National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on … the lovely and wonderful Diane Keaton!

Diane Keaton (née Hall; born January 5, 1946) is an American film actress, director, and producer. She began her career on stage and made her screen debut in 1970. Her first major film role was as Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather (1972), but the films that shaped her early career were those with director and co-star Woody Allen, beginning with Play It Again, Sam in 1972. Her next two films with Allen, Sleeper (1973) and Love and Death (1975), established her as a comic actor. Her fourth, Annie Hall (1977), won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Keaton subsequently expanded her range to avoid becoming typecast as her Annie Hall persona. She became an accomplished dramatic performer, starring in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and received Academy Award nominations for Reds (1981), Marvin’s Room (1996) and Something’s Gotta Give (2003).

Some of her popular later films include Baby Boom (1987), Father of the Bride (1991), Father of the Bride Part II (1995), The First Wives Club (1996), and The Other Sister (2001), The Family Stone (2005). Keaton’s films have earned a cumulative gross of over US$1.1 billion in North America.[2] In addition to acting, she is also a photographer, real estate developer, author, and occasional singer.

***

Keaton has two adopted children, daughter Dexter (adopted 1996) and son Duke (2001). jml9xVFO8uswAF2zHer father’s death made mortality more apparent to her, and she decided to become a mother at age 50.

“Adopting my son and daughter late in life – and single – had a transformative effect on me,” she explains. “I’m not doing what seems to be the normal route of being 71. I have a 16-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter. They’re still forming in some way, so you have to stay really interested and energetic and open to new thoughts and ideas all the time because of them.

“The fact I never married makes me unusual and then to go and have a family on my own… I don’t think that a lot of people do that.

“At one stage Diane didn’t think she would either. Speaking recently she said: “I remember when I was about 40, somebody told me about someone who adopted a baby at 50 and I remember saying, ‘Well that’s just ridiculous!’ I feel like that was a lesson in itself. Don’t judge… just don’t judge, because here I am, having done something that I said was horrible, or wrong, or a mistake. You do these things and they change your life and attitudes.”

Thanks to Yours for the adoption quote. https://www.yours.co.uk/features/celebrity/articles/movie-star-diane-keaton-on-why-she-decided-to-adopt-in-her-50s

***

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on … Burt Reynolds!

 

Burt Reynolds died earlier this year. Anyone who went to the movies in the 1970s saw him. His obituaries gave great tributes to his stratospherically successful films (Cannonball Run is a personal guilty pleasure) and most of them shamefully neglected his wonderful sitcom Evening Shade on CBS in the early 1990s …

***

From Wikipedia:

Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. (February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018) was an American actor, director and producer. He first rose to prominence starring in television series such as Gunsmoke (1962–1965), Hawk (1966), and Dan August (1970–1971).

His breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds played the leading role in a number of subsequent box office hits, such as The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Semi-Tough (1977), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).

After a few box office failures, Reynolds returned to television, starring in the sitcom Evening Shade (1990–1994). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights (1997)

***

Reynolds adopted Quinton with his second wife, Loni Anderson, whom he was married to from 1988 to 1993. The adoption announcement was made in the The Palm Beach Post.

“It is true. They are waiting for the baby to be born,” Anderson’s publicist, Mickey Freeman, told the outlet at the time. “My understanding is that it could be any day,” Freeman added. Quinton was born at a California-area hospital in 1988.

quinton-anderson-reynolds-e1536264991665“He is my greatest achievement. He’s a wonderful young man and is now working as a camera assistant in Hollywood. He never asked for any help with his career, he did it all himself, and I’m so proud of him. I love him very much,” Reynolds told Closer Weekly in July before his death.

Not much is known about Quinton, who has been shielded from the mainstream media. He spent his very early years growing up in Florida, but moved to California with his mom, after her split from Reynolds. These days, Quinton calls California home.

 

Quinton doesn’t appear to have any public-facing social media accounts. When he was younger, he accompanied his dad on a few red carpets, as evidenced by the photo above.

Thank you Heavy.com for the article and information.   https://heavy.com/entertainment/2018/09/quinton-anderson-reynolds-burt-son/

***

frontcover

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on … Madonna (the singer, c’mon … )

Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan, on August 16, 1958. In 1981, she went solo as a pop singer. By 1991, she had achieved 21 Top 10 hits in the United States and sold more than 70 million albums internationally. In January 2008, she was named the world’s wealthiest female musician by Forbes magazine.

