41 Pianos – Toronto Pan Am Games Sneak Preview – July 24 – 7PM

41_Pianos_Banner
“41 Pianos” Feature Documentary, starring Toronto Piano Virtuoso David Johanns

eMotionFilmsLtd Feature Documentary “41 PIANOS” gets a  Sneak Preview at on Friday July 24 at 7PM at the Carlton Magic Lantern Cinema.

Please join the director and Piano virtuoso David Johanns, the star of 41 Pianos for this fun event.

If you were one of the thousands of people that played one of these pianos celebrating the upcoming Toronto Pan Am Games, then you’ll love this documentary featuring many local and international visitors with piano playing experience from 1 week to 50 years.

  • Tickets $20
    (Includes a Reception with a Special Surprise before the Screening)
Please Support Independent Film – See You There!

*Presented by ReelHeART International Film and Screenplay Festival

 

Grammy® Awards 2014 :: Who’s Nominated :: Who’s Performing

by Shannonn Kelly
02:27PM, EST, January 25, 2014

France's Daft Punk will perform with will perform with Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder at 2014 Grammy® Awards
France’s Daft Punk will perform with Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder at 2014 Grammy® Awards

The mainstream category nominations for the 56th Annual Grammy® Awards were announced back on December 06, 2013 during “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!”, hosted by rapper, actor LL Cool J with some satellite and pre-taped performances by Robin Thicke, Lorde, Katy Perry and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to name a few.

Well, out of that, Jay Z got the most nominations at 9. With 7 nominations apiece is: Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

The Grammy Award ceremony will air tomorrow, Sunday  January 26, 2014 on CBS at 8PM (EST).

As always, I look forward to the musical performances. This year, you can expect some interesting moments. For instance: Continue reading “Grammy® Awards 2014 :: Who’s Nominated :: Who’s Performing”

GOTCHA! Robin Thicke – That Line Ain’t So Blurred Afterall…

by Shannonn Kelly
07:32AM, EST, January 17, 2014

Robin Thicke found out he "Got Give It Up" to Marvin Gaye
Robin Thicke found out he “Got Give It Up” to Marvin Gaye

From a case that started back in the summer of 2013, with an interesting twist you’ll see lower in my blog; the surviving children of one of the hottest (take that any way you want) R&B crooners, Marvin Gaye have won their case over copyright infringement.

The Infringement: Robin Thicke‘s Grammy nominated song, “Blurred Lines” sounds an awful lot like their father’s song, “Got To Give It Up”. Click on the video below and judge for yourself.

Their case was against pop singer Robin Thicke, the 36 year-old Canadian-American son of Alan Thicke who played the Dad on “Growing Pains” (1985-1992).

The judge ruled in the favor of Marvin Gaye’s children, Frankie, named after his uncle Frances Gay and Nona Gaye on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. The undisclosed amount of the settlement between the Gayes’ children and Sony have an agreement where these claims can never be brought up again. The settlement would’ve had to have been pretty big, as “Blurred Lines” sold 6.6 digital copies and spent 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Originally the Gaye family lawsuit against Thicke and Sony was put into action to prevent Thicke from using any samples from their father’s songs, as they also claimed Thicke poached part of Marvin Gaye’s #1 R&B hit “After The Dance” from his album “I Want You” (1976).

Here’s the Twist:

Originally Thicke, and co-creators T.I. (aka Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.), and Pharrell Williams were the ones to bring a lawsuit against the children of Marvin Gaye!

Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell all asked a federal judge in August to rule that “Blurred Lines”, which was nominated for Record of the Year at last year’s Grammys, was not a copy of Marvin Gaye’s hit.

Article by Lewis Corner, “‘Blurred Lines’ Plagiarism Claim”
Published: Friday, Aug 16 2013, 6:53am EDT

Robin Thicke has filed a lawsuit against Marvin Gaye and Funkadelic amidst claims of plagiarism.

The singer’s global summer anthem has been likened to Gaye’s classic track ‘Got to Give It Up’, but Thicke has taken action to ensure the late star’s family can’t claim plagiarism.

The suit states that Gaye’s family is alleging ‘Blurred Lines’ “sounds” the same as ‘Got to Give It Up’, and that the “Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work”.

What’s more, it acknowledges a claimed similarity between Funkadelic’s ‘Sexy Ways’ and Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’, but states “there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements”.

According to the lawsuit, of which The Hollywood Reporter has obtained a copy, the defendants state: “Plaintiffs, who have the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies, reluctantly file this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists.

“Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs’ massively successful composition, ‘Blurred Lines,’ copies ‘their’ compositions.”

Gaye’s family and Bridgeport are thought to be threatening litigation if the plaintiffs do not pay up a settlement.

Maragret O’Brien – The ‘Original Tootie’ Turns 77 Today…

by Shannonn Kelly
06:35PM, EST, January 15, 2014

Margaret O'Brien, the 'Original' Tootie
Margaret O’Brien, the ‘Original’ Tootie

Known as one of the most popular child stars in cinema history, Margaret O’Brien turns 77 today.

One of the reasons I like to blog about old Hollywood is simply for the fact that if you don’t record and write about pre Gen X, Gen Y or Millennial contributions to the film and music industry, people will be forgotten and their names will not come up easily in conversation.

Similar to my heritage, Margaret O’Brien is of ½ Spanish, ½ Irish ancestry, her mother was an accomplished Flamenco dancer and her father a circus performer, sadly who died before Margaret was born.

Her first role (albeit un-credited) was in “Babes on Broadway” (1941), where she played “Maxine”, a little girl at an audition when she was only 4 years-old.

When she was five, O’Brien, garnered critical praise for her acting chops playing “Margaret” in “Journey for Margaret” (1942). It was because of this role that O’Brien became known as “Margaret” and no longer called by her birth name “Angela”.

In 1943, O’Brien made five films, the most memorable being “Jane Eyre” where she sang and spoke with a French accent as the character “Adele Varens”. In 1944, O’Brien made “Music for Millions”, and “The Canterville Ghost”, starring the great Charles Laughton as a ghost doomed to haunt an English castle and Robert Young as his American descendant.

A fast study for accents, O’Brien also added singing and dancing to her skill sets, which served her well in her most unforgettable role as the ‘original’ “Tootie” in “Meet Me in St. Louis” opposite the venerable Judy Garland. The song ‘Under The Bamboo Tree’ (Words and music by Robert Cole and The Johnson Bros., 1902) is to this day, still one of the most fondly remembered moments of the film.

O’Brien was rewarded with an Academy Juvenile Award for “outstanding child actress of 1944.”

Her Oscar was stolen by her mother’s maid 10 years after receiving it. O’Brien had searched for years through memorabilia and antique shops hoping her statuette would appear, but to no avail.

According to Wikipedia:

Memorabilia collectors Steve Neimand and Mark Nash were attending a flea market in 1995 when Neimand spotted a small Oscar with Margaret O’Brien’s name inscribed upon it.

The two men decided to split the $500 asking price hoping to resell it at a profit and lent it to a photographer to shoot for an upcoming auction catalogue. This led to Bruce Davis’ discovery that the statuette had resurfaced and, upon learning of the award’s history, Nash and Neimand agreed to return the Oscar to O’Brien.

On February 7, 1995, almost fifty years after she’d first received it, the Academy held a special ceremony in Beverly Hills to return the stolen award to O’Brien.

Upon being reunited with her Juvenile Oscar, Margaret O’Brien told the attending journalists:

“For all those people who have lost or misplaced something that was dear to them, as I have, never give up the dream of searching – never let go of the hope that you’ll find it because after all these many years, at last, my Oscar has been returned to me.”

O’Brien made a few more films, but was unable to fully transition to adult roles, working steadily but not memorably through the 1950’s to the 1970’s, then sporadically from 1981-2010 in film, TV and MOW’s.

One factoid you will not find in Wikipedia: Margaret O’Brien auditioned for the role of “Judy” in “Rebel without A Cause” (1944) . The role went to Natalie Wood.

According to film historian David Thomson, O’Brien lost out to Natalie Wood because when casting directors asked her questions about what she thought about parents and authority she answered: “All the questions by professing love for parents and teachers”, thus answered wrongly and thereby showed zero rebellious spirit.

People who know me, know how I feel about type casting. Had stodgy Hollywood at the time, thought “outside the box’ and cast O’Brien (not to take anything away from Wood’s performance), I think we would’ve been in for a quite a treat. Actors want a challenge they can rise to. Look at Charlize Theron and Sandra Bullock. They both stepped outside their ‘known characters’ to play gritty roles. They both won Oscars with that gamble. If O’Brien had it in her at age 5 to learn a French accent, she certainly could’ve shown a rebellious side.

