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The Glorious Corner

The Glorious Corner

G.H. HARDING

DON’T SAY DISNEY — No doubt you’ve read about Disney’s ongoing battle in Florida over the so-called Parents’ Bill of Rights” which is is deceptively vague and therefore unmemorable. It’s been given the easy-moniker of “Don’t Say Gay” which is plainly descriptive and therefore memorable. This law, from any objective perspective, is discriminatory against a minority of the population for sure. No question in my mind.

Disney’s new chairman Bob Chapek has been embroiled in this with Governor Ron DeSantis there. Chapek has threatened leaving Florida all-together and DeSantis is fighting back.

The bill is plainly idiotic, but Chapek involving Disney so massively has proven to be a huge error … so much so, that many in Hollywood, not to mention many Disney-employees are angling to bring back Bob Iger; who steadfastly ran the company for so many years.

I’ve worked with Disney and it used to be one-hand didn’t know what the other was doing, but Iger brought a calm sense to everything and in essence, did a remarkable job; he was the CEO after Michael Eisner.

Friday afternoon, Chapek dismissed their current PR-maven Geoff Morrell and brought in a new team. You know, it’s not always the pr-person’s fault – rather they’re always an easy out. Chapek getting involved in the state’s politics was never a good idea and now he’s paying the price and I predict he will be replaced by Iger. Watch!

Stay tuned as this fracas is far from over.

Regine

REGINE PASSES — (via Deadline) Regine, who claimed to have invented the term “discotheque” as she ran a nightclub empire that stretched from Paris to Los Angeles, has died. She passed on Sunday at age 92, according to her granddaughter. No cause was given.

Born Regina Zylberberg in Belgium, Regine opened her first nightclub in Paris’s Latin Quarter in the 1950’s, installing turntables and disc jockeys instead of the usual juke boxes. Thus was born a new format, she claimed, the “discotheque.”

“If you can’t dance, you can’t make love,” she said by way of explanation. She apparently was right, as celebrities, royalty and the business elite flocked to her establishments, earning her the nicknme as the “queen of the night,” as her name became synonymous with the elite’s good times.

Her venues included “Regine’s” in New York in the 1970’s, and others in Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles. At its height, her nightlife empire had 22 venues.

In a statement sent on behalf of Regine’s family, her friend, comic Pierre Palmade, said: “The queen of the night has left. Closing time following a long and great career.”

Regine “had the stars of the whole world dancing in her nightclubs”, he added.

While most famous internationally as a nightclub entrepreneur, in France Regine was known for her contribution to French songwriting. French singer Renaud called her the last historic representative of the French chanson, inspiring an entire generation of singer songwriters, including Serge Gainsbourg and Barbara.

After performing in the legendary Olympia venue in the French capital in the 1960’s, Regine sang in New York’s Carnegie Hall.

“It would make me very happy if people still listened to my songs 50 years from now,” she told AFP in 2020, adding that she was “very proud” that some of them had become part of France’s standard repertoire.

“My first profession was discotheques,” she said. “For a long time, songs were just a hobby. But now I realise that the stage has been the most important part of my life.”

She also acted in several films, including by star directors Claude Lelouch and Claude Zidi.

I can attest first-hand that the club, located in the now-defunct Delmonico Hotel on Park Avenue in NYC was the place to be back in the day. Studio 54 may well have garnered the most headlines, but Regine’s was classy and elegant to a fault. Regine’s was the place to see actual royalty. The music was terrific, but the crowd, simply astonishing.

Howard Stein with his Xenon, somewhat tried to copy the look, but never equaled it. She later tried a second club -10 years after Regine’s closed, called Rage– but it never equaled her earlier success. A diva and a genius for sure. RIP.

Philly-Oxfords

SHORT TAKES — Whatever happened to the new music from the Philly-Oxfords that was teased in January? PR-man David Salidor who handled media for the legacy aggregation two years back, when they released a compilation of their early work, is in the dark too. “I’d been having discussions with them since late last year about some new music and they actually dropped something in January (“The Promise”) on Facebook with minimal response. The last conversation I had with Ivan Taub (one of the Oxfords) he said they were still in discussions as to what to do. They also seemed somewhat fixated on engaging a social media person and I told them that their target audience is very clearly not on social media. Sure, cyber seniors are an important sector, but they didn’t want to hear it. Five months later, they’re still thinking about it. It’s regrettable as they were an important mainstay on the music scene there as well as being of significant historic value. I for one would love to hear their new music. I hope we will. They’re great guys, but need a team leader for sure” …

Radioman

This weekend’s Chiller Theatre in Parsippany brought out a bevy of unexpected guests: NYC’s famed Radioman had his own table, signings autographs I assume. The one-time homeless Radioman (aka Craig Castaldo) has made a career of appearing on film and TV sets and befriending the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Robin Williams and other bold-faced names. Guess he finally made it. I wonder who his agent is? Also on hand were Dawn Wells, Jonathan Silverman; Melissa Gilbert, James Tolkan and a still-sizzling Saundra Santiago from TV’s Miami Vice and Timothy (thirtysomething) Busfield. Boy, what a cast of characters! …

A Beautiful Time

Willie Nelson, who turns 79 this week, releases his new album -his 72nd- called A Beautiful Time. On Sony/Legacy. Go Willie … TMZ reports that Adele is close to finalizing a deal to bring her Vegas residency to a new home; with her sights set on a premiere date in a few months. Sources with direct knowledge of the singer’s plans says she and her team are in serious talks with the people over at Planet Hollywood (Robert Earl), and will do the show at Zappos Theater –aka Aladdin Theatre – barring any unforeseen setbacks. Wonder whatever happened to her original planned venue, Caesars Palace and all those shows booked and tickets sold there. Now, that’s a good question … Watched the first episode of the final Ozark shows on Netflix. Just awesome; excellent writing and direction. One of their best episodes ever! …

Space Force

Netflix just canceled Steve Carell’s Space Force after two stellar seasons. It was never a big ratings grabber, but Carrel was fantastic. Created with Greg Daniels from The Office, it was rather sensational. Co-star John Malkovich was an added treat too …

Rock Hudson

Closer Weekly seems to focus on that senior sector week after week and certainly proved it again in their latest cover story on legends Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. And, they spoke to celebrity-writer Mark Bego whose 1986 on Hudson  (Rock Hudson: Public And Private) was a huge hit. Check it out here: https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwmusic/article/Composer-and-Pianist-Randy-Klein-Set-to-Release-and-New-Tracks-with-Jazzheads-Label-20220430 … Also, we closed out the first-season of Apple TV’s Slow Horseswith Gary Oldman. Just marvelous and a trailer showed the coming Season 2, which seems to be already in the can. Oldman – just brilliant … HAPPY BDAY Bill Schill and Maria Milito and RIP Naomi Judd.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Robert Miller; Gwen Toline; Dawn Kammerling; Jodi Ritzen; Lush Ice; Roger Chasteen; Steve Walter; Bill Amendola; Buddy Casimano; Heather Moore; Liz Caplan; Carla DeVou; Jodi Ritzen; Cori Gardner; Percy Thrillington; Pete Ham; Ken Dashow; and, welcome Cairo and CHIP!

Celebrity

G. H. Harding is a four decades insider to the entertainment world. He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production companies and several cable outlets. His anonymity is essential in bringing an unbiased view to his writings on pop culture. He is based in NYC.

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