a reprise of Jesus Loves Me. One Moment in Time sung by Rachel (Burke) is powerful and dramatic. There is a brief orchestral offering of He's My Bodyguard followed by I Will Always Love you. again sung by Rachel. The entire company closes the cast album with I Want to Dance with Somebody.

Orchestrations and additional music by Chris Egan. The Musicians:

Richard Beadle is musical director and performs on keyboards. Assistant musical director and also on keyboards is John Rutledge.

Keyboards: Irvin Duguid. guitars: Huw Davies, Adam Goldsmith and James Pusey. Bass guitars: Phil Mulford. Drums: Andy McGlasson. Percussion: James Turner. Trumpet: Pat White. Woodwinds: Martin Williams.

Orchestral management: Stephen Hill for Musicians UK Ltd. Violins: Warren Zielinski, Ania Safonova, Steve Morris, Florence Garel, Danny Bhattacharya, Gareth Griffiths, Ben Buckton, Zara Benyouns. Additional guitars: Andrew Cooksley.

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is the national headquarters of the National Wild Turkey Federation. They serve a staff of regional directors and biologists, as well as our 250,000-strong membership. They're located in Edgefield County, South Carolina which is a quaint town listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located at the Center is The Winchester Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the bird. The facility is an interactive experience all about the wild turkey and our America's rich conservation and hunting heritage - 46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving. Some of the Museum events offered:

The world’s largest turkey call: Visitors can step into this oversized box call and learn how to make different types of wild turkey sounds.
Wildlife oddities: See the unexpected and sometimes strange variations in nature when it comes to wild turkeys.

Animated storytellers: A life-like grandpa sits in a rocking chair and tells stories about the history of the NWTF, turkey hunting and conservation. There is also a state-of-the-art animatronic Cherokee Indian who shares legends and stories of wild turkeys.

Historic turkey calls: Donated by master turkey call makers Neil Cost and M.L. Lynch, these are some of the museum’s most treasured collections. Visitors also can view the wall that depicts the evolution of turkey calls spanning more than a century.

Virtual Reality Theater: Enter the theater and you’re immediately transported to the break of dawn on a spring morning. Hear the sounds and see the sights of the woods waking up. Watch out for the turkeys flying off their roost!

There are also Education Programs and Field Trips in which you can:

Go on a habitat hike. - Play a game of camouflage hide and seek. - Go on a creek stomp. - Take a museum scavenger hunt. - Go on a nature treasure hunt.

However, the museum will be closed on Thanksgiving Day - no doubt to allow the staff to spend more time at home eating the bird.

come to a major new exhibition on William Henry Fox Talbot, polymath and pioneer of Victorian photography, to see one of the world’s most comprehensive and important collections of his work.

In the nineteenth century, as the industrial revolution boomed, Fox Talbot revolutionized culture and communications by inventing the negative-positive process, a technique that formed the basis of photography around the world for over 150 years and immortalized him as father of the photograph.

Discover the influence Talbot’s revolutionary technology, techniques and practices had on his contemporary practitioners - Anna Atkins, Hill and Adamson, and Calvert Jones - and see original prints from his seminal publication The Pencil of Nature.

On display through February 8, 2017 at the Media Museum in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.


DAVE MASON Alone Together Again with Special Guest Bekka Bramlett perform Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at Sunset Center in Carmel, CA as a benefit for Beacon House, located in the heart of California on the Monterey Peninsula, which bills itself as "the premier Northern California drug rehab facility addressing alcohol addiction, opiate addiction, sedatives addiction and more." Licensed & Accredited. Providing Lasting Recovery for Over 55 Years

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason will revisit his classic 1970 masterpiece. As one of America's most beloved classic rock albums, Alone Together - Mason's debut solo album - is as satisfying and inspiring now as it was when it was released over 45 years ago.

