I found this 2006 article from the Washington Post about when Bing Crosby and David Bowie did this duet for Bing’s 1977 holiday special.
Here is an excerpt explaining how it all came about:
One of the most successful duets in Christmas music history — and surely the weirdest — might never have happened if it weren’t for some last-minute musical surgery. David Bowie thought “The Little Drummer Boy” was all wrong for him. So when the producers of Bing Crosby’s Christmas TV special asked Bowie to sing it in 1977, he refused.
Just hours before he was supposed to go before the cameras, though, a team of composers and writers frantically retooled the song. They added another melody and new lyrics as a counterpoint to all those pah-rumpa-pum-pums and called it “Peace on Earth.” Bowie liked it. More important, Bowie sang it.
The result was an epic, and epically bizarre, recording in which David Bowie, the androgynous Ziggy Stardust, joined in song with none other than Mr. “White Christmas” himself, Bing Crosby.
In the intervening years, the Bowie-Crosby, “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy,” has been transformed from an oddity into a holiday chestnut. You can hear it in heavy rotation on Christmas-music radio stations or see the performance on Internet video sites. First released as a single in 1982, it still sells today — to add to its quirky afterlife, it’s part of an album that’s ranked as high as No. 3 on the Canadian charts this month. How did this almost surreal mash-up of the mainstream and the avant-garde, of cardigan-clad ’40s-era crooner and glam rocker, happen?
It almost didn’t. Bowie, who was 30 at the time, and Crosby, then 73, recorded the duet Sept. 11, 1977, for Crosby’s “Merrie Olde Christmas” TV special. A month later, Crosby was dead of a heart attack. The special was broadcast on CBS about a month after his death.
Stuart Townsend is on his own these days after splitting from longtime partner Charlize Theron earlier this year.
I doubt this handsome 38 year old is having any trouble getting dates!
While he is best known for his roles in the films Queen of the Damned, League of Extraordinary Gentleman, The Best Man, Head in the Clouds and Trapped, I grew smitten with the 38-year-old Irish actor when he guest starred on Will & Grace as a pansexual pastry chef pastry chef of Karen Walker who seduces her, Will, and later Karen’s maid Rosario.
He is also very sexy as a seducer in the entertaining film About Adam which I highly recommend.
Stuart made his directorial debut with the 2007 film Battle in Seattle which was well-received by critics but did not get wide enough of a release to do much business at the box office.
Although his relationship with Theron did not go the distance, the two had previously publicly stated that they would not get married until marriage was legal for same-sex couples as well.
That’s right, it’s Ryan Reynolds himself – the fantasy of gay men and straight women everywhere.
Ryan and actress Scarlett Johansson have confirmed that they are ending their two-year marriage.
Considering what a high-profile match they were, this pair was surprisingly low-key during their marriage. Ryan had said in the October issue of GQ: “Things change when you get married in general. But in terms of being a couple that’s in a public situation and speculated about and all that nonsense, it’s changed a little bit. I’m a little more guarded, I think. I’m a little bit more wary of having my relationship turning into a soap opera. I’ve just unilaterally not addressed it. That’s kind of been the fail-safe for me.”
It’s been a busy season for celeb divorces. This week alone: Dexter stars Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter are divorcing after less than two years, Nip/Tuck star Dylan Walsh has filed for divorce from his wife of six years and actress-model Elizabeth Hurley is divorcing her husband.
I just have to bring this up: So it is gay people who are threatening the institution of marriage?
After more than 45 years of stardom, Barbra Streisand is still one of the biggest interview “gets” for television shows – especially shows that are going off the air after decades and decades.
Last month, Streisand was Oprah Winfrey’s guest during what is the big O’s last season after 25 years on daytime television.
Tonight, she is guest on CNN’s Larry King Live which leaves the air this week!
Of course, it helps that Streisand has a vanity project to promote the heck out of: My Passion for Design: A Private Tour.
