October 25, 2008 |
These days, the King of Comedy is graying at the temples and sometimes a little wobbly on his feet. But don't ask him about retirement. "A break? No, why? You got something better to do?" Jerry Lewis told a reporter Friday who asked if the 82-year-old entertainer was contemplating leaving the stage after more than 60 years of performing. Lewis was at a news conference in Sydney, Australia, to promote his latest stage show, a retrospective of his career that includes show tunes with a 24-piece band, excerpts from his movies and television shows, and his trademark slapstick comedy.
September 17, 2008 |
Bear Family Records' remarkable new release, "Let Me Be Your Sidetrack: The Influence of Jimmie Rodgers," makes a persuasive argument that Rodgers is one of the most important figures in the history of country music. According to the liner notes for the six-disc boxed set released last week, 102 of the 109 songs Rodgers did in the late 1920s and early 1930s were later recorded by other artists -- a 94% "cover ratio" unmatched by any other country singer-songwriter, including Hank Williams.
September 3, 2008 |
Jerry Lewis raised a record $65 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. in his annual Labor Day telethon, a benefit that also made a pitch for those inconvenienced by Hurricane Gustav. This year's 22-hour telethon added a special plea for MDA-registered families forced to leave their homes because of the hurricane, which made landfall Monday in Louisiana. The storm affected nearly 5,000 MDA families needing services in their new location, the organization said. The 2008 haul for the 43rd annual fundraising blitz was $1.2 million more than last year's total.
April 10, 2008 |
It is said that every generation gets the telethons it deserves. The 1970s sat up through tuxedoed marathons of schmaltz and sobs, live from the Vegas Strip with Jerry Lewis and his kids. The 1980s saw the telethon break free of its loungey restraints and develop into a Godzilla-size, stadium-busting monster with Live Aid. In recent years, telethons inspired by 9/11, the Indonesian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina were painted in somber tones, set in dark rooms where, safe from the hysteria of live audiences, the celebrity hosts spoke in a whisper.
February 14, 2008 |
Even though he has come under investigation for his ties to a lobbyist whose clients have benefited from millions of dollars in congressional earmarks, Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Redlands) was among the top lawmakers securing money for special projects in this year's spending bills, a watchdog group's analysis has found. Lewis, the senior Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, secured $137 million in earmarks on his own or working with other lawmakers.
September 8, 2007 |
I never thought I'd find myself defending Jerry Lewis. Like a lot of people of my generation (and, unless you live in France, the one before that and quite possibly the one before that), my brain just isn't wired to appreciate the charms of his act, which has always struck me as about as close to dental drilling as comedy can get.
September 4, 2007 |
Entertainer Jerry Lewis sets a goal for his annual Labor Day Telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. of $1 more than the previous year. He met that mark, plus almost $3 million. "We did it. We did it. I got my buck more. And more. We can go shopping," a jubilant Lewis, 81, said in Las Vegas as the tote board topped $63.7 million. The telecast has raised $1.46 billion to fight the disease since it began in 1966 on a single television station in New York City.
September 2, 2007 |
BEFORE there was Live Aid -- or Live 8 or Live Earth -- there was Jerry Lewis and his telethon. Begun in 1966 to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. (of which Lewis is national chairman), it occupies 21 1/2 hours of Labor Day weekend air time each year with a mixture of famous faces, just-flew-in-from comics, spangly lounge singers and solid citizens bearing checks. And presiding over it all, the man the French call Le Roi du Crazy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2007 |
Glenn Sutton, 69, a songwriter and music producer who wrote hits for Tammy Wynette and other artists, died April 17 of an apparent heart attack at his Nashville home, the Nashville Tennessean reported. Along with frequent writing partner Billy Sherrill, Sutton co-wrote the 1966 million seller "Almost Persuaded," recorded by David Houston. Sutton and Sherrill also co-wrote "I Don't Want to Play House" and "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad," both 1967 hits for Wynette.
December 20, 2006 |
A film about a clown forced to entertain prisoners in a German concentration camp might conjure up the ill-fated 1972 movie "The Day the Clown Cried," a Jerry Lewis project that was tied up in litigation and never released. But producer Ehud Bleiberg said "Adam Resurrected," a just-announced drama about a Jewish circus clown who survives the Holocaust, has nothing to do with the misbegotten Lewis movie. "It's a completely different story," said Bleiberg, whose L.A.-based company Bleiberg Entertainment developed and is partially financing the film, set to begin shooting in April in Romania.