Best known for his soulful voice and unsurpassed guitar playing, Dave Mason was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of the group Traffic, and continues performing as a solo artist with sold-out shows all over the world. His career spans several important rock eras, and encompasses his work as a producer, performer, songwriter, and consummate guitarist. Mason has collaborated with numerous members of music elite, including Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, and many more.

The show will include fan favorites like All Along the Watchtower and Feelin' Alright, in addition to the album's classic songs. Photos and firsthand autobiographical commentary will complement the experience.


The Lucky Dragon, a 200-room Asian-themed property has staged a soft opening prior to the official launch on December 3.

Among the planned festivities are a firecracker show, which typically accompanies many Asian holidays and celebrations, driving away evil spirits; a lion and dragon dance, bringing good luck and good fortune to all; and the world’s largest traditional Kung Fu tea service will run throughout the hotel & casino.

There is also a 4,500 sq ft spa with four traditional treatment rooms, including one wet treatment room and one couple’s room. The spa will offer a full range of scrubs, massages, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicines and total relaxation and reflexology treatments.

An indoor-outdoor Tea Garden featuring an extensive list of tea curated by Las Vegas’ only tea sommelier; five Asian-inspired restaurant concepts; and staff and signage to accommodate guests from throughout Asia as well as English-speaking guests.

A 1¼-ton glass dragon sculpture 15 feet long and 23 feet high, surrounded by 288 glass orbs of different sizes, hangs over the casino's central bar. The body of the dragon is comprised of 762 glass scales.

Feng shui designed and constructed by Preciosa Lighting in the Czech Republic’s Crystal Valley region, beginning in May 2015, nearly 800 employees put in 12 40-hour work weeks to create the sculpture. It took 13 days to install the chandelier once it arrived after a 7,000-mile journey.

“To make the dragon, the majority of our employees were needed, as individual parts go through production – from the glass-making furnace, through the metal workshop, other production processes and up to shipping,” Michel Dvorak of Preciosa Lighting said in a press statement. “Safely, we can say that more than 1,500 individual hands have touched each part of this sculpture during the process. It is really quite an astonishing piece, and we are very proud.”

The Lucky Dragon resort has nine floors - only no stops on the fourth floor, since Chinese consider four to be unlucky.


Vice president-elect Mike Pence was talked down to from the stage when he attended last Friday's performance of Hamilton.
last Friday attended the Broadway musical Hamilton where he was subjected to a lecture from the Hamilton stage. If that was proper, or as counterproductive as the show is brilliant, will eventually be determined. Whatever the intent, it came across as pejorative. If public officials have to worry about being talked down to from the stage, they'll stop attending Broadway shows.

Freedom of speech is vitally important. However, nobody goes to a Broadway show thinking they are going to be ambushed from the stage with instructions.

When other elected or important individuals have attended Hamilton few have even been acknowledged from the stage, much less belittled. They were protected and quietly ushered backstage after the performance. The point of introducing Pence seems to have been to embarrass him.

The people who booed were rude. Don't like him? Don't clap. Display some decent public manners. A Broadway show isn't a ball game where it's permissible to boo the umpire. If Hamilton big shots didn't want Pence in attendance, then they should have declined the request for him to attend. To accommodate him in attending the production so that he could be chastised is insulting to the freedoms the Hamilton production espouses.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the genius who created Hamilton and was its original star. The well deserved success of Hamilton has placed Miranda in the super rich category. For another star to reach such cup runneth over wealth in this lifetime is folly. Perhaps Miranda has lost sight that what funds many writing projects and keeps numerous Broadway, off-Broadway, off-off Broadway and regional venues operating are grants and donations.

The White House doesn't need Broadway. There are plenty of court jesters.

The government can easily curtail or seriously diminish funds which permits performance curtains to stay open. It would be a piece of cake to convince Congress that monies earmarked for the arts would be better spent elsewhere. Or, in restructuring the tax code, they could tighten up what donations to the arts qualify as deductions.