The book focuses on the architecture and construction of her newest homes. It is a reflection of Streisand’s love of American architecture and design between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries and contains many of her own photographs of the rooms she has decorated, the furniture and art she has collected, and the gardens she has planted on her land on the California coast. In addition to glimpses of her homes, Barbra shares memories of her childhood, the development of her sense of style, and what collecting has come to mean to her.
Personally, I wish Streisand would make some more movies – and not ones that have “Fockers” in the title!
Anyway, Larry talks to Barbra at her Malibu home for the full hour!
I’ve called him the hardest working man in showbiz several times this year because, well, he is!
Adam Lambert may have gotten all kinds of negative publicity after last year’s American Music Awards but since then, he has gotten down to business touring the world in support of his For Your Entertainment album.
Tonight, he plays two shows at LA’s The Music Box and before Thursday night’s concert at Club Nokia.
Adam’s efforts on the road have paid off. The album went gold, his single Whataya Want From Me was a big hit and he’s been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Male Vocal Performance category.
Even though this tour is coming to an end, it really is just the beginning for this bright new star.
Oscar winner Nicole Kidman is just 43 years old so I don’t know how wrinkled her forehead is supposed to be.
But apparently it should be showing far more signs of life if you listen to the whispers that she has had gallons of Botox injected in there.
Frontiers IN LA Magazine has just published an interview with John Cameron Mitchell who directed Nicole in the new film Rabbit Hole which will likely garner her a third Oscar nomination.
Mitchell, who previously directed Shortbus and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, was actually asked about Nicole’s forehead in the interview!
Here’s what he had to say about it: “You know, some people have the story of ‘the movie star face,’ but because I never followed that, I took her to be what she was, which was gorgeous. I didn’t sense any problems or artificiality or anything. I really didn’t. I really think women get put under the microscope way more than men in that case.”
“I don’t live a lie. You have to understand that people who choose not to discuss their personal lives are not living a lie. That is a presumption that people jump to,” he says. “I am different than some people would like me to be. I just don’t buy into that the personal can be political. I just think that’s horseshit. No one’s personal life is in the public interest. It’s gossip, bottom line. End of story. Now some people feed that. They’ll go to the trendy restaurants where all the photographers are and then bitch about being famous. But if you don’t want to feed that and you want your life to be based around what your work is then it ends there.”
Yes, it’s nice that Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Dr. John and Tom Waits are being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But what really thrills me about today’s announcement is that the great Darlene Love has also finally made it as well!
She is one of the real showbiz survivors and if you only know her from playing Danny Glover’s wife in all the Lethal Weapon movies, then you really don’t know the half of it.
She is currently lighting up Broadway in Million Dollar Quartet and has also appeared on Broadway in Hairspray, Leader of the Pack, Carrie and Grease. She also starred in a show about her life, Portrait of a Singer, which never made it to Broadway.
Darlene joined the singing group The Blossoms while still in high school and began working with producer Phil Spector in the early 60s singing back-up on such songs as Johnny Angel.
She sang lead on a string of hit singles includes He’s a Rebel, Today I Met the Boy I love, Da Doo Ron Ron, and He’s Sure the Boy I’m Going to Marry.
But the records were released under the name of The Crystals and Darlene was never given the proper credit for her work or the proper royalties. This led to hard times but she never game up on herself or her talent and by the 80s, she returned to the music scene and found that the audience had not forgotten her.
Every year, David Letterman invites Darlene to come on his show during the holiday season to perform her classic Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). Here is her performance from 1995.
BONUS VIDEO: Here is Darlene performing All Alone on Christmas with the E Street Band. It’s a song that was used during one of the Home Alone movies.
Don’t know about you, but I would rather watch paint dry than see Ryan Seacrest host ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
Ryan is cute and good at what he does but I want some laughs and some chemistry and over at CNN, the team of Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin absolutely has it in spades.
It has just been announced that the suave Silver Fox and the wild and crazy redhead and Anderson said in a statement: “Once again, I’m terrified to be co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve show with Kathy Griffin. It’s often bitterly cold, and yet after being with her for a few minutes on live television, I find myself drenched in sweat.”
