Monthly Archives: July 2012


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents a new print of the 1965 musical classic “The Sound of Music” as the fourth film in its series “The Last 70mm Film Festival” on Monday, July 30, at 7 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening will also welcome actress Kym Karath, who played Gretl, the youngest of the seven Von Trapp children in the film.

Based on the Broadway musical, the film follows Maria (played by Julie Andrews in her second Oscar®-nominated role) a young woman who leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the seven children of a widowed navy captain (Christopher Plummer). The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards® including Actress (Julie Andrews, “Maria”), Actress in a supporting role (Peggy Wood,” Mother Abbess), Art Direction – Color (Art Direction: Boris Leven; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott, Ruby Levitt), Cinematography – Color (Ted McCord), Costume Design, Color (Dorothy Jenkins), and won awards for Directing (Robert Wise), Film Editing (William Reynolds), Music – Scoring of Music–adaptation or treatment (Irwin Kostal), Best Picture (Robert Wise, Producer), and Sound (20th Century-Fox Studio Sound Department, James P. Corcoran, sound director; and Todd-AO Sound Department, Fred Hynes, sound director).

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Kitty Wells, 1919-2012


Kitty Wells
Photo credit: courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Country Music has weathered seismic changes since May 1949, when Kitty Wells stepped up from her gig as “girl singer” with Johnnie & Jack and their group and stood alone behind a microphone at Owen Bradley’s Castle Studios. She had agreed to record a song written by J.D. Miller and pitched by Troy Martin. It didn’t thrill Wells or her husband, Johnnie Wright of Johnnie & Jack, but she agreed to cut it mainly for the $125 session fee.

That song, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” exploded when released that summer, rocketing to No. 1, staying there for six weeks and selling well over a million copies. It pushed Wells from the background in her husband’s group and square into the center of the Country Music spotlight. It also caused controversy by daring to rebut Hank Thompson’s hit, “Wild Side of Life,” which dismissed a wife gone bad as a “honky tonk angel” for abandoning marriage and succumbing to the temptation of saloons “where the wine and liquor flow, where you want to be anybody’s baby.”

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Artists Benefit from the Kickstarter Revolution


Chuck Mead’s Kickstarter campaign earned significant support for his album project.
Photo credit: courtesy of Kickstarter

When Chuck Mead set out to make Back at the Quonset Hut, an album of classic Country songs, he wanted to kick the project up a notch.

He was recording at the Quonset Hut, the recently reactivated studio erected by Harold and Owen Bradley on 16th Avenue, where Patsy Cline, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Roger Miller, Ray Price, Marty Robbins, Tammy Wynette and many others recorded some of Country’s most enduring hits.

With such a rich history, Mead wanted to include a film about the making of his album and about the Quonset Hut itself, as part of a CD/DVD package. The only problem was the added cost of producing it — about $10,000.

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Kellie Pickler salutes the troops on the cover of Maxim.
Credit: Maxim Magazine

On Newsstands Nationwide Tuesday, July 31

Pickler is the leading lady in the special newsstand issue, Maxim Salutes the Military, in stores Tuesday, July 31. Her show-stopping cover and centerfold images are reminiscent of the 1940s-50s era with a modern flare, and in her in-depth personal interview Pickler shares her experience performing for troops overseas on five USO tours and why she will always be an avid supporter of our troops. The story and full photo spread is LIVE now on

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Oscar®-winning Screenwriter Frank Pierson

Statement from Pierson Family

Oscar-winning screenwriter Frank Pierson died today in Los Angeles of natural causes following a short illness. He was 87. 20120723-190559.jpg

A three-time Academy Award® nominee, Pierson won an Oscar for his original screenplay of “Dog Day Afternoon.” He received nominations for “Cat Ballou” and “Cool Hand Luke.” Pierson’s writing credits also include “Presumed Innocent” and “A Star Is Born,” which he also directed.

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Rock in the School Year with Unique Music Memorabilia and VIP Experiences


WHO: MusiCares® and the GRAMMY Foundation®

WHAT: GRAMMY® Charity Online Auctions — the latest in this year’s auction series offers a range of back-to-school items for kids and adults. Send your kids back to school with unique items autographed by Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Drake, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Usher and more!

Or for the Ultimate Back to School Bonus, send your kids to Madison Square Garden for the concert of their life for one show with One Direction. This is an exclusive VIP Concert Experience to meet One Direction in New York City!

The lots are available for bid now through July 30 at, presented in partnership with Kompolt. Winning bidders can enjoy these one-of-a-kind collectibles with proceeds benefiting the GRAMMY Foundation’s GRAMMY in the Schools® programs for high school students, as well as its preservation and advancement initiatives. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will support MusiCares’ health and human services and addiction recovery programs.
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Telecast Recognized For Outstanding Special Class Program, Outstanding Art Direction, Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding Sound Mixing, and Outstanding Technical Direction

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast has received six Emmy® Award nominations, the most ever in one year for a GRAMMY® telecast, in recognition of outstanding production and directing excellence. Nominations were announced today by the Television Academy at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, Calif. Including today’s nominations, the GRAMMY Awards have been nominated 31 times for production excellence, and a total of 33 times overall. The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 23.

The six GRAMMY Award telecast nominations are for:

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Grauman’s Chinese Theatre “25 Cent Family Flick”

20120720-221911.jpgClick HERE For More Info

Warner Bros. Statement On Colorado Mass Shooting

“Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”

The studio has also cancelled the Paris premiere and all media interviews with director Christopher Nolan and cast members.

There were 12 killed and 59 wounded in the mass shooting that took place at the Century 16 theater, around 12:39 a.m. during the midnight showing of Dark Knight in Aurora, Colorado.

Timothy Warner CEO, Cinemark Theaters said, “right now our focus and concern is on the victims, their families and our employees.”

Suspect, James Holmes (24), has been arrested.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic shooting.

Jeff Gordon Reflects on the Opening of Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, Africa

There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to help when I was asked by Partners In Health and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to assist in the establishment of a comprehensive cancer care program in Rwanda, Africa. I was alarmed by the thought of children suffering and ultimately dying of cancer because they didn’t have access to available treatments.

Photo credit: Dr. Vincent Degennaro, PIH.

Photo credit: Dr. Vincent Degennaro, PIH.

At the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, we believe that no child, regardless of race or ethnicity should suffer and die from cancer. Unfortunately, in many poor countries, a cancer diagnosis is a death sentence. With the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence we are working to change that.

Yesterday, I was joined by former President Bill Clinton, Partners In Health Co-Founder Paul Farmer, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and many others to inaugurate the first comprehensive cancer care center in East Africa. (Click here to view video from the visit)  Read the rest of this entry