Those like Mirada who fall into the nouveau riche category - no matter how well deserved - should reign in the arrogance. More thought should have been given before spouting off - no matter how eloquent. If the Hamilton cast was insistent upon giving Pence a piece of their collective minds, it should have been done backstage. What would be in the long term best interest of the entertainment community as a whole should have been the priority, rather than a momentary venting.

With great wealth comes power and - responsibility. Miranda needs to remember that what he writes carries weight and that weight can crush others.

I've never spoken to Pence. He's a former conservative radio and television talk show host who was elected to the United States Congress in 2000. In 2008, Esquire magazine listed Pence as one of the ten best members of Congress, writing that Pence's "unalloyed traditional conservatism has repeatedly pitted him against his party elders." In 2012 Pence was elected the 50th Governor of Indiana. He implemented the largest tax cut in Indiana's history, pushed for more funding for education initiatives and continued to increase the state's budget surplus. Pence also signed controversial abortion bills, including one that prohibited abortions if the reason for the procedure was the fetus' race, gender, or disability.

Unless you are an American Indian everyone in this country is either an immigrant or a descent of immigrants. All immigrants had assimilation difficulties and hardships. There is a two hundred year long history of deporting immigrants who are criminals. Protesters have it wrong. You're bellyaching to the wrong people. If you are concerned about Pence, why didn't you confront him years ago, not wait until he was trying to enjoy a musical? He's not stupid. If you had left him alone he would have enjoyed - and understood the messages in the musical.

You don't like what's going on? Got fears? Tell your U.S. congressman and senator. They want to get re-elected. Let them know you're watching who they confirm. You're paying attention to how they vote and what bills they introduce and support. Lecturing somebody in public who has taken their limited and valuable time to applaud your creativity is a cheap way to gain unneeded publicity which may not work to your advantage.

THE NATIONAL YOUTH THEATRE OF GREAT BRITAIN was feted at a Diamond Anniversary Reception at Buckingham Palace last Thursday, November 17. The event was hosted by the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Prince Edward who is Patron of the organization.

The National Youth Theatre has a variety of programs - from free nine-month talent development programs, to six day intensive skills-based master classes, their courses offer young people a platform to learn, practice and thrive as young creatives and as individuals.

Established in 1956 as the world’s first youth theatre, their world renowned alumni include: Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Colin Firth, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Day-Lewis, Orlando Bloom, Catherine Tate, Ben Kingsley, Ashley Jensen, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Dalton, David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Hugh Bonneville, Matt Smith, Zawe Ashton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and many more.

The Oscar winner Dame Helen Mirren has stated: "The National Youth Theatre at this moment in time is incredibly important because the way my business is going, it’s the prerogative only of kids who have got money. It was my way in because we didn’t have money to send me to drama school.”

LAS VEGANS TO PLAN PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL PARTY EVENTS President-Elect Trump has named Las Vegans hotel moguls Steve Wynn, Phil Ruffin, and Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, finance vice chairs on the 20-person Presidential Inaugural Committee headed by Los Angeles billionaire Tom Barrack. Wynn is CEO of Wynn Resorts, Ruffin owns Treasure Island and co-owns Trump International in Las Vegas and Sheldon Adelson is chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. The Presidential Inaugural Committee is responsible for “the planning and coordination of all official events and activities surrounding the inauguration” of Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, according to the official statement. There will be as many as 14 official balls. With that Las Vegas trio having a say, it should be - as Cole Porter once wrote - "a swellegant, elegant" party.

The 58th Presidential Inauguration takes place Friday, January 20, 2017.

THE ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL (EDC) in its 21st year, and seventh time in Vegas, will take place June 16 to 18 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

JAN ROUVEN a former Las Vegas Strip illusionist plead guilty to possessing, receiving and distributing more than 9,000 videos containing child pornography on nine devices. Rouven’s sentencing is scheduled for March 16 before U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro. He faces up to 365 months, or a little more than 30 years, behind bars.