Hmmm. Could he be talking about what happened in 2008 when Kathy, throwing to a commercial, responded to a Times Square heckler by yelling, “I don’t go to your job and knock the d—s out of your mouth.”
Last year, she dropped an F-bomb live on air while trying to pronounce the last name of the “Balloon boy” family.
The delightful pair will be live from Times Square from starting on Friday, Dec. 31 at 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (ET) on Saturday, Jan. 1.
If you missed this it theaters, now is your chance to watch the acclaimed documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work which is now out on DVD.
In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, there is a rave review which says in part: In her signature squawk, the woman who crashed the men’s-only comedy club chronicles her highs (being anointed by Johnny Carson in the 60s, winning The Celebrity Apprentice) and the lows (the suicide of husband Edgar, enduring crummy Indian-casino gigs in Wisonson).
Joan Rivers’ resilience and work ethic are inspiring – it’s one of the best films (fiction or non) of the year.
The reviewer writes that even if you have seen the film, the DVD extras alone are worth it because they include Rivers’ F-bomb laden commentary. At one point while watching herself perform stand-up while pregnant. she refers to herself as a “fat little pig” and jokes: “I was so pregnant that Melissa’s feet were hanging out.”
Parade Magazine has chosen Jane Lynch as one of its Personalities of the Year and asked Conan O’Brien’s sidekick Andy Richter to write about her.
I had no idea that before they became TV stars, they both appeared in the hilarious stage show The Real Live Brady Bunch. Jane was Carol Brady and Andy was Mike Brady. Jane talked about the experience last summer at Outfest and I recall seeing the show in Westwood in 1992.
Anyway, here is Andy’s well-written piece on Jane:
“I would describe what’s happening to Jane Lynch right now as justice. Occasionally in life—and really occasionally in show business—there’s somebody you want to go out in the street and wave a big flag for, because you’re so happy for them.
“I met her in the early ’90s doing a stage show called The Real Live Brady Bunch. I was the dad, Mike Brady, in a $20 wig stretched to its limit over my big head. Jane was the mom, Carol. I was struck by her poise, by what a good anchor she was in a fairly thankless role. Over the years, she’s been a wonderful, positive presence. Not a Pollyanna, just a great person. She let me borrow her car once, and I got some parking tickets I let slide until they started billing her. I did pay for them. But she brought it up on The Tonight Show last year, and I thought, She’s still annoyed at me, 20 years later! Sorry, Jane. I was broke.
“Lately it’s, Wow! There’s Jane on a magazine cover. There’s Jane hosting Saturday Night Live and guesting on Two and a Half Men. And of course, there’s Jane as coach Sue Sylvester on Glee. To me, Sue is hilarious because even surrounded by children, she’s always the smallest, pettiest person in the room. It’s cool to see Jane enjoying this kind of success, because she doesn’t pin a lot of neurotic energy on ‘making it.’ She’s just steadily done amazing, smart, honest work, and people are suddenly paying a lot of attention. I’m sure she’s humble about it. But I think there’s part of her that feels, Well, yeah. This sounds about right.”
What? Are the Harold and Kumar movies chopped liver? What about Clara’s Heart? And let’s not forget Starship Troopers!
Neil Patrick Harris, a smash hosting The Tony Awards and the Emmys last year, was asked about maybe hosting the Academy Awards one day by E! Online’s Marc Malkin.
“I don’t think my movie cred is what it should be,” he said, laughing.
Marc also asked the How I Met Your Mother Star if he had any advice for the two people who were asked to host the Oscar, Anne Hathaway and James Franco.
He already seems to have every confidence in them: “I don’t think [they] need any advice from anyone. They’re at the top of their games regardless of what they do and have proved themselves over and over. They are great choices.”
I believe NPH will host the Oscars sooner than later. He not only is brilliantly funny and charming, but he has far more movie cred than such past hosts as Jon Stewart, David Letterman and even Johnny Carson!
With separate film categories for drama and comedy or musicals, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe Award nominations are always able to recognize a few films that are not likely to get recognition much anywhere else this awards season.
