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Showing posts with label Singer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singer. Show all posts

MADONNA LOUISE CICCONNE



MADONNA (Madonna Louise Ciccone) (1958– ) Singer, Actress, Dancer, Songwriter

A pop icon on the level of Elvis Presley and MARILYN MONROE, Madonna was arguably the most infiuential female performer of the late 20th century. Born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958, she was the third of six children in a Roman Catholic family living in Pontiac, Michigan. When Madonna was six, her mother also named Madonna, died of cancer. As the eldest daughter in the Ciccone household, she was largely responsible for taking care of the home and her younger siblings, even after her father remarried. Hemmed in by her religion and her father’s discipline, she later recalled that she “grew up feeling repressed. I was really a good girl.” An honor student and cheerleader, Madonna also studied ballet with instructor Christopher Flynn. He provided Madonna with welcome relief from her oppressive home life by taking her to dance clubs in downtown Detroit. Madonna won a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan. She soon dropped out, however, to seek her fortune in New York. Madonna arrived in the city the summer of 1978 with $37 in her pocket. To earn her rent, she worked as an artists’ and photographers’ model, while performing in the third company of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.



In the thick of New York’s underground culture, Madonna soon gravitated toward the music scene. With the encouragement of her live-in boyfriend, musician Dan Gilroy, she began learning to play the drums and the guitar and experimenting with writing songs. She also sang with various bands, having a brief stint in Paris as a singer in a French disco group. Back in New York, her singing caught the attention of Mark Kamis, a disc jockey at Danceteria, then one of the city’s leading clubs. With Kamis’s help, Madonna cut a demo recording of the song “Everybody,” which landed her a contract with Warner Brothers. Her first album, Madonna (1983), initially sold badly. Sales took off only after three of its tracks “Holiday,” “Lucky Star,” and “Borderline” became dance club favorites. Adding to the appeal of her disco-infiuenced pop sound was her fashion sense. In music videos played on the then-fiedgling cable station MTV, Madonna presented herself as streetwise urchin. Badly dyed, teased hair, lace gloves, underwear worn as outerwear, and crucifixes were all hallmarks of her early style. With the success of her first album, Madonna was able to insist on having the best producers and musicians work on her next, Like a Virgin (1984).

The album and two singles from it the title track and “Material Girl”—charted at number one. Again Madonna successfully used MTV to market her music. As in the video for “Like a Virgin,” she wore a white wedding dress to perform the song on the MTV Video Music Awards. Writhing on stage as if in sexual ecstasy, Madonna’s performance was considered shocking at the time. In her music video for “Material Girl,” Madonna was made up as MARILYN MONROE in a clever send-up of the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Giving up her usual dance club look for a glamorous red ball gown, Madonna went through the first of the many physical transformations that define her career. In 1985 Madonna made her first foray into film with a small part in  Vision Quest. She became a full-fledged movie star with Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), playing a fashionable free spirit, a character who closely resembled herself.





The same year, she made her stage debut in David Rabe’s Goose and Tom-Tom, opposite Sean Penn. Madonna and Penn were married for four tumultuous years before divorcing in 1989. Madonna continued her recording career with two more hit albums, True Blue (1986) and Like a Prayer (1989). Turning to slightly more serious material, she provoked national controversies with several songs. “Papa Don’t Preach,” from True Blue, confounded Madonna’s conservative critics by telling the story of a pregnant teen who opts for motherhood instead of abortion. The title track on Like a Prayer angered the Catholic Church because of the video’s provocative images, which included Madonna kissing an African-American Christ and dancing in a field ablaze with burning crosses. Because of the uproar over the video, Pepsico pulled its sponsorship of Madonna’s upcoming tour, though the singer was able to keep her $5 million fee.



In the late 1980s, Madonna repeatedly struck out at the box office. Her films Shanghai Surprise (1969), Who’s That Girl (1987), and Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) were all commercial fiops. She had better luck playing the small part of Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy (1990), starring Warren Beatty, with whom she had a well-publicized romance. Tying into the film, she released the album  Breathless, featuring the single “Vogue.” Revered in the gay community, Madonna introduced mainstream America to “voguing,” a dance involving posing like a fashion model that was popular in gay clubs in the mid-1980s.

Also in 1990, Madonna released The Immaculate Collection, a greatest hits album. It featured several new songs, including “Justify My Love.” Because of its suggestions of voyeurism, bisexuality, and group sex, its video was banned from play on MTV before 11 o’clock at night. The resulting publicity helped sell some 250,000 copies of the “Justify My Love” videotape and propelled The Immaculate Collection to number one. Madonna also delighted her fans with Truth or Dare (1991), a documentary film she commissioned about her “Blond Ambition” world tour. Presenting Madonna as every inch a star, the film contained Beatty’s memorable assessment of the melding of her life and art: “She doesn’t want to live off camera.”





In 1992, Madonna signed a seven-year, $60 million contract with Time Warner that gave her nearly total creative control over her recordings and films. It also gave her her own record label, Maverick. Unlike most vanity labels fronted by stars, it would become highly profitable, signing such artists as Alanis Morissette, Candlebox, and Me’Shell Ndegéocello. In the wake of her Time Warner deal, Madonna’s Sex (1992) was released. The $50 coffee table book contained photographs of a mostly nude Madonna acting out her sexual fantasies. Though condemned as an attention-getting stunt by her critics, the book’s first run sold out quickly.

