Friday, September 29, 2006

Who Is Killing The Great Blues Artists of America? (Part II)

Etta Baker, an influential blues guitarist who was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts, died September 23 in Fairfax, Virginia. The cause of death at 93 was not announced. Her versions of "Railroad Bill" and "One-Dime Blues" on the 1956 compilation album, "Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians," influenced the growing folk music revival…

Henry "Mule" Townsend, who fled home for St. Louis as a boy and then stayed for a prolific career as a blues guitarist that spanned eight decades, died September 24 of pulmonary edema in Grafton, Wisconsin. He was 96. Townsend was being honored at a blues festival as the last surviving musician from the old Paramount Records…

In the first installment of our post-Katrina inquiry, we noted that they had Died in 3s. This doesn't bode well for one more living legend...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Miami Vice: Multimillionaire marries his daughter!

The tabloid story of the year has broken out on Miami’s exclusive Fisher Island and Tabloid Baby's pal, America's most intrepid newspaper editor Tony Ortega, has shepherded it from a tawdry posh hiding place to the cold light of newsprint.

It’s Chinatown meets Miami Vice on the corner of Wall Street, a sordid, diamond-encrusted scandal that Tony calls a "doozy," proves that South Florida is the reigning hotbed of tabloid lojinks, and is definitely the material from which movies are made:

A multimillionaire loves his daughter... so much… he marries her... in a ceremony at Westminister Abbey.

Allegedly, of course. With photos.

To top it off, when the taboo-bending affair is exposed, the multimillionaire denies it, but according to reporter Kelly Cramer, “he doesn't explain how his and Linda's DNA turned up on a vibrator that Linda's husband uncovered in her luggage.”

"Linda" is Linda Marie Hodge McMahan Schutt. The multimillionaire dad is D. Bruce McMahan. According to the extraordinary story in the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, she was 35 when she and he was thirty years older when they exchanged rings and pronounced themselves husband and wife on June 23, 2004.

Cramer writes:

Afterward, she flew home to her legal spouse in Mississippi and he went home to his compound on Fisher Island, a ferry ride from Miami…

What followed was a breakup on an even grander scale than their wedding and a legal battle every bit as obsessive as each has been about the other. For more than a year, attorneys have been kept busy in Miami, New York, Mississippi, and San Diego with the fallout over the breakup of McMahan and Linda in five lawsuits involving not only father and daughter but also their legal spouses, as well as Linda's current boyfriend and soon-to-be father of her child…

On September 13, as Tony and his team was preparing the New Times article for print, all five lawsuits were settled. As part of the settlement, a federal judge in San Diego sealed the files of the California lawsuit and took the rare step of wiping out any record that the lawsuit had ever existed.

There's lots more: court documents and exhibits that include his denial of paternity, the paternity test that allegedly proves him wrong, details of McMahan and Linda's extraordinary wedding and their years as lovers, and Linda's videotaped deposition, all on the New Times website.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Howard Stern's sad return to "free" radio

Will Howard Stern return to free “terrestrial” radio by syndicating portions of his pay-satellite radio show? Oh yes. Oh yes, indeed.

Because a few hours ago, Stern did the unthinkable: he returned to morning radio in Los Angeles—as a guest on the execrable show that was dumped into the slot he vacated when he took the money and disappeared!

For some reason, Howard Stern was a guest on the low-rated program hosted by Adam Carolla-- you know, the monotonal droner who cuts off his guests with long, boring rambles about his high school days and then trundles the guest out of the studio (or more often, off the phone), so he can dedicate longer, even more tedious segments to his brutally unfunny “Deaf Frat Guy” character.

Howard Stern and his gang phoned from his studio to the most intentionally corrosive show on LA radio—on the morning Rick Dees returned to Los Angeles radio (with Jack Nicholson as a guest!)— to give his “approval” to the show (probably in the same manner that Letterman gave his blessing to Tom Snyder or that Scottish guy who follows him now— knowing he looks godlike in comparison).

Howard Stern is making cameo appearances on the “Free FM” he left in shambles less than a year ago. He must feel very lonely and forgotten.

He’ll be back, all right. And soon.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Showtime for 'Basketball Man'

Academy members, sports buffs and doco fans alike are closer to seeing the documentary that's been the talk of the summer.

Frozen Pictures' feature Basketball Man will be previewed Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Approximately twenty minutes of the documentary about basketball inventor Dr. James Naismith will be screened at the House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, at a star-studded event sponsored by the Naismith International Basketball Foundation and hosted by comedy superstar Tommy Davidson.

Basketball Man also focuses on Naismith's grandson, Ian, as he promotes sportsmanship by showing off the original rules of the game. Ian travels the country with the rules, appraised at between 10 and 20 million dollars, in a gold attache case.