That’s why it’s a kick to have Burlesque, the campy musical that is Cher’s first film since 2004 and Christina Aguilera’s feature film debut, nominated for best picture- musical or comedy.
It’s competition includes the mostly critically-panned The Tourist which also earned nods for its stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. I don’t think anyone saw that coming!
Less surprising are the nominations in the comedy-musical categories for the acclaimed The Kids Are All Right.
The film, which stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple raising a family, earned a best picture nod as well as nominations for both Bening and Moore. While Bening has been an awards season darling in recent weeks, Moore had been all but ignored previously.
Their competition includes Jolie, Anne Hathaway for Love and Other Drugs, and Emma Stone for Easy A.
The Kids Are All Right also earned a nomination for outstanding screenplay for Lisa Cholodenko (she also directed) and Stuart Blumberg while Burlesque got two additional nods in the original song category for Bound to You (music by Samuel Dixon, lyrics by Christina Aguilera and Sia Furler) and the big Cher number You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me (music and lyrics by Diane Warren).
There were also multiple nods, as expected, for Black Swan, The Social Network, The King’s Speech and The Fighter.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association unveiled the nominees for its 2011 Golden Globe Awards in film and television earlier this morning.
I’ll share with you the film nominees shortly but first, let’s focus on television because two of my favorite shows, Glee and Modern Family, are well represented.
Both shows are nominated for outstanding comedy and will compete against NBC’s 30 Rock, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and two dramedies from Showtime: The Big C and Nurse Jackie.
It’s tough with comedy categories and award shows these days because so many of the shows are not pure comedies. That’s why I think Modern Family will win here just as it did at the Emmys.
In the outstanding actor in a comedy series, Glee’s Matthew Morrison will compete against Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock, Steve Carell of The Office, Thomas Jane of Hung and reigning Emmy winner Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory.
For outstanding actress in a comedy, Glee’sLea Michelle is nominated with reigning Emmy champ Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie, Toni Collette of The United States of Tara, Laura Linney of The Big C and 30 Rock’s Tina Fey who is the only nominee who appears in a pure comedy show.
The supporting actor and actress TV categories at the Golden Globes are always an eclectic bunch because they always mix genres: comedy, drama and TV movies and mineseries.
I’m just so very glad that openly gay performers Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch of Glee are a part of this year’s eclectic mix!
Chris, who brilliantly plays gay student Kurt Hummel on Glee, competes against reigning Emmy champ Eric Stonestrteet who plays one-half of a hilarious gay couple on Modern Family. Rounding out the category is this unlikely trio: Scott Caan of Hawaii Five-O, Chris Noth of The Good Wife, and David Strathairn of the HBO movie Temple Grandin.
Jane Lynch, who won the Emmy last September for her performance as Sue Sylvester of Glee, competes against Modern Family’sSonia Vergara, Dexter’s Julia Stiles, Hope Davis of the TV film A Special Relationship and Kelly MacDonald of the TV miniseries Boardwalk Empire.
Congratulations to all of the TV nominees. Click HERE for a full list!
Now in its third season, Bravo’s Watch What Happens: Live is one of late-night’s surprise hits.
The show has expanded to five nights for this week and is hosted, of course, by Andy Cohen, Bravo’s senior vice president of production and programming. He describes the show in the new issue of TV Guide as “Wayne’s World meets Playboy After Dark.”
The vibe of it is very clubby, but it’s a club that everybody’s invited to,” Cohen says. “Everyone else goes really big in late-night and we kind of localize it and just host a small little cocktail party at 11 p.m. and it’s having great results.”
Based on Cohen’s online series of the same name, Watch What Happens: Live started in July 2009 at midnight with little fanfare. The show was only supposed to last three months, but the show clicked with Bravo viewers.
“There’s no pre-interview on our show,” says Cohen, who is openly gay. “The people come, I do my research, the viewers ask their questions and we just go with it live,” Cohen says. “I think that spontaneity is really key and that’s the bulk of the show.”