Her biggest hits include ‘Papa Don’t Preach,’ ‘Like a Prayer,’ ‘Vogue,’ ‘Secret’ and ‘Ray of Light,’ among many others.

For more information, go to Biography.com. https://www.biography.com/people/madonna-9394994

***

On February 1, 2017 Madonna confirmed on Instagram she’s adopted orphaned twin girls from Malawi.

“I can officially confirm I have completed the process of adopting twin sisters from Malawi and am overjoyed that they are now part of our family,” she captioned a photo of herself holding hands with her daughters. “I am deeply grateful to all those in Malawi who helped make this possible, and I ask the media please to respect our privacy during this transitional time.”

The singer, 58, also expressed her gratitude to those who have supported her on this latest adoption journey. “Thank you also to my friends, family and my very large team for all your support and Love,” she added.

Although Madonna had initially called the girls Stella and Esther in a previous post, she has most recently referred to her daughters as Stelle and Estere.

Prior to this, Madonna was already mother to four children: Lourdes Leon, 20, and Rocco Ritchie, 16. Two other children, David Banda, 11, and Mercy James, 11, were also adopted from Malawi.

The singer has a long history with the people of Malawi: She adopted David and Mercy from the African country in 2006 and 2007, respectively. And she’s worked to fight against poverty amongst the nation’s orphaned children for more than a decade with her Raising Malawi charity. This year, the philanthropic group will build Malawi’s first pediatric surgery and intensive care unit, the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care.

Thank you People Magazine for the information. https://people.com/parents/madonna-adopts-twin-girls-malawi-breaks-silence/

Original article by MELODY CHIU and JEFF NELSON, February 08, 2017

rs_650x650-170819094212-650-madonna-children-081817

***

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on … Jamie Lee Curtis!

It’s National Adoption Awareness Month!

curtis-jamie-lee

Jamie Lee Haden-Guest, Baroness Haden-Guest (née Curtis; born November 22, 1958) is an American actress, author, and activist. She made her film debut in 1978, starring as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter’s Halloween. The film established her as a “scream queen”, and she went on to appear in a string of horror movies throughout the early 1980s, including The Fog, Prom Night and Terror Train (all 1980). She has reprised the role of Laurie in four sequels, including Halloween H20 (1998) and Halloween (2018).

Curtis has compiled a body of film work that spans many genres, including the cult comedies Trading Places (1983), for which she received a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, and A Fish Called Wanda (1988), for which she earned a (well-deserved) BAFTA nomination for Best Actress. She won a Golden Globe, an American Comedy Award and a Saturn Award for playing the role of Helen Tasker in James Cameron’s True Lies (1994). Curtis’ other films include Blue Steel (1990), My Girl (1991), Forever Young (1992), The Tailor of Panama (2001), and Freaky Friday (2003).

Curtis received a Golden Globe and a People’s Choice Award for her portrayal of Hannah Miller on the ABC sitcom, Anything But Love (1989–1992). She earned an Emmy Award nomination for her work in the television film Nicholas’ Gift (1998). She also starred as Cathy Munsch on Fox’s Scream Queens (2015–2016), for which she won her seventh Golden Globe nomination.

Curtis is a daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis.

She has written numerous acclaimed children’s books, with her 1998 release Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day making The New York Times’ best-seller list. She is also a frequent blogger for The Huffington Post. Curtis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.

jamie-lee-curtis-kids

Curtis married Christopher Guest on December 18, 1984. The couple have two adopted children (Annie, b. 1986; Thomas b. 1996)

***

frontcover

“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

RIP Geoff Emerick 12/05/1945 – 10/02/2018

If George Martin was a wizard (and he was), Geoff Emerick was his familiar.

From Wikipedia:

Geoffrey E. Emerick was an English audio engineer who worked with the Beatles on their albums Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) and Abbey Road (1969). Producer George Martin credited him with bringing “a new kind of mind to the recordings, always suggesting sonic ideas, different kinds of reverb, what we could do with the voices”.

Emerick also engineered the Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle (1968), Paul McCartney and Wings’ Band on the Run (1973), and Elvis Costello’s Imperial Bedroom (1982). He won four Grammy Awards for his work in the music recording field. His 2006 memoir Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Beatles caused controversy for its factual errors.

