December 12, 2013 |
Elvis. Aretha. The Beatles. These are the titans. Jerome Felder, Spooner Oldham and Freda Kelly? They're the supporting players. Following on last year's Oscar-winning Sixto Rodriguez documentary, "Searching for Sugarman," a fresh set of nonfiction films this year focused on low-profile talents whose stories are every bit as fascinating as their more famous compatriots. Leading the charge this year: Oscar shortlisted documentary "20 Feet From Stardom. " Financed by the late record executive Gil Friesen, "Stardom" offers a bittersweet group portrait of half a dozen background singers who helped define landmark recordings by Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, Rolling Stones, Sting and Stevie Wonder but failed to carve out comparable solo careers for themselves. FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2014 At the outset, director Morgan Neville faced a daunting challenge.
November 8, 2013 |
How does a novice filmmaker, and a documentary filmmaker at that, get access to some of the world's biggest rock, pop and R&B stars for his inaugural low-budget project? That was relatively easy for Greg Camalier - he just chose a subject all had exceptionally passionate feelings about. In this case, Camalier was able to enlist Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bono, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Gregg Allman and many other veterans to talk about the musical magic that seemed to flow so consistently out of recording studios in rural Muscle Shoals, Ala., the subject of his documentary, “Muscle Shoals.” Camalier spoke with me about his 3½-year odyssey making “Muscle Shoals” on Thursday after a screening in Santa Monica that was part of the Los Angeles Times' Envelope Independent screening series . PHOTOS: Holiday movie sneaks 2013 Born and raised in the Washington-Virginia region, Camalier said he became inspired to try filmmaking while on a road trip helping a friend move from New York to New Mexico, during which they decided to explore the geography and culture of the south by traveling many of its back roads.
October 11, 2013 |
The 2013 edition of “A Very Special Christmas” albums benefiting the Special Olympics puts the focus on superstar names, with a roundup of holiday songs from John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Sting and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers among the collection's 11 tracks. The album, “A Very Special Christmas: Icon,” is to be released on Oct. 15, and also includes recordings from Jon Bon Jovi, Josh Groban, Rod Stewart, Sheryl Cro, Wham! and Carrie Underwood.
May 14, 2013 |
R&B star Janelle Monáe will step in for an ailing Aretha Franklin at an upcoming concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Franklin was under doctor's orders to withdraw from the May 20 “Corporate Night” fundraiser, according to the orchestra's website. CSO representatives said the 71-year-old singer will be undergoing medical treatment at that time; they did not elaborate on her health. CHEAT SHEET: Spring Arts Preview Franklin, who missed shows in 2010 for unspecified medial reasons, also canceled a May 26 show at Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut.
May 13, 2013 |
Aretha Franklin has canceled two scheduled performances later this month because of treatment she's undergoing for an undisclosed medical condition, the Associated Press reports. The Grammy Award-laden R&B-soul-gospel singer is forgoing her appearance May 20 with the Chicago Symphony, a “Corporate Night” fundraiser for the group, under doctor's orders, according to an announcement posted on the Chicago Symphony website. Janelle Monae will sub for Franklin at the event. The 71-year-old singer will also miss a May 26 date at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut.
July 26, 2012 |
Aretha Franklin has historically name-checked friends who show up at her concerts, and things were no different Wednesday during the Queen of Soul's return to Los Angeles. Franklin, 70, acknowledged Smokey Robinson, Natalie Cole, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and even her ex-husband, actor Glynn Turman, from the Nokia Theatre stage. But that tradition took on a different, deeper meaning this time around -- one that focused largely on mortality. She delivered a touching salute to her honorary niece, Whitney Houston, and alluded to the still-undisclosed illness that put her (Franklin)