Her album Erotica (1992), however, was a disappointment, suggesting to some in the music industry that Madonna’s popularity was fading. Her movie career provided further evidence. Though she appeared in a small role in the successful  A League of Their Own (1992), her star vehicle Body of Evidence (1993) was a disaster.




Perhaps sensing that she had gone too far, Madonna displayed a softer, more soulful sound on the album Bedtime Stories (1994). A year later, she released Something to Remember, a collection of her hit ballads. Hoping to finally establish herself as a movie draw, she also lobbied hard for the role of Eva Perón in the musical Evita. Although the movie received a lukewarm response from critics and audiences, it helped to establish Madonna as a credible actress.

During the filming, Madonna became pregnant by her boyfriend and personal trainer, Carlos Leon. On October 14, 1996, she gave birth to Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon and later described the experience to People magazine as “the greatest miracle of my life.” In addition to motherhood, Madonna publicly embraced the Jewish kabbalah and Far Eastern religions and culture. She showcased her new spiritual side on Ray of Light (1998), which many critics consider her best album.




Madonna had another success with her next album, Music (2000), which marked a return to the playful dance songs that had made her a star. A month before its release, she had her second child,Rocco. Madonna married Rocco’s father, British film director Guy Ritchie, in December 2000. The following year, her Drowned World tour—the first tour since 1993—sold out across Europe and the United States.

In an MTV interview, Madonna once said, “The whole reason I got into show business wasn’t because I thought I had a spectacular voice. It was because I thought I had something to say.” Since her early days as a performer, the public has been listening. A worldwide sensation for more than two decades, Madonna now has generations of fans who consider her the last word on what’s next in popular culture.