The film is jam-packed with basketball stars and legends, including Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony, Kirk Hinrich, Tayshaun Prince, Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson, Rick Barry, Norm Nixon, Red Auerbach, Pat Summitt, John Wooden and NBA commissioner David Stern.

Basketball Man, directed by Burt Kearns, is produced by Brett Hudson, Kearns and Jerry Peluso, with original music by (former Hudson Brother) Hudson. It will soon be available in a deluxe DVD set, after a limited theatrical release.

(Click the photo to enlarge the poster and find how to get tickets)

Chris Wallace wasn't smirking

During his spirited self-righteous explosion broadcast on Fox News this morning, President Bill Clinton accused host Chris Wallace of having a "smirk" on his face.

Sorry, Bill, but he wasn't smirking. That's Chris Wallace's natural expression. It's the way his face is made.

In fact, "the smirk" has been annoying us for about twenty-five years, from the days we had to log Brokaw's nightly news at NBC, and despite his status as an arrogant network newsstar slumming at a right-wing propaganda machine shop, apparently Mike's son (and Eames Sr.s' stepbrother) can't help it.

Racial profiling at the California Pizza Kitchen

A recent lunch at the popular California Pizza Kitchen chain in the tony Brentwood section of LA (made famous by OJ & Nicole) has left us with a distinctly unpleasant aftertaste. It wasn't the pizza, but a survey that came with the check.

The survey claims to rate "customer satisfaction." It actually rates the customers.

When the waiter handed us that check, he told us we'd get a free appetizer on our next visit if we took a survey on a website listed on the receipt. We're always up for a free lettuce wrap, so we checked it out when we returned to the Tabloid Baby office. The survey covers a dozen web pages. Most of the items are fairly innocuous, rating things like ambiance, the server’s menu knowledge, accuracy of the order, speed of service and wait time.

But the survey takes bizarre twist on the tenth webpage, where the questions include:

What is your gender?
What category best describes your age group?
What category best describes your annual household income?
What category best describes your ethnicity?
What is your home zip code?

Wait a second: What category best describes your ethnicity?

We’re allowed to select one:
- Caucasian
- African American
- Hispanic or Latino
- Asian/Pacific Islander
- Some Other Ethnicity
- Prefer Not to Answer

So here’s our own survey question: Why does the California Pizza Kitchen need to know our race?

Are the survey answers weighted to take into account that African Americans may complain more, that Hispanics are more choosy because they’re used to working on the other side of the kitchen doors, or that Caucasians should be taken more seriously?

Or are they worried that the selections on their menu might have too much appeal to an undesireable ethnic group, and that if they don’t watch out they’ll turn into a Red Lobster?

Those questions make sense when you add in CPK's questions about annual household incomes and zip codes.

The CPK survey ends with a six-number validation code that must be given in order to get the free appetizer.

That’s another clue. As a test, we took the survey twice, giving different answers both times.

Both times, the validation code was different. Is that a code to the staff when we return for our free appetizer? Do the code numbers tell them whether the customer complained last time? Whether the customer should be white or not?

Paranoid? Put it this way: We don’t trust anyone who puts pineapple on pizzas.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Will bin Laden's death give life to documentary?

Reports say Osama bin Laden may be dead. If that's the case, perhaps American networks will no longer be afraid to run John Parsons Peditto's riveting and explosive documentary, Bin Laden's Escape. The Parco Productions doco has aired to great acclaim overseas, but no domestic news or entertainment boss has been brave enough to run the report on how the United States forces let bin Laden slip away at Tora Bora-- and more important, where he's travelled in the years since.

Bin Laden's Escape contains exclusive, unseen footage and explosive interviews with government agents, experts, and journalists on the front lines of the most intense manhunt in history. There are tales of personal encounters with bin Laden by the last Western reporters to interview him face-to-face, CNN terror expert Peter Bergen, and John Miller, former ABC News correspondent and current FBI spokesman. This documentary also contains extensive first-person footage shot by journalists along bin Laden’s escape route, as well as a hidden camera interview with an Osama collaborator by French Algerian journalist Mohamad Sifaoui in Karachi, Pakistan.

There's been a lot of praise for CNN's documentary special, 'In the Footsteps of bin Laden.' But the Parco documentary picks up where that one left off. And that seems to be part of the problem. Peditto is a broadcast journalism legend, and he and his team are giants, veterans who've taught the ropes to many of the suits and shirts & ties running the news establishment today. But they're mavericks, and time and again, from exposes of the Lennon assassination to talk TV to 9/11, John Parsons Peditto and company keep showing up the big boys.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Gay Morning America

If Clay Aiken doesn’t want people to think he’s gay, he shouldn’t name his albums “Measure of A Man” and “A Thousand Different Ways."

