Buddy Holly's longtime songwriting partner Bob Montgomery has died, aged 77. The hitmaker and producer, who also wrote songs for Eddy Arnold, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, passed away in Missouri on Thursday (04Dec14) after a struggle with Parkinson's disease.
He began his career with Holly in a rockabilly group in the 1950s, but turned to songwriting when his pal formed the Crickets.
He moved to Nashville, Tennessee in the late 1960s and launched House of Gold Music, which became a publishing hub for acts like Alabama, Parton, Rogers and the Judds.
"I was a registered nurse before we started our singing career. And very few people know this, but I was actually going to get my MD, I was going to use my registered nurse degree to put myself through medical school." Country veteran Naomi Judd had planned to become a doctor before launching a music career as The Judds with her daughter Wynonna.
Country veteran Naomi Judd has credited meditation with helping her overcome the potentially fatal hepatitis C virus after doctors declared in 1990 that she only had three years to live. The Love Can Build a Bridge hitmaker was forced to retire from The Judds, the duo she formed with daughter Wynonna, in 1991 after she was diagnosed with the chronic liver disease.
She says, "Three stinking years (to live). That was 1990... We're at the height of out career... and then bam! I am incredibly sick... couldn't brush my teeth, couldn't change my nightgown and... the big doctors told me I had three years to live."
The shocking news prompted Judd to adopt a more holistic lifestyle. She began meditating and spending time with a new circle of friends she made at self-healing sessions, and she is convinced the healthy change helped her to beat the disease.
The 68 year old, who has since resumed her music career, tells U.S. talk show host Katie Couric, "I just intuited that I was not gonna die... I started hanging out with them and yes, I've seen Dolly (Parton) naked, and I have Taylor Swift's phone number, but these are my new friends... They saved me...
"I am a medically documented miracle. In 1995 I was cured of the hep C (sic) virus."
"I feel like we've skipped a generation. We had, like, the Ashley Judds, the Sigourney Weavers, the Demi Moores, and then it sort of faded and went into (a period of) making women appear dumb... Now there's this reemergence, and the fact that I get to be part of another cycle is so exciting. I plan to do some major s**t with it." Shailene Woodley embraces the chance to become a movie action hero in the movie adaptation of best-selling novel Divergent.
Actress Ashley Judd has become embroiled in a legal feud with her sister Wynonna over allegations the country singer placed a tracking device on her car as part of an ongoing custody battle. The Double Jeopardy star filed a police report in Tennessee last month (Nov13), after a mechanic found a wireless GPS tracking device on her vehicle.
In legal documents, obtained by editors at ABC News, Ashley reportedly told cops she believed Wynonna was responsible for the GPS, and an investigation launched by authorities traced the device back to a private investigator, who claimed to be "working for" the musician.
The papers reveal the sisters are currently embroiled in a custody dispute over Wynonna Judd's teenage daughter, who Ashley is said to have custody of, and the actress claims the device was "placed there in order to track their movement".
Wynonna has admitted to having the tracker fitted, but insists she was only trying to keep tabs on her daughter, from her relationship with ex-husband Arch Kelley, as the youngster also drives the vehicle, according to NashvilleGab.com.
Kelley has denied any involvement in the scandal and authorities appear to have put the case on hold, as it is currently listed as inactive.
The Judds have refused to comment on the ABC News report.
Flipped birds, exposed breasts, crotch shots, and giant shadow-puppet guitar phalluses have all been critical ingredients of Super Bowl halftime shows of the past decade. Based on this track record, you'd think that the musical break that punctuates the most-watched sporting event — nay, most watched event, period — of any given year has always courted controversy. This has not been the case. In fact, not only has the halftime show been a non-controversial affair for most of its history, its organizers didn't even really start to lure A-List musical talent until Super Bowl XXV in 1991, when New Kids on the Block took the 50-yard line stage by storm. Up until then, the 15-20 minute breather had been a venue for college marching bands, maybe a jazz legend like Al Hirt, or a Broadway songstress like Carol Channing. (Who was the gehius who thought that there would be any overlap of football fans and Carol Channing fans?) And then there were the five Super Bowl halftime shows in the '80s and '90s in which Up with People performed. Sigh.
The idea of the halftime show as in any way being fodder for tongue-wagging is indeed a relatively new concept. So with that in mind, we present to you the history of controversial Super Bowl halftime show moments.