Discography

Releases (from oldest to newest):
    Everybody (Single, Maxi) < (11 versions)
    Borderline (Maxi, Single) < (14 versions)
    Burning Up / Physical Attraction (Maxi, Single) < (8 versions)
    Holiday (Maxi, Single) < (24 versions)
    Lucky Star (Maxi, Single) < (9 versions)
    Madonna (Album) < (29 versions)
    Angel (Maxi, Single) < (14 versions)
    Like A Virgin (Album) < (39 versions)
    Like A Virgin (Maxi, Single) < (16 versions)
    Like A Virgin & Other Big Hits (Maxi, EP) < (6 versions)
    Madonna (Comp) < (3 versions)
    Material Girl (Single, Maxi) < (20 versions)
    Crazy For You (Maxi, Single) < (17 versions)
    Dress You Up (Maxi, Single) < (20 versions)
    Gambler (Single, Maxi) < (11 versions)
    Into The Groove (Single, Maxi) < (14 versions)
    Madonna Mix (12", Mixed)
    Over And Over / Borderline (12")
    The First Album (Album) < (7 versions)
    The Virgin Tour Live < (3 versions)
    Cosmic Climb (Maxi) < (9 versions)
    La Isla Bonita (Maxi, Single) < (20 versions)
    Live To Tell (Single, Maxi) < (18 versions)
    Lucky Star/Like A Virgin (7", RE, Single)
    Open Your Heart (Maxi, Single) < (13 versions)
    Over And Over (7")
    Papa Don't Preach (Maxi, Single) < (26 versions)
    True Blue (Album) < (44 versions)
    True Blue (Maxi, Single, EP) < (20 versions)
    Causing A Commotion (Maxi, Single) < (15 versions)
    In The Beginning (EP) < (3 versions)
    Into The Groove / Everybody (12", Promo)
    It's That Girl (Cass, Promo)
    Non Si Nasce Mai Una Volta Sola / Causing A Commotion (7", Single)
    The Look Of Love (Maxi, Single) < (8 versions)
    True Blue Super Club Mix (Cass, EP)
    Where's The Party / Spotlight (12", Promo)
    Who's That Girl (Maxi, Single) < (18 versions)
    Wild Dancing (12")
    You Can Dance (Album) < (25 versions)
    Ciao Italia: Live From Italy < (5 versions)
    Spotlight < (2 versions)
    Cherish (Maxi, Single) < (16 versions)
    Dear Jessie (Single, Maxi) < (8 versions)
    Express Yourself (Maxi, Single) < (17 versions)
    Into The Groove (Cass, Single, Car)
    Into The Groove / Who's That Girl / Causing A Commotion (Maxi) < (2 versions)
    Keep It Together (Maxi, Single) < (12 versions)
    Like A Prayer (Album) < (29 versions)
    Like A Prayer (Maxi, Single) < (24 versions)
    Like A Prayer/Oh Father (Cass, Single)
    Lucky Star / Borderline (Maxi) < (2 versions)
    Oh Father (Maxi, Single) < (9 versions)
    On The Street (Maxi) < (3 versions)
    Pray For Spanish Eyes (7", Promo)
    Remixed Prayers (MiniAlbum) < (3 versions)
    The Early Years (Comp) < (2 versions)
    Time To Dance (Maxi) < (3 versions)
    Blond Ambition World Tour Live < (4 versions)
    Hanky Panky (Maxi, Single) < (18 versions)
    I'm Breathless - Music From And Inspired By The Film "Dick Tracy" (Album) < (20 versions)
    Into The Groove / Dress You Up (CD, Single)
    Justify My Love (Maxi, Single) < (29 versions)
    Justify My Love / Vogue (From MTV's Video Music Awards) (Comp) < (2 versions)
    Rescue Me (Maxi, Single) < (23 versions)
    Shake < (2 versions)
    The Immaculate Collection (Album, Comp) < (36 versions)
    The QSound Experience (Excerpts From Madonna's Immaculate Collection) (CD, Single, Promo)
    The Royal Box (CD + VHS + Box)
    The Very Best Of Madonna (Comp) < (3 versions)
    Vogue (Maxi, Single) < (27 versions)
    Get Down < (2 versions)
    Give It To Me < (3 versions)
    The Holiday Collection (Maxi) < (2 versions)
    Bad Girl (Maxi, Single) < (15 versions)
    Cosmic Climb (Album) < (2 versions)
    Deeper And Deeper (Maxi, Single, EP) < (20 versions)
    Erotica (Maxi, Single) < (28 versions)
    Erotica (Album) < (21 versions)
    Fever (Maxi, Single) < (6 versions)
    Rain (Maxi, Single) < (17 versions)
    Shine A Light (Single) < (3 versions)
    This Used To Be My Playground (Single) < (10 versions)
    Wild Dancing (Album) < (2 versions)
    Bye Bye Baby (Maxi) < (6 versions)
    Deeper And Deeper EP (Maxi, EP) < (3 versions)
    Fever / Rain (2x12")
    Rain (Cass, Single, Car)
    Rain EP (EP) < (2 versions)
    The Best Of & The Rest Of - Volume 2 (CD, Album)
    The Girlie Show - Live Down Under < (5 versions)
    Toy Boy (CD, P/Mixed)
    Wild Dancing (CD, Maxi)
    Bedtime Stories (Album) < (17 versions)
    Bedtime Story (Maxi, Single) < (22 versions)
    Favourite Mixes No. 1 (CD)
    I'll Remember (Maxi, Single) < (14 versions)
    Secret (Maxi, Single) < (21 versions)
    Take A Bow (Maxi, Single) < (20 versions)
    The Girlie Show (CD, Maxi)
    Human Nature (Maxi, Single) < (23 versions)
    La Isla Bonita / Human Nature (CD, Mini)
    One More Chance (Maxi, Single) < (5 versions)
    Something To Remember (Comp, Album) < (23 versions)
    Wild Dancing (Album) < (3 versions)
    You'll See (Maxi, Single) < (17 versions)
    Buenos Aires (Maxi, Single) < (4 versions)
    CD Single Collection (40xCD, Mini, Single + Box, Ltd)
    Don't Cry For Me Argentina (Maxi, Single) < (19 versions)
    Love Don't Live Here Anymore (Single, Maxi) < (11 versions)
    Pre-Madonna (1980-´81 New York City - Unauthorized) (Album) < (2 versions)
    Wild Dancing (CD, Shape, Ltd)
    Wow! (CD, Shape, Ltd)
    You Must Love Me (Maxi, Single) < (8 versions)
    Another Suitcase In Another Hall (Maxi, Single) < (4 versions)
    Drowned World / Substitute For Love (Maxi, Single) < (11 versions)
    Frozen (Single, Maxi) < (22 versions)
    Frozen / Take A Bow (7")
    Little Star (CD, Promo)
    Nothing Really Matters (Maxi, Single) < (30 versions)
    Ray Of Light (Maxi, Single) < (27 versions)
    Ray Of Light (Album) < (28 versions)
    Ray Of Light (Special Limited Edition) (VHS)
    The Power Of Good-Bye (Maxi, Single) < (19 versions)
    Words + Music (CD, Maxi, Promo)
    Beautiful Stranger (Maxi, Single) < (10 versions)
    The Video Collection 93:99 (Comp) < (6 versions)
    American Pie (Maxi, Single) < (20 versions)
    Best 'Music' (CD)
    Don't Tell Me (Maxi, Single) < (21 versions)
    GHV2 The Dance Remixes (3xLP, Promo)
    Impressive Instant < (3 versions)
    Music (Maxi, Single) < (41 versions)
    Music (Album) < (23 versions)
    Skin (CDr, TP)
    The Ultimate Collection (Comp) < (2 versions)
    Amazing (CD, Single, Promo)
    Don't Tell Me (CDr, Promo, clo)
    Drowned World Tour 2001 < (3 versions)
    Early Years (CD)
    GHV2 (Album, Comp) < (19 versions)
    GHV2 < (4 versions)
    GHV2 Remixed (The Best Of 1991-2001) (2xCD, Promo)
    Lo Que Siente La Mujer (CD, Single, Promo)
    Music (Dan-O-Rama Remix) (VHS, PAL, Pro)
    Ray Of Light / Beautiful Stranger (7")
    Thunderpuss GHV2 Megamix (Maxi) < (5 versions)
    What It Feels Like For A Girl (Maxi, Single) < (23 versions)
    2 CD Hit Collection (Erotica / Madonna) (CD, Album + CD, Album, RM + , RE)
    Die Another Day (Maxi, Single) < (25 versions)
    Die Another Day - Music From The Motion Picture < (6 versions)
    True Blue / Like A Virgin (Coffret 2 CD Originaux) (Box + 2xCD, Album)
    A New Groove. A New Jean (Into The Hollywood Groove) (CD, Single, Promo)
    American Life (Maxi, Single) < (24 versions)
    American Life (Album) < (19 versions)
    Hollywood (Maxi, Single) < (25 versions)
    Into The Hollywood Groove (CDr, Single, Promo)
    Love Profusion (Maxi) < (14 versions)
    Me Against The Music (Maxi, Single) < (12 versions)
    Nobody Knows Me (Remixes) (12", Promo)
    Nothing Fails (Maxi) < (11 versions)
    Remixed & Revisited (EP, Maxi) < (7 versions)
    Un Nouveau Groove. Un Nouveau Jean. (Into The Hollywood Groove) (CD, Single, Promo)
    House Music (Volume 1) (CD, Comp, Dig)
    House Music (Volume 2) (CD, Comp, Dig)
    Who's That Girl: Live In Japan (Mitsubishi Special) (DVD)
    2CD (American Life / Music) (2xCD, Album)
    3CD (American Life / Music / Ray Of Light) (3xCD, Album)
    Confessions On A Dance Floor (Album) < (19 versions)
    Dance To The Beat (CD)
    Hung Up (Maxi, Single) < (21 versions)
    The Girlie Show in Japan (DVD-V, Dig)
    Confessions Remixed (3x12", Ltd)
    Get Together (Maxi, Single) < (16 versions)
    I'm Going To Tell You A Secret < (6 versions)
    Jump (Maxi, Single) < (15 versions)
    Sorry (Maxi, Single) < (20 versions)
    Hey You (File, MP3, 128)
    The Confessions Tour (Album) < (6 versions)
    4 Minutes (Single, Maxi) < (25 versions)
    4 Minutes / Give It 2 Me (2x7", Single, Whi)
    Give It 2 Me (Single, Maxi) < (21 versions)
    Hard Candy (Album) < (16 versions)
    Miles Away (Single, Maxi) < (16 versions)
    Celebration (Album, Comp) < (11 versions)
    Celebration (Single, Maxi) < (17 versions)
    Celebration - The Video Collection (Comp) < (5 versions)
    Revolver (One Love Remix) (CDr, Single, Promo)
    3 For One (The First Album / Like A Virgin / True Blue) (3xCD, Album)
    Classic Party Rockers Vol. 3 - The Madonna Edition (12")
    Golden Madonna (Cass, Comp)

