Monday, June 17, 2024

“American Idol” Contestants Ringers? Twin Boys are Sons of Pro in Music Biz, 26 Year Old Woman’s Dad Wrote “Great Balls o’ Fire”


What is “American Idol” exactly? Is it a place to discover unknown talent only? Or can semi-professionals play too?

Tonight I’m watching the show and noticed a couple of oddities about the new crop of contestants who’ve been moved to the finals in “Hollywood.” As in “You’re going to Hollywood.”

Two sets of players are already in Hollywood, thanks. The 17 year old Sposato twins were extremely accomplished. Well, their dad is Frankie Blue, a long time Hollywood musician and composer. The family lives in Malibu. Frankie Blue accompanied his kids tonight as if he were just a random guy. According to his bio, he “wrote and recorded with Animal Logic (Stewart Copeland, Stanley Clarke), and ventured into the world of remixing and programming for artists such as Tricky, Garbage, Jamiroquai and The Red Hot Chili Peppers (Dave Navarro and Chad Smith),”

This doesn’t mean his boys aren’t talented. They certainly are. But they have a website, they already tour and record, and have been in business for four years at least.

Then there was Amelia Hammer-Harris, a very talented 26 year old singer. Her father was a famous but obscure early rock and roll singer and writer named Jack Hammer (real name Earl Burrows). She told the judges that her dad wrote “Great Balls of Fire” and “Yakety Yak.” In reality, he is credited as a co-writer on the former. But “Yakety Yak” was written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. Jack Hammer did write a lot of other early rock songs like “Fujiyama Mama.”

Amelia had an amazing voice. Here’s a cover she does of “Crazy in Love.” At 26, I’d say there’s an argument that she’s far more accomplished than the other contestants. She should already be having a career. This may be her resume, in fact.

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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