The fact that Margaret O’Brien celebrates her birthday today shows me she has plenty of ‘spirit’…

Happy Birthday Ms. O’Brien 🙂

‘Tis the Season of ‘Peanuts Creator’ Charles M. Schulz

Peanuts creator, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz
Peanuts creator, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz

by Shannonn Kelly
09:12AM, EST, November 26, 2013

There’s something very special about waking up and realizing it would have been the 91st birthday of Charles M. Schulz. From October to December, it’s really, the Season of Charles Schulz, the cartoonist who created warm and funny scenarios to take us through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas with his “Peanuts Gang”, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty and my personal favorite “Pig Pen”.

I wrote a blog last year which you can read here, so I wondered what should I write this year..?

I enjoyed writing my 2012 blog, and I really researched it a lot. In my mind, nothing could really top it. But then I read the Huffington post this morning and I thought, okay, here’s another angle. But then I read that they too, revisited their blog from last year and tweaked it for this year.

So with permission, I’m re-posting their article below. I just don’t know who it’s written by because I’d like to give them their props in my blog.

I hope you read my blog from 2012 right here. I’d love to know what’s your favorite Charlie Brown special? Who’s your favorite Peanuts character? Please leave me a comment and enjoy your day!

Re-posted with Permission from Huffington Post

Today is the birthday of American cartoonist Charles Monroe Schulz, that beloved “Peanuts” creator who would turn 91 years old if he were still alive today.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz is remembered most fondly for the wholesome characters he created throughout his 50-year-long illustration career. Among them are the eternally hesitant Charlie Brown and the mischievous Snoopy, two characters who came to represent the iconic four-panel gag strip known as “Peanuts.” Schulz devoted much of his life to the American comic standard, which ran up until the day after his death in 2000.

In honor of the 91st anniversary of Schulz’s birth, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the man behind the cartoon, so we’ve put together 20 facts you might not have known about the great American artist. Behold, the quirks of a “Peanuts” legend:

1. The man, Charles Schulz, and the comic character, Charlie Brown, are pretty similar.

charles schulz

Schulz’s father was a barber and his mother a housewife, just like Charlie Brown’s parents. Plus, as the youngest in his class at Central High School in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Schulz was famously shy.
2. Schulz’s childhood nickname was based on a comic strip.

charles schulz

Schulz’s childhood nickname, Sparky, was given to him by his uncle and refers to the horse Spark Plug in Billy DeBeck’s comic strip, “Barney Google.”
3. Schulz had his own unusual dog named Spike.

When Schulz was a young boy, he submitted a picture of his dog, Spike, to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! His drawing appeared in Robert Ripley’s syndicated panel, describing Spike as an usual dog who ate pins, tacks and razor blades.
4. Schulz served in WWII but never fired his weapon.

charles schulz

In 1943, Schulz was drafted into the United States Army where he served as a staff sergeant with the 20th Armored Division in Europe. During his service as a squad leader on a .50 caliber machine gun team, his unit saw very little combat, and Schulz later explained that during the only opportunity to fire his machine gun he discovered that he had actually forgotten to load it.
5. Schulz debuted his two most famous characters in a comic strip known as “Li’l Folks.”

charles schulz

The name of Schulz’s most famous character — Charlie Brown — first appeared in an earlier cartoon written by the Peanuts creator titled “Li’l Folks”, which was published from 1947 to 1950. That same series also featured a dog that resembled Snoopy.
6. Schulz didn’t actually name “Peanuts.”

In 1950, Schulz approached the United Feature Syndicate with his comic strip Li’l Folks. The syndication company accepted Schulz work but decided that the name “Li’l Folks” was too close to the names of two other comics of the time: Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” and a strip titled “Little Folks.” So, to avoid confusion, United Feature Syndicate settled on the name “Peanuts” after the peanut gallery featured in the “Howdy Doody” TV show. In the end, Schulz did not name his famous work.
7. And he hated the name.

charlie brown christmas

Schulz always disliked the title of his famous comic strip, “Peanuts”. In a 1987 interview, Schulz said of the name: “It’s totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing, and has no dignity — and I think my humor has dignity.”
8. Schulz wanted to call Snoopy “Sniffy.”

charles schulz

Schulz was originally going to call his star dog character “Sniffy”, that is until he discovered that name had already been used in a different comic strip. So the cartoonist changed it to “Snoopy” after remembering that his late mother Dena Schulz told the family that if they were ever to acquire a third dog, it should be called Snoopy, an affectionate term in Norwegian. (The word is “Snuppa”.)
9. And Schulz wanted Snoopy to be entirely silent.