Further Reading
Benson, Carol, and Allan Metz, eds. The Madonna Companion:  Two Decades of Commentary. New York: Schirmer Books, 1999.
Bego, Mark. Madonna: Blonde Ambition. Updated edition. New York: Cooper Square Press, 2000.

Recommended Recorded and Videotaped Performances
Evita (1996). Hollywood Pictures Home Video, DVD/VHS, 1998.
The Immaculate Collection (1991). Warner/Electra, DVD/VHS, 1991/1999.
The Immaculate Collection.Warner Brothers, CD, 1990.
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991). Artisan Entertainment, DVD/VHS, 2000/2001.
Ray of Light.Warner Brother, CD, 1998.
READ MORE - MADONNA LOUISE CICCONNE

JOAN BAEZ



BAEZ, JOAN (1941– ) Singer, Songwriter, Musician

The queen of 1960s folk music, Joan Baez is as well known for her political activism as for her pure soprano. She was born on January 9, 1941, in Staten Island, New York but her family moved frequently in her youth. Her father, a physicist of Mexican heritage, was an academic researcher who had eschewed more lucrative defense work on moral grounds. Joan’s parents, both Quakers, nurtured her social conscience. Her mistreatment by schoolmates because of her dark skin also contributed to her sympathy with the less fortunate.

While attending high school in Palo Alto, California, Baez began playing the guitar. After graduating in 1958, she enrolled at Boston University but soon became caught up in the renaissance of folk music pioneered by Pete Seeger and the Kingston Trio. Playing coffeehouses in Boston and Cambridge, Baez developed a reputation as a keen interpreter of classic folk. In the summer of 1959, she was invited to perform at the first Newport Folk Festival. Her performance made her an overnight star of the folk scene. Baez refused better-paying offers to sign with Vanguard Records, then the premier folk label. In 1960, Vanguard released Joan Baez, an album of traditional folk songs, including “House of the Rising Sun.” The first of Baez’s eight gold records, it reached number three on the charts. Baez continued to tour concert halls and campuses to growing crowds. In 1963, she played to an audience of more than 20,000 at Los Angeles’s Hollywood Bowl. Baez constantly broadened her repertoire, singing spirituals, hymns, and country and western tunes. She also sang songs by contemporary folk and rock artists, including Phil Ochs, Leonard Cohen, the Beatles, and most notably Bob Dylan. In addition to touring frequently together, Baez and Dylan became linked romantically.


By the mid-1960s, Baez was using her celebrity status to bring attention to political and social causes she held dear. In 1964, she refused to pay 60 percent of her income tax as a protest against the United States’s military arms buildup. A vehement opponent of the Vietnam War, Baez was arrested two years later for blocking the doors of an armed forces induction center. She married draft resister David Harris in 1968. Soon after she became pregnant with their son Gabriel, Harris was arrested and sent to federal prison for 20 months.

