Down The Academy

March 31, 1985

I would like to thank the academy for limiting Oscar acceptance speeches to 45 seconds, thus enabling a billion people to hear the Interminable Willie Nelson Medley featuring the Worst Guitar Solo of All Time.

Perhaps if speeches had been eliminated entirely, they could have heard Willie sing "Jambalaya" with Dr. Haing S. Ngor or maybe--sorry, my 45 seconds are up.

Hit it, Willie and Milos!


Los Angeles

I have heard two reasons for why the producers turned down Phil Collins offer to sing his Oscar-nominated song "Against All Odds" and instead invited Ann Reinking to perform:

One, the producers wanted someone who was a stage performer and could dance. Judging from the performance by Reinking, I would think it would have been a much better idea to have Collins sing as the dancers danced. Two, which is even more ridiculous, the Academy is more interested in celebrating the motion picture industry and not the music or television industries.

Why, then, did both Ray Parker Jr. and Deneice Williams perform? At least Collins has acting experience both on film and on London's West End.

Collins was treated shabbily by the academy. Reinking did an incredible job of totally destroying a beautiful song. The best that can be said about her performance is that the stage set was nice.


Sherman Oaks

I can't believe that Gregory Peck and company would begrudge record companies the exposure their artists might have gotten if they had all sung their own songs on the Academy Awards telecast.

Phil Collins was good enough for "Against All Odds" the film. All of a sudden he's not part of the film industry and shouldn't appear on the awards telecast?

Imagine "Footloose" or "Amadeus" without the songs. Unlike the Academy Awards telecast, they'd suffer greatly from the loss.


West Hollywood

Convicted criminals should be punished by making them watch the Academy Awards.


Canoga Park


According to my sources (which are numerous), the movie "Mrs. Mike" had a release date of 1949, not 1950 ("Very Close Encounters With Oscar," by Evelyn Keyes, March 24). Keyes (a nice lady) will have to find another reason (excuse) for not being nominated for an Oscar (Academy Award). She cannot blame the producer.

And although the 1949 group of nominees--Olivia De Havilland (the exception), Jeanne Crain, Susan Hayward, Loretta Young and Deborah Kerr--was not as formidable as the 1950 group (Judy Holliday, Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Eleanor Baxter and Gloria Swanson), they were all better than Keyes (my opinion and apparently that of the academy).

Methinks the lady put too much faith in gossip columnist Louella Parsons (a common mistake in those days) and not enough faith in the public's ability to remember (a common mistake these days). She should have known better (I did).

By the way, aren't our (Keyes' and mine) parentheses cute? (I don't think so either.)

REGGIE WILSON (a nice guy)

Los Angeles


I'm so appalled every time I see or hear the "U.S.A. for Africa" appeal I could almost throw up.

I understand that all of the royalties from sales of this obviously quasi-humanitarian gesture are going to help Africa, but I guarantee you that if Kenny Rogers, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and all of the others on the video really wanted to do such a good work they could collectively donate 10% of their combined earnings for 1984 and feed Africa on their own without having to resort to such propagandizing on the airwaves.



Some people have all the talent. Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson have written one of the most inspirational, albeit habit-forming, songs in years.

Unfortunately, before I was able to commit the lyrics to memory, I contracted Weird Al Yankovic Syndrome and began wrongfully singing these words:


There comes a time, when you need a virgin lamb

Just to raise and sacrifice for its coat.

You could go synthetic, or try out something else,

But who wants a suit that's made out of goat?!

You'll come to find there's no substitute for wool,

When you seek what's chic as well as what's warm.

Don't forsake le mouton ; he stands for quality,

Unless you really want to buy the whole farm.


We are the wool, we are the mutton

We are the sheep that make a sweater great; ask E.F. Hutton

There's a choice to make here, and surely you'll agree

That wool will make a better suit for you and me.


Laguna Beach

Exegesis anyone? BIG-TOP RELIGION?

The review of the Rev. Robert Schuller's "The Glory of Easter" fit snugly in the correct section, Calendar, wherein we find theatrical reviews ("Show-Biz Side of Easter Events," by Herman Wong, March 19).

One must pause to wonder what is the image of this evangelical minister, a religious, ethical leader or an entrepreneur of theatrical ventures and attendant commercialism?

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