New Kids on the Block (1991)
Believe it or not, yes, the very first time the musical interlude courted controversy was also the very first time they hired major, chart-topping pop stars. Blame a jarring shift in tone for this. The Walt Disney Co. was producing the event that year, and they began their halftime show with Mickey Mouse and friends prancing onto the field arm-in-arm singing "It's a Small World." Winnie the Pooh was even presentm dressed, oddly enough, as a Canadian Mountie. "It's a Small World" quickly morphed into "We Are the World." All sunshine and togetherness. Then New Kids on the Block jumped out and pop-n-locked their way through an arena-anthem version of "Step by Step." The older football fans in the audience didn't know who these young whippersnappers were. Neither did broadcaster ABC, which actually decided to cut away from NKOTB to give an update on Operation Desert Storm, then in full swing.
Shania Twain Feels Like a Woman (2003)
You then have to jump ahead a full 12 years to find the next mid-game concert that was in any way shocking. Throughout the '90s, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan, Smokey Robinson, and the Temptations killed it at each of their halftime shows. The only moderately embarrassing incident was the 1999 performance of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, but really only because that serves as a reminder of that odd late '90s swing music revival. Aerosmith, *NSYNC, and Britney Spears proved to be a lot of fun in 2001, and a year later U2 eulogized the victims of 9/11 to heartbreaking effect. But then in 2003, Shania Twain donned a diamond-studded bustier and choker and a black cape to sing "Man! I Feel Like a Woman," the most notable androgyny-courting song in country-music history. Manly football fans didn't know what hit them. How could they relate to feeling like a woman? They probably wished for a return to the more conservative country-music stylings of Clint Black, Travis Tritt, and the Judds at the 1994 halftime show.
No Super Bowl controversy before or since has set the nation atwitter like Justin Timberlake ending his duet of "Rock Your Body" with Janet Jackson by reaching across her chest to rip off part of the costume she was wearing over her right breast. Since a boob grab was involved from the get-go, what exactly was supposed to happen? The world may never know. Presumably only part of Jackson's black bodice was to have ripped off, leaving her red bra/corset intact underneath. Instead, the undergarment also ripped and Jackson ended up exposing a breast that was covered by some kind of glittery pasty or a really, really uncomfortable-looking Chinese star nipple piercing. America, transfixed by nudity as if for the first time, has never really recovered from this. Even as recently as last year, the FCC was still conducting an investigation into the matter.
Long ago, before accepting a judging gig on The X Factor, before motherhood, before all the controversies, before Crossroads, before "Oops!... I Did It Again" and "...Baby One More Time," before even The Mickey Mouse Club, Britney Spears was just a young Louisiana girl with big dreams. It was a simpler time, really. A time when all any kid could ask for was to sing on stage — and that's exactly what Spears set her sights on, singing on the stage.
The video below reveals a 10-year-old Spears, belting The Judds' "Love Can Build a Bridge" on a 1992 episode of Star Search. It's always a bit surreal to see new glimpses of superstars well before they took off. It makes you want to tell that girl in the video, "Things are about to get pretty big for you... then really big... then kind of nuts... but then it'll even out again and you'll get a gig on Fox."
Upon seeing the young starlet-to-be in all her Star Search glory, we couldn't help but think back on some of her peers and their days gone by. Spears' former The Mickey Mouse Club colleagues Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling, both 12. Here are both young men in their Disney days, performing "Cry For You" by September.
Here's another treat for fans of Timberlake and Gosling (which covers just about every living human being):
In the vein of Mickey Mouse Clubbers turned pop stars turned musical competition show judges, the gang is joined by Christina Aguilera, age 13, performing "Love Can Move Mountains" by Céline Dion.
And although she's still a young star now, Selena Gomez has still grown quite a bit since this 2004 bit for Wizards of Waverly Place (she was 12), courtesy of the Disney Channel:
And finally, the pick of the litter: a 12-year-old Jack Black in 1982, foreshadowing his energetic music/acting career to follow.
[Photo Credit: Fox]
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Actress Ashley Judd is to discuss her sex abuse allegations with her mum Naomi for the first time as part of the country star's new satellite radio talk show next week (beg04Jun12).
Mother and daughter will sit down for the emotional chat in front of a studio audience next Tuesday (05Jun12).