Baez’s antiwar stance won her both supporters and detractors. She was scheduled in 1967 to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., a venue controlled by the conservative Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). When the DAR refused to allow her to play the hall, Baez gave an outdoor concert at the Washington Monument that attracted a crowd of more 30,000. Baez was also well-received when she performed at the legendary Woodstock concert in 1969.


In the 1970s, Baez developed her talents as a songwriter with such albums as Blessed Are . . . (1971) and Diamonds & Ruse (1975). The decade also brought her her greatest commercial successa cover of The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” one of the biggest singles of 1972. The same year, Baez began a long-term association with the human rights watchdog group Amnesty International and took a controversial tour of North Vietnam. In 1979, she helped found Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, an organization devoted to promoting human rights and nuclear disarmament through educational seminars.


In her autobiography And a Voice to Sing With (1987), Baez wrote of “the ashes and silence of the 1980s”—a decade that largely ignored both her music and politics. Nevertheless, she performed to acclaim at the Live Aid concert of 1985 and garnered a Grammy nomination for “Asimbonanga,” a song from Recently (1987), her first studio album in eight years.


Baez devoted much of the early 1990s on what she called “inner work,” including therapy to help her overcome stage fright and other phobias that had plagued her for years. At the same time, she discovered a new generation of singer-songwriters playing, in Baez’s words, “this folk/rock kind of music that still suits me best.” Baez’s own work was revitalized as she began touring with younger artists such as Dar Williams, Indigo Girls, and Sinead Lohan. Heading into her sixth decade in music, Baez maintained that she could now perform “a freer concert than I ever thought I could give.” As she told the New York Times in 2000, in recent years she has succeeded in “get[ting] past the myth of being Joan Baez and learn[ing] to enjoy my life.”


Further Reading
Baez, Joan. And a Voice to Sing With: A Memoir. New York: Summit Books, 1987.
Fuss, Charles. Joan Baez: A Bio-Bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1996.

Recommended Recorded and Videotaped Performances
Rare, Live and Classic. Vanguard, CD set, 1993.
READ MORE - JOAN BAEZ

DORIS DAY

DAY, DORIS (Doris Mary Anne von Kappelhoff) (1924– ) Singer, Actress

Radiating an open-hearted optimism, Doris Day become one of America’s favorite big band singers of the 1940s and film stars in the 1950s and 1960s. Born Doris Mary Anne von Kappelhoff on April 3, 1924, she grew up in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. As a girl, she studied tap dancing and ballet with an eye toward becoming a professional dancer. She had already joined the Fanchon and Marco stage show when her career was cut short by a car accident, which shattered her right leg. Giving up her dream of dancing, Doris started studying voice. By 1938, she was singing on local radio and performing in Cincinnati clubs. At about this time, Doris took the stage name “Day,” inspired by “Day by Day,” one of her most requested tunes.


Doris Day worked with Bob Crosby’s orchestra in Chicago before being hired by bandleader Les Brown in 1939. While singing with Brown’s band, she married trombonist Al Jorden, who beat and terrorized her during their brief relationship. They had a son, Terry, in 1942, and divorced the following year.



In 1943, Day returned to Les Brown’s “Band of Renown,” with whom she recorded 12 hit records. Among them were “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time” (1943) and “Sentimental Journey” (1943). With excellent vocal control, she was known for communicating deep emotions without being overly theatrical. Day left Brown’s band in 1946, the same year she married saxophonist George Weidler. She was devastated when, eight months into the marriage, he suddenly asked for a divorce. Day married a third time in 1951 to agent Marty Melcher.


Day began her career in Hollywood in 1948, when she played a nightclub singer in Romance on the High Seas. Establishing a pattern in her early years in film, she had a hit single with “It’s Magic,” one of the songs she performed in the movie. Other popular songs she introduced in her films included “Secret Love” (from Calamity Jane, 1953) and “Que Sera Sera” (from The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956).


In the 1950s, Day displayed a remarkable versatility as an actress. She excelled in such light musicals as April in Paris (1952) and The Pajama Game (1957). But she proved equally adept in dramas, including Young at Heart (1954) and Love Me or Leave Me (1955). Day, however, found her greatest film success in the 1960s. Well into her thirties, she reestablished herself as the most popular female star of romantic comedy. She was paired successfully with many leading men, including Clark Gable (Teacher’s Pet, 1958), James Garner (Move Over, Darling, 1963; The Thrill of It All, 1963), and Cary Grant (That Touch of Mink, 1962). Yet her most fondly remembered onscreen relationship was with Rock Hudson. Day and Hudson starred in three comedies—Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961), and Send Me No Flowers (1964). In the first two, Day portrayed happy career women, a rarity at the time. Wearing stylish clothes and frequenting sophisticated New York nightspots, these heroines were successful and secure professionals, excited primarily by their work. Day’s characters, however, were inevitably tamed by romance, and in the process accepted the roles of wife and mother as the mores of the era required.


Day had her last film role in the family comedy With Six You Get Eggroll (1968). In the year of its release, her husband Marty Melcher died. She soon discovered that he had committed her to a television series without her consent. Day also found out not only that the money she had earned over her career had disappeared because of bad investments but also that she was more than $500,000 in debt. Hesitantly, Day accepted her new role as a television star, appearing in a situation comedy titled The Doris Day Show (1968–73). In her caustic autobiography, she wrote that the unexpected obligation was “doubly repulsive” to her because of the sitcom’s hackneyed premise: “A farm. A widow with a couple of little kids living on a farm. With Grandpa, naturally.” After the show, Day largely retired from show business. Except during a brief fourth marriage to Barry Comden (1976–81), Day has since devoted herself to campaigning for her literal pet cause—animal welfare—from her home in Carmel, California.


