Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Rita Wilson Surprise Album Release; Nile Rodgers Family Tribute


Rita Wilson–aka Mrs. Tom Hanks–is an accomplished actress and a producer. Now she’s adding singer to her list of accomplishments. Rita has recorded an album and plans to release it, I am told, on February 7, 2012. She’s finishing up talks with Decca Records, part of the Universal Music Group. Wilson has been hiding her singing talents for a long time apparently. But well respected producer Fred Mollin has been working with her, and he’s helped bring in some special guests like Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill, Jimmy Webb, J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne, and Vince Gill. I’m told that Rita’s good pal, Patti Scialfa (aka Mrs. Boss) has wielded her might axe of a guitar on the album, which may be titled “AM/FM.” The songs are said to be covers that Wilson considers “the soundtrack of her life,” says a source. Some tracks may include “Wichita Lineman” with Webb on piano, and “Angel of the Morning.” Sounds cool. Sounds like the Wilson-Hanks family is really into music. Rita’s son with husband Tom Hanks, Chet “Haze” Hanks, a college student at Northwestern, has been putting out his own rap videos. They’re not bad…

PS Rita and her band will open for Sugarland this Friday in Indianapolis at Conseco Fieldhouse–it’s free, in memory of the victims of this summer’s stage collapse…

…On Monday night, Nile Rodgers and wife Nancy Hunt celebrated the 10th anniversary of their We Are Family Foundation with some lovely tributes–Valerie Simpson played a song in memory of recently deceased husband Nick Ashford, Fonzie Thornton performed for Luther Vandross, and Sister Sledge sang for Phoebe Snow. But there was a lot of life, too–Nile and Chic, Jackson Browne, Dionne Warwick, and Anita Baker--the latter did a song without rehearsal, and nailed it as usual. Nile has just published his memoir, too, so there’s lots to be happy about. More on the book tomorrow…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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