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G.H. Harding

HERB ALPERT — Abramorama has acquired the rights to distribute Herb Alpert Is.., a documentary that chronicles the life and career of the legendary trumpeter and A&M Records co-founder, Herb Alpert. 

A spring theatrical release will kick off with a world premiere at the Grammy Museum May 5. Directed by John Scheinfeld (Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, The US vs John Lennon), the film profiles the multiple Grammy winner, whose most recent album, Over the Rainbow, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz and Contemporary Jazz album charts.

Alpert has sold more than 72 million records, according to the documentary, including Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass’s 1965 classic Whipped Cream & Other Delights, known as much for the woman covered in whipped cream on its provocative album cover as such hits as “Whipped Cream” and “A Taste of Honey.”

At A&M, Alpert, now 84, discovered and/or worked with artists as diverse as The Carpenters, The Police, Janet Jackson, Peter Frampton and Cat Stevens. The movie also explores his work as an abstract painter and sculptor and his philanthropic support of arts programs nationwide.

In the below trailer, fellow artists from Quincy Jones to Sting and Questlove expound on Alpert, who admits he could not enjoy his success in its height because he felt like just a number. “We were selling out these huge arenas in three minutes and at that point I realized, man, I’m rich, I’m famous, but I’m miserable,” he says.

“Herb is a true artist who did things the right way, achieved success on his own terms, and brought much joy to the world in the process,” Scheinfeld says. “I wanted to make a documentary that would reflect this and, most importantly, to be a ‘Feel Good’ film that will uplift, inspire and bring audiences together exactly as does Herb’s music.”

Adds Abramorama ‘s Richard Abramowitz, “It’s our great honor to celebrate the man who outsold The Beatles in 1966, then went on to co-found the most successful independent record label in history on his way to supporting artists and students young and old around the world. Herb Alpert is a renaissance man of the highest order; the only things greater than his many accomplishments are his gratitude and humility.”

Alpert’s A&M Records (With Jerry Moss) was really the premiere indie-record company out there. They had just terrific music; from Supertramp to Cat Stevens to Joan Armatrading and really set the bar for future indie-endeavors. 

They also had some terrific people there, from Jerry Love to Gil Friesen, gentlemen all. Years ago I had just watched a London performance of Les Miserables and as I watched the audience filter out, the last person to leave (besides me) was Gil Friesen and his guest. We ended up having a marvelous dinner afterwards.
Can’t wait for this one. Here’s the trailer

HAWAII BYE-BYE — CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 will be coming to an end. The popular action crime drama series will wrap its 10-year, 240-episode run with a two-hour series finale on Friday, April 3.

Developed by Peter M. Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as a reimagining of Leonard Freeman’s classic series and by Lenkov for the show’s entire run, Hawaii Five-0 has been a strong profit generator tor for CBS. In addition to its solid ratings performance, initially on Monday, and as a Friday anchor for the past seven seasons, Hawaii Five-0 has been a big international seller for CBS TV Studios, seen in more than 200 countries. Additionally, it was the last broadcast drama series to score a blockbuster off-network deal, landing $2 million an episode from TNT during the series’ first season on CBS.

“It’s never easy to say goodbye to a hit franchise that carried on the legacy of the original with such distinction while establishing its own signature style,” said Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment. “From episode one, Hawaii Five-0 has been a huge success for us. Thanks to the amazing talents of the producers, writers, cast and crew, it has played a key role for a decade on our schedule and helped establish our powerhouse Friday night. We cannot be prouder of its quality, longevity and are thankful for the passionate fan-devotion it inspired.”

Hawaii Five-0 will end its run with its original stars Alex O’Loughlin as McGarrett and Scott Caan as Danno. O’Loughlin suffered a serious back injury during the early seasons of the show, and has been dealing with effects from it ever since. There was speculation that he might have left the show two years ago but he stayed on after receiving stem cell treatment. We hear this time around, he felt he could not continue. I hear the network explored continuing Hawaii Five-0 with Caan’s Danno and a new partner but, ultimately, everyone felt this was the right time to end the series.

