Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Dionne Warwick, Charlie Wilson, Randy Newman Help the Grammy Awards Start Their Year in NY With Over-the-Top Taping of PBS Special


Last night at the Beacon Theater…shhhhh… we’re not allowed to review it yet, but the Grammys taped a PBS special for airing this fall. It’s a celebration of the 2017 Special Merit recipients, aka Lifetime Achievement Award winners.

So I’m not reviewing it, but come on– with a lineup like this you can’t go wrong: Randy Newman, Dionne Warwick, Andra Day, Charlie Wilson, Valerie Simpson, Shirley Caesar, John Cale and Maureen Tucker of the Velvet Underground, Charley Pride, Katherine Russell, plus Garland Jeffreys introducing the Underground. Whoopi Goldberg did the toast to Nina Simone. I mean, really.

I won’t tell you which songs they sang, we’ll wait til the PBS special is closer. There were a lot of people from the Recording Academy present as this is the kick off for the Grammys in NY. The Grammy Awards return to Madison Square Garden on January 28th under the aegis of Neil Portnow, who got a LOL charming shout out from gospel legend Shirley Caesar.

I can’t wait til the does air because it really worked, there was chemistry in the air! The family of Jimmie Rodgers, the man who started country music 90 years ago, came to get their award. They’re terrific. Justin Timberlake should play Jimmie Rodgers in a movie directed by Taylor Hackford. It’s just begging to happen.

Also, I got to meet Le’Andria Johnson, a 34 year old gospel sensation from Atlanta who’s already won a Grammy. You are about to hear a lot about her. Her new single is called “All I Got.” The album comes out July 22nd. Once the world hears this voice, Le’Andria is going to be everywhere!

Here’s the single:

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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