Thursday, May 30, 2024

Music: Kennedy Center Must Choose Its Eagles, Julia Fordham’s Pipes Better than the Public Theater’s, Sam Moore Digs Muscle Shoals


THE KENNEDY CENTER  is inducting THE EAGLES this December. The group is the first to present the austere Center with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame type issue– which members get in? The original group that had all the hits we love consisted of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner and Don Felder. Joe Walsh came later. Leadon and Meisner left over the years following “Hotel California” (the end of the real Eagles era), and Felder departed acrimoniously. The group now is Henley, Frey, Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmidt, who only joined in 1979 for “The Long Run” but returned when the Eagles re-grouped in 1994. Will all these guys be in the artists’ box in December? Or will Henley and Frey, who agree on very little, pick and choose who’s a real Eagle? Or will everyone just ‘take it easy’?….

Famed British pop and jazz singer (transplanted to Santa Monica) JULIA FORDHAM has great pipes, but the Public Theater-Joe’s Pub evidently does not. Fordham sold out her first show on Friday night with no problem, so Joe’s Pub added a show. She gave a bravura 25th anniversary performance of all the songs from her classic 1990 album “Porcelain,” plus threw in a few other hits.  Fans flew in from around the world for a second show after putting their requests on Facebook. But during the break between shows, a funny smell quickly arose from the Public Theater’s basement. A sewage line had burst, and the Public– which was thoroughly renovated not long ago– began to flood with not very agreeable looking liquids. Fordham, ever a trouper, seized the moment and saved the day. She came into the lobby of the Public– which has very good acoustics– and sang a capella for the 100 or so fans. Luckily Julia is in the best voice ever, so the couple who’d come to hear their wedding song– “Something Right”– got to hear it close up and personal. Fordham heads to her native UK next week for a string of sold out shows– hopefully with better pipes….

Legendary soul man SAM MOORE had waited almost 50 years to sing Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” and had rehearsed it for last Tuesday’s Lincoln Center out of doors opening night. Moore was there with Bettye Lavette, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham and the original Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section for a celebration of Muscle Shoals soul from the 1960s. (Dozens of hits were recorded there.) Even original members Jimmy Johnson and David Wood were on hand to perform with the band, which sounded amazing. Moore– famous for “Soul Man,” “Hold On I’m Coming” and other hits– almost got his big number cut. After performing “Don’t Pull Your Love” with Jimmy Hall, Moore was told by the show’s “producer” that because of a curfew, “When a Man Loves a Woman” would be cut. Chaos ensued as Lavette, who’d heard Moore slaughter the song at soundcheck, went nuts. Bettye and husband Kevin Kiley made let’s say a heated argument lobbying for Moore– who did the song to a massive standing ovation. A grateful Moore next performs August 12th at the Hollywood Bowl in an all star tribute to the late Jaco Pastorious with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter (please bring this to New York guys!)…

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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