Further Reading
Freedland, Michael. Doris Day: The Illustrated Biography. London: Andre Deutsch, 2000.
Hotchner, A. E. Doris Day: Her Own Story. New York: William Morrow; Co., 1976.

Recommended Recorded and Videotaped Performances
Love Me or Leave Me (1955). Turner Home Entertainment, VHS, 2000.
The Pajama Game (1957). Warner Home Video, DVD/VHS, 1999.
Pillow Talk (1959). Universal, DVD/VHS, 1999/2000.
16 Most Requested Songs: Doris Day. Sony/Columbia, CD, 1992.
READ MORE - DORIS DAY

TINA TURNER


TURNER, TINA (Anna Mae Bullock, Little Anne) (1939– ) Singer, Actress

Overcoming an impoverished childhood and an abusive marriage, Tina Turner emerged as a rock superstar in the 1980s. Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, she was the daughter of a farm overseer in Nutbush, Tennessee. She later remembered that in her poor community “white people own[ed] the land and black people work[ed] the crops.” She herself spent time picking cotton on the fields her father managed. Anna Mae and her older sister, Alline, were shuttled from relative to relative during her parents’ stormy marriage. After they divorced, her mother moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and sent for her daughters to join her in 1956. Both Bullock girls became intrigued by the city’s rhythm-and-blues scene. Alline started dating the drummer of the Kings of Rhythm, a local band headed by Ike Turner. Anna Mae, billed as Little Anne, soon began singing with the group. She had a son, Craig, with the band’s saxophone player before transferring her affections toward Turner. The relationship led to pregnancy, and Bullock had her second child, Ronald, in 1960. The same year, she and Ike, billed as Ike and Tina Turner, had their first hit single with “A Fool in Love.” Married in Mexico in 1962, the couple began performing as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. While Ike managed the band, Tina sang lead vocals backed by three singers known as the Ikettes and an eight-piece band. Specializing in energetic rhythm and blues, the group released 15 albums in the 1960s. The Turners also perfected their stage act, which featured sexually charged dancing by Tina and her backup singers. Their biggest hit of the period was “River Deep, Mountain High” (1966). Though virtually ignored in the United States, it went to number three on the British charts, bringing the Turners to the attention of many influential English bands. The Rolling Stones were so impressed that they invited them to open their 1969 U.S. tour. Legend has it that Tina taught Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger how to dance in concert.


By the early 1970s, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue had achieved mainstream success in the United States. The group’s first top 10 American hit, a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” (1971), became their signature tune. Memorably, Tina growled on the song’s introduction, “We never do anything nice and easy, we always do it nice—and rough.” The record was awarded a Grammy in the rhythm and blues category in 1972. The Turners’ other hits of the period included “I Want to Take You Higher” (1970) and “Nutbush City Limits” (1973), Tina’s own composition about her hometown. By the mid-1970s, the Turners career began to wane as their marriage fell apart. Fueled by a growing cocaine habit, Ike Turner mentally and physically abused Tina, who turned to Buddhism for relief. After recording several solo albums and appearing as the Acid Queen in the film musical Tommy (1976), she decided to shed herself of Ike once and for all. She left him in the middle of a 1976 tour, with only a gasoline credit card and 36 cents in her pocket. In 1978, they were divorced.


The same year, Tina Turner released the album Rough (1978), but it was virtually ignored by the critics and the public. Still popular in Europe, she spent the next few years touring there. She was given the break she needed to get her career on track in 1982, when the Rolling Stones asked her open their sold-out U.S. tour. She had a dance hit with a cover of Al Green’s “Let Stay Together” (1983) before recording her comeback album, Private Dancer (1984). Aided by music videos that showcased her dynamic stage presence and shapely legs, the album was a worldwide sensation. The two biggest hits from Private Dancer—“What’s Love Got to Do with It” and “Better Be Good to Me” earned Turner three awards at the 1984 Grammys. Turner followed Private Dancer with a second successful solo album, Break Every Rule (1986). She also appeared as Aunt Entity in the futuristic thriller Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985).


Two songs from the soundtrack—“We Don’t Need Another Hero” and “One of the Living”—scored as hits for Turner. The next year, she aired her life story in the best-selling autobiography I, Tina. It was made into the award-winning movie What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993) starring Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as Ike. Turner was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. She spent much of the rest of the decade touring in the United States and in Europe, where she had moved in 1986 to be with her boyfriend, Erwin Bach, a German record executive. With lavish houses in France and Switzerland, Turner has embraced Europe as fondly as Europe has embraced her. As Turner has explained, “I am as big as MADONNA in Europe. I am as big, in some places, as the Rolling Stones.” In 2000, Turner released the album Twenty Four Seven to coincide with her farewell tour. At 61 years old, she performed her last concert in Anaheim, California, in December of that year. Proud to be retiring from live concerts while still at the top of her game, she told People magazine, “What a way to go. I can step down and say, ‘I did it, I enjoyed it, and I went out the right way.’”

