When I interviewed Melissa Manchester in December 2013, we talked about her upcoming album You Gotta Love The Life. That album will officially be released tomorrow, February 10, and I’m happy to report that it was well worth the wait. It’s a wonderfully diverse collection of songs that creates an unforgettable musical tapestry that is both modern and classic.
Last Friday Dionne Warwick performed in Atlantic City, NJ. But it wasn’t simply a concert; it was a monumental moment in the singer’s impressive 53-year career because she officially passed the baton of her family’s rich musical legacy – which is comprised of all-time greats such as Dionne, Leontyne Price and Whitney and Cissy Houston, among others – to her granddaughter: Cheyenne Elliott.
Dionne Warwick is one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. She has 75 hit songs and has sold more than 100 million albums. From Barry Manilow to Burt Bacharach, she’s worked with the best in the business and won five Grammy awards along the way.
Her new album coming out September 2, Feels So Good, is a collection of duets with some of the most talented musicians in the industry, including Cyndi Lauper, Gladys Knight, Mya, and Jaime Foxx, just to name a few.
Dionne is also currently touring and I’m attending her August 15 performance in Atlantic City, NJ at Revel Casino, so stay tuned for my review of the show. For more information on additional dates, make sure to visit her official website.
Below is my interview with Dionne Warwick about her illustrious career that has spanned more than 50 years. I hope you enjoy it.
Last week I read Moonraker by Ian Fleming and watched the film of the same name. The book was better than the movie – big surprise – but neither were spectacular. The novel was a straightforward old-school thriller that, unfortunately, lacked mystery. It’s plot was more cohesive and believable than the film’s, but it didn’t keep me guessing. While I’ve yet to read them all, Fleming’s Casino Royale is still my favorite in the series and coincidentally it’s also my favorite Bond film. But back to Moonraker the movie. The opening scene, where Bond is fighting another man in mid-air for a parachute, is one of the greatest in cinematic history (check it out below). And the movie’s theme, written by Hal David and sung by Shirley Bassey, is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. For your viewing and listening pleasure, I’ve also included the opening title sequence from Moonraker below. The bottom line is this: If you’re a James Bond fan, you should read the book and see the movie. Just don’t expect either of them to blow you away.
The holidays provide us with the time to reflect and be grateful for what and who we have. With this in mind, below are the beautiful lyrics to the Bacharach and David song “Be Aware.”
When the sun is warm where you are, and it’s comfortable and safe where you are, well it’s not exactly that way all over.
And somewhere in the world, someone is cold, be aware.
And while you’re feeling young, someone is old, be aware.
And while your stomach is full, somewhere in this world, someone is hungry.
When there is so much, should anyone be hungry?
When there’s laughter all around me and my family embraces surround me, if I seem to be forgetful, remind me.
That somewhere in the world, people are weak, be aware.
And while you speak your mind, others can’t speak, be aware.
And while your children sleep, somewhere in this world, a child is homeless.
When we have so much, should any child be homeless? Homeless?
No, not even one child! Be aware.
James Bond isn’t the only one celebrating a 50th anniversary this year. Dionne Warwick’s new album, Now, marks the five-time Grammy Award winning music legend’s 50th year as a performer. Considering she’s had more than 60 hit songs and sold more than 100 million records, Warwick has plenty to be proud of.
Now features 12 songs, old and new, by Burt Bacharach and the late, great Hal David. As if that wasn’t enough, the album was produced by the legendary Phil Ramone. What sets Now apart from Warwick’s previous albums is while she covers a few of her biggest hits, she also offers beautiful renditions of lesser known songs that are sure to please longtime fans as well as those that enjoyed Warwick’s recent foray into Jazz with Only Trust Your Heart.
This week I plan on celebrating two 50th anniversaries: James Bond’s and Dionne Warwick’s. It may seem like an unlikely combination. However, in the 1960s Warwick recorded her own version of “Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.” This song was first recorded by Shirley Bassey and was supposed to be the theme song for Thunderball prior to Tom Jones’ classic song being chosen for the film.
Below you’ll find two videos. One is of “Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” and the other is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Now. Enjoy!
I woke up this morning and read that Hal David died from complications related to a stroke. Working with Burt Bacharach, he wrote innumerable songs for a variety of recording artists, but their most memorable material was sung by the incomparable Dionne Warwick. Bacharach, David and Warwick defined the 1960s with hits such as “I Say A Little Pray,” “Don’t Make Me Over” and “Walk On By.”
To celebrate 50 years in show business, Dionne Warwick’s upcoming album, Now, produced by Phil Ramone, will feature four new songs written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. While I look forward to hearing the rest of the album, these four songs will serve as a reminder of the magic these three musical giants created when working together.
Below is a 14-minute medley by Dionne Warwick, in 2000, during a tribute to Burt Bacharach and Hal David, as well as a lesser-known, but beautiful Bacharach-David song, “Sunny Weather Lover.” Enjoy!