Naomi tells Billboard.com she hasn't had the chance to talk to her daughter about her book claims of sex abuse since Ashley's revealing memoir, All That is Bitter & Sweet, was released last year (11).
The Judds star says, "I admit I'm a little nervous about doing it (interview) because this is the first time that Ashley and I have ever done anything together. And I'm going to ask her about what happened in our relationship... I have to take a deep breath before that one.
"I know she'll want to talk about her severe depression and share some ways that have gotten her to such a happy, stable place, but I think really it's probably going to be about our relationship."
Judd admits she has now read her daughter's book and can't wait to talk to her about some of the revelations: "I had to take a deep breath before I opened the book and I read it by myself when I was in a good mood and had space and time.
"I knew I would probably be hollering out loud at certain things... but (I was) acknowledging that anyone in a relationship has a completely different reality, and I wanted to know what my daughter's personal experiences and journeys were."
Naomi reveals she will also chat to her daughter about her cancelled TV drama Missing and her relationship with racing driver husband Dario Franchitti in the frank interview, which will form the basis for the first episode of her limited-run SiriusXM talk show, Think Twice, on 8 June (12).
Announcing the six-week show, Judd says, "I want people to think twice. That's why I came up with the title, because in today's culture, in this ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) culture, people don't understand the real important stuff. I want people to be talking about this stuff at the water cooler, around the kitchen table."
The radio show will also feature Judd's interviews with Nobel Prize winners, scientists and forensic psychiatrists.
It looks like reports of the OWN Network's imminent demise were greatly exaggerated. The past few weeks have been difficult for Oprah Winfrey's cable channel, with a round of layoffs, the cancelation of Rosie O'Donnell's talk show, and a study that suggested the network is losing $149 million per year. However, OWN has received some much-needed good news: In the first quarter of 2012, the network saw a 21 percent increase in total daily viewers. "We are pleased with our start for 2012, viewers are responding and connecting with our programming," said OWN president Erik Logan.
Much of the ratings increase is attributed to Winfrey herself. Her Oprah's Next Chapter interview series debuted in January, and it's among the network's highest-rated shows along with Oprah Presents Master Class. Her interview with Whitney Houston's family members shortly after the singer's death drew 3.5 million viewers, the same number that watched the Mad Men season five premiere, and 800,000 people saw her recent talk with Lady Gaga.
While the news is certainly promising, the network may still be in trouble. It's only attracting 180,000 viewers, and while the ratings bump proves that people will tune in to see the Queen of Daytime, that isn't news to anyone. Winfrey can't be on the network 24/7, so she has to find a big ratings draw to help OWN's signature programs. In the past she has turned Dr. Phil, Suze Orman, and Dr. Oz into household names, but they already have established shows on other networks. Rosie O'Donnell's talk show was a flop, and the network hasn't been successful in its effort to court Maria Shriver. And reality shows featuring the Judds, Sarah Ferguson, and Shania Twain weren't runaway hits either.
OWN's bigger problem may be that its message is too preachy. At times Winfrey's daytime show felt like an hour-long national therapy session, but every single episode didn't feature tips from Maya Angelou on how to "live your best life." While Winfrey approached every story with class, plenty of shows focused on more titillating topics like celebrity gossip and crime stories. For better or for worse, networks like TLC and Discovery Channel became successful by dropping some high-brow educational shows to make way for fun reality programming. While Winfrey shouldn't have to pack OWN's schedule with shows about ice road truckers with sextuplets, finding programming that strikes a better balance between entertaining and uplifting is key to the network's success.
[Chicago Tribune, Vulture]
The long-estranged O'Neals will attempt a reconciliation in their series on Winfrey's new cable network, OWN, which is set to launch in January (11).
Meanwhile, The Judds' show will follow mum Naomi and daughter Wynonna as they prepare for their first tour together in a decade and "continue to explore their complex relationship".
An OWN network spokesperson reveals both shows will air sometime next year (11)
The celebrity families join a growing number of stars set to work with OWN - Julia Roberts, Forest Whitaker, Goldie Hawn, Mariel Hemingway and Irish actor Gabriel Byrne have all agreed to develop documentaries for the mogul's new network.
Country music singer Shania Twain will also star in Why Not? With Shania Twain, which will follow her life on the rebound after a messy public divorce, while Jenny McCarthy and Rosie O'Donnell have reportedly landed deals for their own talk shows.