Early career at EMI

Geoff Emerick was brought up in Crouch End, London, and educated at Crouch End secondary modern school, where one of his teachers heard about a job at EMI and suggested he apply. At age 15, he was employed as assistant engineer. The fifth of June 1962 was his first day at work, and on the following day the Beatles came to Studio 2 at Abbey Road for their first recording session for EMI. To familiarise Emerick with his work, he was placed under the supervision of another assistant engineer, Richard Langham, assistant engineer to Norman Smith, who would be doing the first recording session of the Beatles in the evening. As a new recruit, Emerick was not entitled to get over-time pay, but was lucky enough to witness this first-ever EMI recording session by the finalised line-up of the Beatles in 1962, during which the group recorded for the first time with new drummer Ringo Starr on what would eventually become their debut hit single, “Love Me Do”.

 

Working with the Beatles and others

beatles-studio

As assistant engineer, Emerick worked on several early recordings by the Beatles, including “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. From early in 1964, his involvement with the band was limited due to his training program at EMI, as he progressed to lacquer cutter, mastering engineer and then balance (or recording) engineer. During that time, he helped record other artists for the label, including Judy Garland, and assisted at the EMI artist test of the Hollies. After working his way up to the recording engineer’s position, Emerick engineered the 1966 Manfred Mann single “Pretty Flamingo”, which became a number 1 hit in the UK.

In April 1966 at the age of 20, Emerick took over as the Beatles’ recording engineer, at the request of producer George Martin, when Smith became a producer. Emerick’s first album in this new role was Revolver, starting with the sessions for “Tomorrow Never Knows”. It was Emerick’s suggestion to record John Lennon’s vocal through a Leslie speaker on the song, to capture the ethereal sound Lennon wanted, and to close-mic Starr’s drums, formerly a prohibited practice at EMI Studios. In 1967, Emerick engineered “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”, one of the most musically complex songs on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Lennon told Martin he wanted to re-create the “carnival atmosphere” of the Pablo Fanque circus poster that inspired the song. For the middle eight bars, Emerick spliced together multiple recordings of fairground organs and calliope in an attempt to create the effect; after a great deal of unsuccessful experimentation, Martin instructed Emerick to chop the tape into pieces with scissors, throw them up in the air, and re-assemble them at random. Later in 1967, he engineered the Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle and Tomorrow’s self-titled debut album.

Emerick abandoned work on The Beatles (also known as the “White Album”) on 16 July 1968, fed up with the intra-band tensions and arguments that hampered the sessions. Emerick also objected to Chris Thomas, Martin’s inexperienced assistant, being elevated to the role of producer in Martin’s absence, with the band’s acceptance. He returned to work with the Beatles on Abbey Road. Emerick received Grammy Awards for the engineering of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road.

Despite his departure from the White Album sessions, Emerick remained on good terms with the Beatles, particularly Paul McCartney, who invited Emerick to quit EMI and come and work for their company Apple Corps in 1969. In addition to engineering duties, Emerick oversaw the building of the Beatles’ Apple Studio in the Apple Corps building.

After the Beatles

Following the Beatles’ break-up in 1970, Emerick continued to work with McCartney. He served as recording engineer on McCartney albums such as Band on the Run (1973), which netted Emerick another Grammy, London Town (1978), Tug of War (1982) and Flaming Pie (1997). Emerick later said that he had always been perceived by the other ex-Beatles as “Paul’s guy”. As a result, for their solo recordings, Lennon and George Harrison chose to work instead with Phil McDonald, another former EMI engineer.

Emerick was the sound engineer on Robin Trower’s 1974 album Bridge of Sighs, and was credited by both Trower and producer Matthew Fisher for that album’s sound. He also recorded some of the backing tracks for the debut album by Stealers Wheel, The Psychomodo, but resigned early on in the process, handing over to Apple recording engineer John Mills to continue working with producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The Stealers Wheel album featured “Stuck in the Middle with You” and went on to receive the Dutch Edison Award.

Following the success of EMI’s The Beatles at Abbey Road presentation in 1983, Emerick prepared an album of the Beatles’ studio outtakes, to be titled Sessions, for release. The former Beatles initiated legal proceedings to prevent EMI from issuing the album, saying that the work was substandard; when made available on bootleg compilations, his mixes and editing of some of the tracks were widely criticised by collectors. In the mid 1990s, these recordings were used for the Beatles Anthology CD releases.

Emerick also worked on albums by Elvis Costello (for whom he produced Imperial Bedroom and All This Useless Beauty), Badfinger, Art Garfunkel, America, Jeff Beck, Gino Vannelli, Supertramp, Cheap Trick, Nazareth, Chris Bell, Split Enz, Trevor Rabin, Nick Heyward, Big Country, Gentle Giant, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Ultravox. His other recording projects included Matthew Fisher’s first solo album, Journey’s End; Kate Bush’s demo tape to EMI, which landed her a record deal; and Nellie McKay’s critically acclaimed 2004 debut CD Get Away from Me. In 2003, he received his fourth Grammy, a Special Merit/Technical Grammy Award.