Rouven also faces a fine of $5,000 for each victim authorities identify. Defense lawyer Jess Marchese said there could be as many as 85 identifiable victims, which would equal a fine of $425,000. The Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas canceled Rouven’s show The New Illusions and severed ties with him a day after his arrest was reported. U.S. immigration officials revoked Rouven’s work visa in June, citing the criminal case and the fact that Rouven, who is a German citizen, no longer had a job as an entertainer. It is expected that Rouven will be deported after he serves his prison sentence.

A THANKSGIVING WISH for members of the current United States Supreme Court. May you all stay healthy and continue working until you each reach your 100th birthday. Then, if you wish, you may expire or retire from the bench.

NOVEMBER 23 is National Eat a Cranberry Day and November 24 is National Sardines Day.


Come Spring the routine cleaning for Buckingham Palace and the White House will include extensive refurbishing.

Neither Queen Elizabeth nor then President Trump will stop working.

Buckingham Palace will undergo a 10-year refurbishment to begin in April during which time Queen Elizabeth will remain in residence.

The palace has 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms, 760 windows, 100 miles of electrical cabling and 20 miles of heating pipe.

Ageing cables, lead pipes, wiring and boilers will be replaced, many for the first time in 60 years, amid fears about potential fire and water damage.

Tony Johnstone-Burt, Master of the Queen's Household, issued a statement explaining that the work done in phases offered the "best value for money" while permitting the palace to keep running.

Johnstone-Burt said that by making the investment now, "we can avert a much more costly and potentially catastrophic building failure in the years to come".

Officials indicated that an "urgent overhaul" of the palace was needed to prevent the risk of fire, flood and damage to both the building and the priceless Royal Collection of art belonging to the nation.

Much of the wiring is considered to have the "very real risk of fire and failure", while the majority of the mechanical and electrical systems are at least 40 years old with failure an "ever increasing risk", the statement said.

The White House's Oval Room is also due for an update - although the then newly sworn in President Trump will still be able to live at the place even though the White House will have 'security enhancements' taking place, including what is reported to be the installation of bullet proof glass in windows.


OFF BROADWAY PAY INCREASE has been agreed to by The Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union representing actors and stage managers, and the League of Off-Broadway Theaters and Producers, a trade group representing New York nonprofit and commercial theaters which have between 100 and 499 seats.

The news release didn't provide specific details. However, Kate Shindle, the Equity president, told The New York Times that over the span of the five-year contract there would provide “hefty wage increases” ranging from 32 to 81 percent.

THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM which recognize people who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” will be presented on November 22 at the White House.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor — it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better,” President Barack Obama said. “From scientists, philanthropists and public servants to activists, athletes and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”

Those receiving the honor are:

From the world of sports: retired Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, former Los Angeles Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and former NBA standout Michael Jordan.

Show business figures include: comedian/talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, singers Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen and actors Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Cicely Tyson and Robert Redford, Saturday Night Live creator/producer Lorne Michaels and artist Maya Lin.

Also on the list are: polymath physicist Richard Garwin, Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates, architect Frank Gehry, mathematician and computer scientist Margaret H. Hamilton, attorney Newt Minow and President of Miami Dade College Eduardo Padrón. Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, known as "Amazing Grace" and "the first lady of software," and Blackfeet Tribal community leader Elouise Cobell will be honored posthumously.

KING LEAR by William Shakespeare.

Directed by Deborah Warner.

Written during a period of great social upheaval, Shakespeare’s brutal masterpiece is arguably the greatest tragedy ever written. The fatal consequences of a foolish decision are explored in haunting poetry to create one of the most moving works in the English language.

Winning rave reviews, double Academy Award-winning legend Glenda Jackson has returned to the stage to play King Lear, a quarter of a century after she gave up acting for politics.

Other cast members include:Fehinti Balogun, Fiston Barek, Bessie Carter, William Chubb, Morfydd Clark, Jonathan Coote, George Eggay, Matt Gavan, David Hargreaves, Jane Horrocks, Joanne Howarth, Rhys Ifans, Celia Imrie, Karl Johnson, Stephen Kennedy, Simon Manyonda, Harry Melling, Mark Rose, Gary Sefton, James Staddon, Danny Webb, and Sargon Yelda.