Studio albums

Year  Album details
1974 Tina Turns the Country On
1975 Acid Queen
1978 Rough
1979 Love Explosion
1984 Private Dancer
1986 Break Every Rule
1989 Foreign Affair
1996 Wildest Dreams
1999 Twenty Four Seven

Live albums

Year Album details
1988 Tina Live in Europe
1999 VH1 Divas 1999
2009 Tina Live

Soundtracks

Year Album details
1985 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
1993 What's Love Got to Do with it

Compilations

Year Album details
1991 Simply the Best
2004 All the Best
2008 Tina!: Her Greatest Hits

Singles

Year Song
1975 "Baby Get It On" (Ike & Tina Turner)
1976 "Whole Lotta Love"
         "Acid Queen"
1978 "Viva La Money"
         "Root, Toot Undisputable Rock N Roller"
         "Sometimes When We Touch"
         "Night Time Is the Right Time"
1979 "Love Explosion"
         "Back Stabbers"
         "Music Keeps Me Dancin'"
1983 "Let's Stay Together"
1984 "Help!"
         "What's Love Got to Do With it"
         "Better Be Good to Me"
1985 "Private Dancer"
         "I Can't Stand the Rain"
         "Show Some Respect"
         "We Don't Need Another Hero"
         "One of the Living"
1986 "Typical Male"
         "Back Where You Started"
         "Two People"
         "Girls"
1987 "What You Get Is What You See"
         "Break Every Rule"
         "Paradise Is Here"
         "Afterglow"
1988 "Addicted to Love (Live)"
         "Tonight (Live)" (w/ David Bowie)
         "634-7589 (Live)" (w/ Robert Cray)
         "Nutbush City Limits (Live)"
         "A Change Is Gonna Come (Live)"
1989 "The Best"
         "I Don't Wanna Lose You"
         1990 "Steamy Windows"
         "Look Me in the Heart"
         "You Can't Stop Me Loving You"
         "Foreign Affair"
         "Be Tender with Me Baby"
1991 "Nutbush City Limits (The 90s Version)"
         "Way of the World"
         "Love Thing"
         "I Want You Near Me"
         1992 "(Simply) The Best" (w/ Jimmy Barnes)
1993 "I Don't Wanna Fight"
         "Disco Inferno"
         "Why Must We Wait Until Tonight"
1995 "GoldenEye"
1996 "Whatever You Want"
         "On Silent Wings" (featuring Sting)
         "Missing You"
         "Something Beautiful Remains"
         "Unfinished Sympathy"
         "In Your Wildest Dreams" (w/ Barry White)
1999 "When the Heartache Is Over"
2000 "Whatever You Need"
         "Don't Leave Me This Way"
         "Twenty Four Seven"
         "I Will Be There"
         "Talk to My Heart"
2004 "Open Arms"
2005 "Complicated Disaster"


Video albums

Year Video details
1978 Wild Lady of Rock
1982 Nice 'n' Rough
1984 Private Dancer - The Videos
1985 Private Dancer Tour
1986 What You is What You Get
         Break Every Rule: The Videos
1988 Live in Rio '88
1989 Foreign Affair - The Videos
1991 Do you want some action?
         Foreign Affair live Barcelona 1990
         Simply the Best: The video collection
1992 The Girl from Nutbush
1993 What's Love...? Live
1996 Live in Amsterdam - Wildest Dreams Tour
1997 Behind the Dreams
1999 Celebrate! - 60th Birthday Special
2000 One Last Time Live in Concert!
2005 All the Best - The Live Collection
2009 Tina Live: 50th Anniversary Tour


Music videos

Year Song
1983 "Let's Stay Together"
1984 "Help!"
         "What's Love Got to Do with It"
         "What's Love Got to Do with it" [black and white version]
         "It's Only Love" [live] (w/ Bryan Adams)
         "Better Be Good to Me"
         "Private Dancer"
1985 "I Can't Stand the Rain" [live]
         "Show Some Respect" [live]
         "We Don't Need Another Hero" [concept version]
         "One of the Living"
1986 "Typical Male"
         "Two People"
1987 "What You Get is What You See"
         "Break Every Rule"
         "Paradise is Here"
1988 "A Change is Gonna Come" [live]
         "We Don't Need Another Hero" [live version]
         "Tonight" [live] (w/ David Bowie)
         "Addicted to Love" [live]
1989 "The Best"
         "Steamy Windows"
         "I Don't Wanna Lose You"
1990 "Foreign Affair"
         "Look Me in the Heart"
         "Be Tender with Me Baby" [live]
         "It Takes Two" (w/ Rod Stewart)
1991 "Nutbush City Limits"
         "Way of the World" [USA version]
         "Way of the World" [UK version]
1992 "Love Thing"
         "I Want You Near Me"
1993 "I Don't Wanna Fight"
         "Why Must We Wait Until Tonight"
         "Disco Inferno"
         "Proud Mary"
1995 "GoldenEye"
1996 "Whatever You Want"
         "On Silent Wings"
         "Missing You"
         "Something Beautiful Remains"
         "In Your Wildest Dreams"
         "In Your Wildest Dreams" [live]
1997 "Can't Stop Thinking of You" (w/ Eros Ramazzotti)
1999 "When the Heartache is Over"
2000 "Whatever You Need"
2006 "Teach Me Again" (w/ Elisa)

Further Reading
Espinoza, Galina, and Fannie Weinstein. “Stage Flight.” People. December 4, 2000, pp. 230+.
Ivory, Steve. Tina! New York: Putnam, 1985.
Turner, Tina, with Kurt Loder. I, Tina: My Life Story. New York: William Morrow, 1986.