snoopy

Schulz originally imagined Snoopy as a silent character. It was only after two years of the comic that Snoopy verbalized his thoughts to readers in a thought balloon in 1952.
10. Schulz named many of the other “Peanuts” characters after his friends.

charles schulz

Linus and Shermy, prominent characters in the Peanuts comic strip, were named for good friends of Schulz, Linus Maurer and Sherman Plepler.
11. Relatives served as inspiration too.

peanuts comic

The character of Peppermint Patty was inspired by Patricia Swanson, one of Schulz’s cousins on his mother’s side. Schulz came up with the full name when he saw peppermint candies in his house.
12. And ex-girlfriends.

The character of the Little Red-Haired Girl (Charlie Brown’s love interest in “Peanuts”) was based on a woman in Schulz’s life named Donna Mae Johnson. She was an Art Instruction Inc. accountant with whom the cartoonist had a relationship, but when he proposed to her, she turned him down.
13. Schulz was adamant about “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

charlie brown christmas

For “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, network executives were hesitant about a scene involving Linus reciting the story of Christ’s birth. But in a documentary about the making of the program, Charles Schulz states, “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?” And so the scene remained. Schulz also felt strongly about the absence of a laugh track in the televised cartoon, maintaining that the audience should be able to enjoy the show at their own pace, without being cued when to laugh. CBS created a version with a laugh track, but that version never aired.
15. Schulz was an avid hockey fan.

hockey charles schulz

Schulz was an avid hockey fan. In 1998, he hosted the first Over 75 Hockey Tournament and in 2001, the city of Saint Paul, MN renamed the Highland Park Ice Arena the Charles M. Schulz Highland Arena in his honor.
16. Schulz loved the Space Program.

charles schulz space

Schulz was also a huge proponent of the space program, so much so that the 1969 Apollo 10 command module was named Charlie Brown and a lunar module was named Snoopy.
17. Schulz was pals with Reagan.

ronald reagan

Ronald Reagan once wrote a fan note to Schulz saying that the president identified with Charlie Brown.
18. Schulz really wanted Charlie Brown to kick the football.

When Schulz was asked if Charlie Brown would finally get to kick the football in the final “Peanuts” strip, his response was: “Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn’t have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century.” But in a December 1999 interview, Schulz recounted the moment when he signed the final comic panel, stating, “All of a sudden I thought, ‘You know, that poor, poor kid, he never even got to kick the football. What a dirty trick — he never had a chance to kick the football!’”
18. Schulz was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

peanuts met life ice

Schulz was posthumously inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2007.
19. Schulz was published in 75 countries.

peanuts comic

At its height, Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip was published in 75 countries, in 21 different languages.
20. Schulz created one of the longest stories ever told by one human being.

peanuts comic

According to Robert Thompson of Syracuse University, Schulz created “arguably the longest story ever told by one human being”. In total, Schulz produced 17,897 published strips from 1950 to 2000, with reruns continuing after.

In honor of Charles Schulz birthday, we are revisiting a post originally published last year honoring the artist’s life and work.

 

 

Did Miley Cyrus Go Too Far at The MTV Video Music Awards…?

by Shannonn Kelly
01:22AM, EST, Monday August 26,2013

Miley Cyrus 'Twerks' with Robin thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards
Miley Cyrus ‘Twerks’ with Robin thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards

Updated 2:04PM, EST, Monday August 26,2013

If you’re reading this blog, that means you just finished watching the MTV Video Music Awards 2013 and you, the little ‘MoonMan” and a whole lot of folks may be having a meltdown after witnessing the shenanigans of 20 year-old ex-Disney mega-star Miley Cyrus.

Dan Isett, PTC’s Director of Public Policy, The Parents Television Council (PTC)

“MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials — while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14. This is unacceptable.”

Also stating the Lady Gaga ‘bikini-strip-tease, commercials for an R-rated movie and condoms all within the first commercial break, PTC charges that MTV is marketing sex to minors. Continue reading “Did Miley Cyrus Go Too Far at The MTV Video Music Awards…?”

Glee Future Up In Air As Show Prepares for Cory Monteith Tribute

by Shannonn Kelly
09:42AM, EST, August 02, 2013

Glee's Cory Monteith and Lea Michele in 'Happier Times'...
Glee’s Cory Monteith and Lea Michele in ‘Happier Times’…

With Twitter still alight with news about Cory Monteith’s death, fan support and condolences, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly announced at the Television Critics Association 2013 Summer Press Tour that “GLEE” plans to write the “Finn Hudson” character out of the show by episode 3 in the upcoming 5th season.