Jamie Manton Assistant Director. Design by Jean Kalman & Deborah Warner Jean Kalman is the Lighting Designer. Mike Gunning Associate Lighting Designer. Mel Mercier Composer and Sound Designer. Leigh Davies Associate Sound Designer. Justin Nardella Associate Set Designer. Zeb Lalljee Costume Designer. 59 Productions Video Designer. Casting by Jessica Ronane. Patsy Rodenburg Voice Coach. Joyce Henderson Company Movement.

A post show talk Lear and Daughters takes place Friday, November 25.

The production runs though December 3, at The Old Vic in London.

EMPIRE OF THE SON an original, multimedia one-man show by actor / comedian / radio broadcaster and former host of CBC’s The Roundup Tetsuro Shigematsu which tells the dynamic story of Akira, his emotionally distant father whose legacy is felt beyond his lifetime.

Separated by a generation but connected by blood, Tetsuro and Akira spoke different languages and possessed different values, but what kept them apart was their similarities. Empire of the Son is called "a funny, emotional and deeply thoughtful portrayal of parent/child relationships."

November 22 – December 3 at NAC Studio, in Ottawa, Canada.

THE BAND'S VISIT featuring a book by Itamar Moses, an original score by David Yazbek,

Directed by David Cromer.

Choreography by Patrick McCollum, and movement by Lee Sher.

The cast features George Abud, Bill Army, Tony Award nominee John Cariani, Katrina Lenk, Erik Liberman, Andrew Polk, Rachel Prather, Jonathan Raviv, Sharone Sayegh, Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Tony Shalhoub,Kristen Sieh, Ari’el Stachel, Daniel David Stewart and Alok Tewari.

An Egyptian Police Band arrives in Israel to play a concert. After a mix up at the border, they are sent to a remote village in the middle of the desert. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, these unlikely travelers are taken in by the locals. Under the spell of the desert sky, their lives become intertwined in the most unexpected ways.

Scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by Sarah Laux, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau, sound design by Clive Goodwin, music direction by Andrea Grody, and casting by Tara Rubin Casting.

The Band’s Visit is in previews at the Atlantic Theater Company's Linda Gross Theater in New York City where it officially opens on Thursday, December 8 for a limited engagement through Friday, December 23, 2016.

PIP’S ISLAND by co-creators Rami and Rania Ajami and Creative Director Walter Kudrop.

Associate Director Lili Chasen.

An interactive first in children’s entertainment, Pip’s Island boasts a synthesis of animation, live actors, multi-sensorial environments, and a compelling narrative, which the audience helps shape through explorer challenges.

Graphic novels, web series, broadcast animated series, mobile apps and video games will be used to explore the rich story world using the fully developed visual language developed by the in-house animation team.

A wholly immersive and groundbreaking theatrical experience suitable for adults as well as children.

Performers and puppeteers: Rebekkah Alson, Joe Bach, Jeff Brooks, Lute Breuer, Lawrence Carillo, Dylan Cote, Joey Ama Dio, Camrus Johnson, Charlie Kanev, Adam James King, Nick Lehane, Monica Lerch, Katie Melby, Katrina Michaels, Tom Mezger, Sarah Nolen, Alexander Sanders, Johnny Shea, Rachael Shane, Lake Simons, and Elanna White.

Bruce Landon Yauger (Composer and Sound Designer). John Coyne (Production Designer). Fabio Toblini (Costume Designer). Al Crawford (Principal Lighting Designer). Rocco Disanti (Projection Designer and Interactive Technology Specialist). Chris Green (Interactive Kinetics and Puppet Design). For Pip's Island, Green has assembled a team of builders including Acheson Walsh, Monkey Boys Productions, and Dash 7.

Limited engagement through January 8, 2017 at Skylight Modern in New York City.


JOHN PIZZARELLI AND JESSICA MOLASKEY performing partners on stage and husband-and-wife in private life, have a new show staged November 22-December 1 aat Cafe Carlyle in New York City.