Recommended Recorded and Videotaped Performances
The Best of Tina Turner: Celebrate! (2000). Image Entertainment, DVD/VHS, 2000.
The Collected Recordings. Capitol, CD set, 1994.
Tommy (1975). Columbia Tristar, DVD, 1999.
READ MORE - TINA TURNER

DOROTHY DANDRIDGE


DANDRIDGE, DOROTHY (Dorothy Jean Dandridge) (1922–1965) Actress, Singer

The first African-American leading lady to be nominated for a best actress Oscar, Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on November 9, 1922. She made her show business debut at four, encouraged by her ambitious mother, Ruby. Ruby concocted a song-and-skit show featuring Dorothy and her older sister Vivian. Billed as the “Wonder Kids,” the Dandridge sisters toured throughout the South for five years.


To advance her daughters’ careers, Ruby relocated the family to Los Angeles in the early 1930s. There, she made a living playing bit parts on radio and in films, generally playing a domestic—then one of the few roles open to African-American actresses. Rudy also recruited a third singer, Etta Jones, and reshaped the Wonder Kids into the Dandridge Sisters. The new act had its greatest success in 1936, when the group began appearing regularly at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club. The trio also appeared in several films—most notably the Marx Brothers’ classic A Day at the Races (1937)—before parting ways in the early 1940s.


Dorothy Dandridge’s solo career was interrupted by her 1942 marriage to Harold Nicholas, one half of the tap-dancing duo the Nicholas Brothers. The union was already strained by Nicholas’s infidelities, when Dandridge in 1945 gave birth to a severely brain-damaged girl, whom the couple named Harolyn. Dandridge suffered enormous guilt after the birth and throughout her life blamed herself for Harolyn’s condition. Unwilling to deal with the difficult situation, Nicholas deserted his family, and Dandridge returned to show business to pay for Harolyn’s placement in a private institution.


Though hobbled by insecurities, Dandridge quickly found fame performing as a nightclub singer. Elegant, sultry, and astoundingly beautiful, she was sought after by the most exclusive venues, many of which had never before featured an African-American performer. Dandridge routinely insisted that the clubs she played reserved a table for members of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), thereby, at least for a night, integrating formerly segregated establishments. Dandridge also sought work in Hollywood.


After appearing in several undistinguished films, she won her signature role, the title character in Carmen Jones (1954). A recasting of Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen with new lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II, the film featured an all-black cast and told the story of a sensual woman whose infidelity leads to the ruin of her lover, played by Harry Belafonte. As the sashaying Carmen, Dandridge made a spectacular femme fatale, and her performance was hailed by critics and the public alike. In addition to becoming the first African American nominated for a best actress Oscar, she was the first black performer to present an award during an Academy Awards telecast. In November 1954, Dandridge also became the first African American to appear on the cover of Life magazine.


Despite her fabulous success in Carmen Jones, Dandridge was soon disappointed by the lack of serious roles open to her. Her beauty and glamour made her a natural to be cast in romances, but at the time African-American couples were a rarity on screenand interracial romances were all but unheard of. Dandridge did make history in the controversial and unsuccessful Islands in the Sun (1957), in which her character was the first black leading lady to be held in the arms of a white actor. Her only other notable film role was in Porgy and Bess (1959), in which she played Bess opposite Sidney Poitier.


As Dandridge watched her film career fade, her personal life also began to unravel. After her longtime affair with Carmen Jones’s director, Otto Preminger, fell apart, she married restaurateur Jack Dennison in 1959. Dennison fiooded Dandridge’s money into his own restaurants and persuaded her to invest in risky oil deals. By the time the couple divorced in 1962, Dandridge was so debt-ridden that, much to her dismay, she had to place Harolyn in a public institution. Despite her desperate circumstances, Dandridge had begun to launch a successful comeback in the nightclub circuit, when on September 8, 1965, she was found dead in her Hollywood home at the age of 42. Dandridge had overdosed on an antidepressant, but it remains unclear whether her death was intentional or accidental.


Even though her career was short, Dandridge was never forgotten by her fans, especially African Americans who were inspired by her success at breaking Hollywood’s color barriers. In 1977, she was inducted into the Black Film Hall of Fame, and in 1983, with the lobbying of costars Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte, she was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. By the mid 1990s, leading young African-American actresses, including WHITNEY HOUSTON and Vanessa Williams, were vying to portray Dandridge on screen. The first to succeed was Halle Berry, who starred in the acclaimed HBO television movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge in 1999.





Further Reading

Bogle, Donald. Dorothy Dandridge. New York: Amistad Press, 1997.
Dandridge, Dorothy, and Earl Conrad. Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy. New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1970. Reprint: New York: HarperPerennial, 2000.

Recommended Recorded and Videotaped Performances
Carmen Jones (1954). Twentieth Century-Fox, VHS, 1994.
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999). HBO Home Video, DVD/VHS, 2000.
READ MORE - DOROTHY DANDRIDGE