Episode 3 plans to directly deal with the circumstances around actor Cory Monteith’s death but Reilly didn’t specifically say that the character dies of an overdose.

“The third episode will deal with the Finn Hudson character being written out of the show. That episode will deal directly with the incidents surrounding his death and drug addiction … Ryan Murphy is going to film PSAs with the cast, as cast members, as friends of his, they’re going to speak directly to the audience.

The episode may feature old footage of Monteith:

“It’s a possibility because we do have some of that footage, but I can’t speak to it because Ryan and the guys are working through it right now.” Continue reading “Glee Future Up In Air As Show Prepares for Cory Monteith Tribute”

Mindy McCready :: Troubled Country Music Star – Dead at 37…

Troubled country music star, Mindy McCready Dead at 37...
Troubled country music star, Mindy McCready Dead at 37…

by Shannonn Kelly
05:39AM, EST, February 18, 2013

It’s reported that troubled country music star, Mindy McCready, 37 is dead of an apparent suicide after Sheriff’s deputies found her body on the front porch of her home around 3:30PM, EST, Sunday.

It also appears that McCready shot her dog before taking her own life. Sadly, she leaves behind a 10-month old boy and a 6 year-old boy who prior to the incident was placed in foster care.

In the last 10 years, I started to get into country music as a result of long road trips in the American South-West and nothing else on the radio. I can’t name a lot of artists, but Lyle Lovett, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash have become favorites.

However, because I’m a big baseball fan is how I became aware of Mindy McCready. Huge rumors were swirling around that she was involved in a long-term affair with the already married Cy Young Award winning starting baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees, Roger “The Rocket” Clemens. Continue reading “Mindy McCready :: Troubled Country Music Star – Dead at 37…”

Beyoncé HBO Documentary “Life Is But a Dream” or… a Beautiful Nightmare

by Shannonn Kelly
06:52AM, EST, February 16, 2013

Beyoncé HBO documentary, "Life Is But a Dream"  premieres On HBO
Beyoncé HBO documentary, “Life Is But a Dream” premieres On HBO

How do you feel about Beyoncé…?

I used to really like her when she was with Destiny’s Child and then on her first solo album Dangerously in Love (2003).

But, around 2006 with release of her second solo album, B’Day and top 10 hits “Déjà Vu“, “Irreplaceable” and “Beautiful Liar” and up to her third solo album I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008), with “If I Were a Boy” “Halo” and “Sweet Dreams“, quite frankly, I honestly got pretty tired of her and her insipid lyrics.

Continue reading “Beyoncé HBO Documentary “Life Is But a Dream” or… a Beautiful Nightmare”

Grammy News :: 55th Annual Grammys – Biggest Award Night For Music!

by Shannonn Kelly
6:55AM, EST, Saturday February 09,2013

The 55th Annual Grammy Award® Ceremony on CBS
The 55th Annual Grammy Award® Ceremony on CBS

Whether its Pop, Rock or Hip-Hop, music plays a big place in people’s lives. It’s what gets us up in the morning and often what gets us through the day.

The Annual Grammy Awards® is music’s biggest night and the 55th installment is sure to provide a ton of entertainment with performances by Alicia Keys And Maroon 5, Frank Ocean, Miranda Lambert, The Lumineers, Carrie Underwood and Jack White to name a few.

While last year’s Grammy’s were marred after Whitney Houston died getting ready for the big Clive Davis after-party, no one can deny the Grammy’s are a very big deal for the industry, where a golden trophy can turn all those years of playing in dark and desolate clubs into a game changer literally over night.

I see a LOT of live music. After film, I would say music is my next big interest which spans across all genres – – Yes – – even Country.

I’d have to say my favorite concert from this past year was seeing Goyte. I saw him in the summer and 6 months later, I’m still reminiscing about that concert.

Who’s your favorite musical artist of this time or any other? Will you be watching the Grammys?

The Live Grammy Ceremony will be telecast Live Sunday, February 10 at 8PM, EST on your local CBS station.
Below is the COMPLETE List of the 81 categories of Grammy Nominees for 2013.

I’d love to hear what you think. Drop me a comment… Continue reading “Grammy News :: 55th Annual Grammys – Biggest Award Night For Music!”