“This show has been pretty much every waking moment for the last 10 years of my life,” said O’Loughlin. “Everywhere I go on this planet, in every language, I am McGarrett to all these people. What we’ve done, what we’ve accomplished, it’s extraordinary. I can’t really put words to express my level of gratitude. I’m just glad to have been a part of this, a part of history and I’m going to miss it. And to the fans, I don’t know how to thank you guys. Thank you for following us the way you have. I’m going to miss you. Aloha.”

Hawaii Five-0 currently stars O’Loughlin, Caan, Ian Anthony Dale, Meaghan Rath, Beulah Koale, Katrina Law, Taylor Wily, Dennis Chun, Kimee Balmilero and Chi McBride.

Like most long-running series, it went through multiple cast transitions. That included the controversial exit of original co-stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park after Season 7. Returning for the two-hour finale are recurring cast members James Marsters (Victor Hesse), William Sadler (John McGarrett) and Mark Dacascos (Wo Fat).

Hawaii Five-0, which consistently wins its time period, has been watched by almost 40 million viewers this season. In addition, the show has ranked in the top 15 or higher of broadcast dramas during its run. Also, Hawaii Five-0, is CBS’ most social primetime drama, generating 47 million impressions, 3.7 million engagements and 3.8 million video views, season-to-date.

Ever since I first saw O’Loughlin on Fox’s The Shield eons ago; I knew he was a powerful, compelling presence and his role in this classic show, has been exemplary. Yes, I watched the original with Jack Lord and as great as he was, O’Loughlin was able to make the role his own. Sure there as some cheesy plot-lines (like the restaurant O’Loughlin was going to start with Caan),  but there also have been some truly memorable moments and guest stars like Terry O’Quinn’s role as his Seal-team leader. It was a great run.

SHORT TAKES — Harry Styles on Today last week delivered just a breathtaking version of his “Watermelon Sugar.” In my opinion: the best new personality on the music scene in years …  Delighted to have seen Gilbert Gottfried last week at an invitation only event at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room. I wasn’t invited, but happened to stop by.

Richard Kind; Marilu Henner; David Salidor

Seen in the mix were TV’s Richard Kind; Marilu Henner; PR-pasha David Salidor; Paul Shaffer; Dara Gottfried; photographer Jeff Smith; and, of course Walter and Susan Hathaway. Great night. And, thanks to Jeff Smith for the terrific photos … Don’t ask me why, but I do somewhat regularly watch the CW’s Batwoman. I don’t know if it’s for the legacy of Batman, but in the last episode I watched, there was a scene with Ruby Rose (Batwoman) with a new hairstyle and the very next scene was with her with the old one. Then, it happened all over again. Obviously, the two hair-styles were shot at different times … but, did no one takes notes? That’s what a line producer does. There’s a word called continuity and I’m a sucker for maintaining it. Shoddy, shoddy, shoddy. The show started off great, but has sunk like a lead balloon … NBC’s This Is Us did it again with the conclusion of their three-parter essentially on the Big Three – Kevin; Randall and Kate. The final episode began slow with a time capsule/lunchbox, then began to simmer when they opened it years later and we saw on older-Kevin, in a huge house; the one that father Jack drew and mom Rebecca put in the time capsule. Amazing episode. As many posted, one of the top the episodes ever for the show. Kudos to all … After 77 years, the various outposts of Burger Heaven closed Sunday. I favored the one at 62nd and Lexington. Rising costs and changing tastes forced the closure; although the owners owned several of the building the shops were located in, so they won’t walk away empty-handed. Boy, NYC is not the city it once used to be … The new album from Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam could well be entitled East SideSessions. Good one; stay tuned … Celebrity-author Mark Bego and Supreme-Mary Wilson headed to Cleveland in May for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies …

Here’s Romeo Delight at their recent show at the Rising Star Casino. Look for them back at Daryl’s Housein June …

Wendy Stuart Kaplan, Erik Krieg

Here’s social influencer-Wendy Stuart Kaplan with singer-songwriter Erik Krieg and keyboardist Patrick Worster at TriVersity’s talent show, held last week and, did you see the terrific piece on actor Robert Funaro from SI Live? here it is:

NAMES IN THE NEW — Roger Chasteen; Samantha Ryan; Derek Storm; Bobby Bank; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Anthony Pomes; Eppy; Randy Alexander; Tony King; Howard Bloom; Dick Smith; Chris O’Dell; Dick Weaver; Gary Wright; Dave Hart; and, CHIP!


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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