CHLOE HILLIARD the 6' 1" larger than life comedian will be hosting and telling funny stories November 25-26 at Gotham Comedy Club in New York City.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN return to her long term stand at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas on Tuesday, November 22, 2016

ADELE performs at the Talking Stick Resort in Phoenix, AZ on Monday, November 21, 2016.

VINCE GILL performs tonight, Sunday, November 20, 2016 at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend, IN.

THE OAK RIDGE BOYS entertains this evening, Sunday, November 20 at the Love Civic Center in Paris, TX. Friday's show is at the Joplin Memorial Hall in Joplin, MO. Saturday's stop is at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, SD. Next Sunday, November 27, the tour stps at the Chester Fritz Auditorium in Grand Forks, ND.

KELLI O'HARA stars this evening, November 20, in a solo concert at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center in Tulsa, OK.


LEON RUSSELL musician and songwriter died quietly in his sleep on November 13, 2016 at his home in Nashville. He was 74.

In 2010, he underwent surgery for a brain fluid leak and was treated for heart failure. In July of this year, Russell suffered a heart attack, and was scheduled for further surgery, according to the official release from the historical society of Oklahoma, his home state. Since then, he had postponed shows while convalescing at home. He had hoped to return to the schedule in January 2017.

Russell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2011. In June, 2011, Russell was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Russell had a career of more than 50 years playing southern boogie-inflected piano, writing songs, and producing. Among the hit songs he wrote were Delta Lady, recorded by Joe Cocker, and A Song for You, recorded by Ray Charles, the Temptations, the Carpenters, Amy Winehouse, and Whitney Houston. He played piano on the Stones’ Get a Line on You, which he adapted from their Shine a Light song and had a No. 1 country hit with Willie Nelson performing Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Grammy recipient Leon Russell's passing leaves us with a profound sense of loss. He made an immeasurable contribution to our culture as a musician as part of Los Angeles' famed Wrecking Crew, as a songwriter whose A Song For You was recorded by more than 100 artists, and as a recording artist himself with hits such as Tight Rope. His inquisitive musical nature was a model to be emulated. Our condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans."

Born Claude Russell Bridges he was divorced from Mary McCreary, he is survived by his wife Janet Lee Constantine and six children Blue, Teddy Jack, Tina Rose, Sugaree, Honey and Coco.

GWEN IFILL respected reporter and co-anchor of PBS News Hour died in Washington, DC on November 14, 2016 from endometrial cancer. She was 61.

She served on the board of the Harvard Institute of Politics, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Museum of Television and Radio, and the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

HOLLY DUNN contemporary Christian country singing star, who had two No 1 hit records, died November 15, 2016 at a hospice facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico from a rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer. She was 59.

She released ten albums and charted nineteen singles plus two duets on the Hot Country Songs charts.

Her brother is prolific songwriter Chris Waters.

MOSE ALLISON a legendary blues and jazz pianist, died November 15, 2016, at his home in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He was 89.

He became notable for playing a unique mix of blues and modern jazz, both singing and playing piano. After moving to New York in 1956, he worked primarily in jazz settings, playing with jazz musicians like Stan Getz, Al Cohn, and Zoot Sims, along with producing numerous recordings. He had been described as having been "one of the finest songwriters in 20th-century blues."

His music ha an important influence on other performers, such as Tom Waits, Jimi Hendrix, The Yardbirds, and The Rolling Stones. Allison was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

He is survived by his wife Audre, whom he married in 1949. He is also survived by four children including a daughter, Amy, who is a musician.

SHARON JONES soul singer dubbed "the females James Brown" who who chronicled her battle with pancreatic cancer in a documentary, died of the disease on November 18, 2016. She was 60.

The Grammy nominated soul and funk singer was the lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.

Next Column: November 27, 2016
Copyright: November 20, 2016 All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Photographs or Graphics from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
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Laura Deni

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