In 2007, Emerick produced a re-recording of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in honor of the album’s 40th anniversary. It included performances by contemporary artists such as Oasis, the Killers, Travis and Razorlight. Emerick used the original equipment to record the new versions of the songs, and the results were broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on 2 June that year.

From 1984, Emerick resided in Los Angeles.

Here, There, and Everywhere

In 2006, Emerick released his memoir, Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles, co-authored by music journalist Howard Massey. The book caused controversy for its factual errors, and for its allegedly unfavorable portrayal of Harrison, bias towards McCartney and belittling and dismissal of Harrison and Starr’s contributions. According to Beatles biographer Robert Rodriguez, Emerick’s recurring theme that Harrison lacked prowess as a guitar player until the late 1960s is more reflective of Emerick’s personality, and is countered by several other sources, and some of his descriptions of the Beatles’ recordings are negated by the availability of bootleg compilations of the band’s multitrack masters.

Beatles historian Erin Torkelson Weber said that, apart from Lennon’s account in Lennon Remembers, the book also presents arguably the most negative depiction of Martin as a record producer. The publication led to an Internet flame war, as former Beatles engineer Ken Scott challenged the accuracy of Emerick’s recollections and stated that, before writing the book, Emerick had contacted him and other EMI technical staff saying he had limited memory of the events. Scott’s 2012 autobiography, From Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust, sought to correct Emerick’s statements in Here, There, and Everywhere, especially with regard to Harrison’s musicianship and character.

Death

Emerick died from a heart attack on 2 October 2018, aged 72. He had been hospitalized two weeks beforehand after experiencing trouble walking, but was ruled to have been dehydrated. His manager, William Zabaleta, recalled talking to Emerick for the last time: “While on the phone, he had complications and dropped the phone. I called 911, but by the time they got there, it was too late. Geoff suffered from heart problems for a long time and had a pacemaker. When it’s your time it’s your time. We lost a legend and a best friend to me and a mentor.”

Paul McCartney commented on social media: “He was smart, fun-loving, and the genius behind many of the great sounds on our records. I’m shocked and saddened to have lost such a special friend.”

***

geoff_emerick

As buried in the article, he produced my beloved Badfinger (the No More album). The list of McCartney albums is not complete (Run Devil Run), but you get the idea.

Rest in peace, sir, and thank you.

For everything.

Literally, everything.

***

About the blogger:

Michael Curry is a life-long Beatles fan and has written the short story “The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles”, available here on Amazon Kindle.

 

 

 

John Lennon on US commemorative stamp

by STEPHEN R. GROVES

https://apnews.com/568c687641f147deaff0d9f1c18bfb9e

Sep. 07, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — John Lennon’s iconic round glasses and shaggy 1970s mane will now adorn a U.S. stamp.

800

Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, and their son, Sean Lennon, were in New York City’s Central Park Friday to celebrate the U.S. Postal Service’s release of a stamp honoring the late Beatle. Hundreds of Beatles fans gathered for the event.

“I know that my father would have been really thrilled to be accepted, officially in this way, on a stamp,” said Sean Lennon. “About as official as it gets, I think.”

The commemorative stamp features a photo of Lennon taken in 1974 on the roof of his Manhattan apartment building by photographer Bob Gruen, who also spoke at the event. The stamp is designed to look like a 45-rpm record sleeve.

“Everybody loves to listen to John’s songs and I’m very proud of it, but also the fact that this day, Imagine and you guys are here. It’s incredible,” Yoko Ono said.

She also joked about the blame she gets for breaking up the Beatles.

“If John just went with me and then he began, ‘La La La, Da Da Da’ or something like that, people say, ’Well, that’s Yoko’s fault,’” she said. “Well, it’s always my fault.”

The crowd received her warmly though, giving her a standing ovation.

“I always knew how much he loved her,” said Donna Gallucci who came from Pennsylvania for the event. “A lot of people didn’t understand that.”

After the event, people lined up to buy the stamps and enjoy one more day of Beatlemania in New York City.

Gallucci said, “He was so much a part of the city, so much a part of the park.”

***

I got mine!

20180911_092956

Thanks for allowing me to share the story!

About the blogger:

Michael Curry is a life-long Beatles fan and has written the short story “The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles”, available here on Amazon Kindle.