If Good Morning America wants to beat the Today show in the national ratings, its producers had better start thinking a lot less TMZ and a little more FHM.

We just a got a look at Diane Sawyer’s interview with poor Aiken, and we gotta ask: are these guys serious? Charlie Gibson hasn’t been gone a month and they've turned the show into Queer Eye for the News Guy.

Yesterday morning, while the tabloid Today show was perving out about the phony Tiger Wood wife nudes, over at GMA, they were segueing from the twinkly weatherman to Diane Sawyer trying to make the poor kid singer come out of his closet—to a “stepping into the closet” joke teasing an Isaac Mizrahi segment! Isaac Mizrahi in the morning, ripping off Gordon Elliott's doorknock routine!

The Aiken segment was sad. It wasn’t the usual choppy, ham-fisted editing (despite an extra camera with the special gauzy Sawyer lens). It was the tone: Diane Sawyer, Nixon’s gal, bearing down on this pathetic little warbler trying to get him to admit he loves men, like she's the correspondent for the Michelangelo Signorile show or something. It takes a lot of nerve for Diane to insist, “Honest to goodness, I am a firm believer in people’s private lives,” when she’s done such a great job for so many decades protecting her own.

Despite Disney’s gay-friendly reputation, this interview and show may be a turning point in the reinvention of Good Morning America, which is already subject to open ridicule, referred to smirkingly by New York media websites and magazines as “Gay Morning America."

(See Gawker.)

Obviously there's a powerful gay contingent on both sides of the camera at GMA. But no matter what they think of Madeline Albright or who they do in their private lives, the producers have got to realize they’re living in a New York high life bubble but working a mainstream morning new show. The guys at CNN know it (and so does Fox News!). And take it from us, acclaimed as a fiercely gay-friendly news organization: if they don’t start thinking mainstream soon, they’re all going to wind up at Bravo. Or CBS.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kim Hiott, it's time to claim your 15 Minutes

Kim Hiott is a model who's appeared in some provocative spreads for Playboy and other girlie magazines. Her face doesn’t necessarily radiate intelligence and the cuffs don’t always match the collar, but she's a looker, and her sexy photos have been circulated wide enough for her to become a household—or at least dorm room— room name by now.

Yet, more than two years after she was misidentified in her nudiest shots as Tiger Woods’ wife Elin Nordegren, the pix are still popping up with regularity and people still think it’s Tigers’ wife in the buff.

It doesn't make sense.

Today, any civilian, editor or lawyer only needs to google “Tiger Woods wife nude” to be directed to the truth.

So the fact that an Irish magazine published Kim’s pictures again this week makes even less sense— especially after we exposed the scam in March (when alert and horny Tabloid Baby readers ID’d Kim, based on her lower back tattoo), and pointed to a Snopes.com entry (Claim: Photographs show golfer Tiger Woods' wife posing nude. Status: False.) that laid the issue to rest.

It makes even less sense than all of the above that Kim Hiott isn’t a star based on the initial misidentification alone. Kim needs an agent. She should be on a world talk show tour today, expressing her outrage that she's being mistaken for a former nanny! This is her time to shine!

Where's Kim Hiott? If you know, contact us here. And we found some NSFW photos of Kim here.

(By the way, anyone who thinks there’s a difference between snooty “mainstream” news and proud tabloid should have have tuned into the Today show this morning, as they ran the Tiger Woods nude photos story—two days late and a writer short with the use of the "Tiger by the tail" cliche-- and ate it too, by showing the nude photos in question— but showing them as displayed in that Irish magazine. It’s an old trick to get ratings while avoiding the “tabloid” stigma-- as readers of Tabloid Baby are well aware.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Never mind the phony Firecrotch flash photos...

...this is what Photoshop is made for! These highlights from the Worth 1000 photography contest site are giving the kids on Myspace something to think about. Or not.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Stern return denials: Are they Sirius?

The mainstream media isn’t giving us any credit, but Tabloid Baby’s insistence and evidence that Howard Stern will soon syndicate his private pay-radio show on “terrestrial free radio” is causing shockwaves within the satellite radio company he fled to earlier this year.

We can't hear Howard, but his Sirius Satellite Radio company heard us. This afternoon, they said we're "wrong."

The statement came after the story we posted on Sunday about the failure of Stern sidekick Artie Lange's new movie, was picked up today-- without attribution-- by our friends at the New York Post, then posted on the Drudge Report, the cheat sheet for lazy journalists in all media.

"There has never been any discussion of Howard Stern in any way, shape, or form being anything but exclusive to Sirius," Patrick Reilly said.

Let’s not confuse the issue here, which is pretty simple and doesn't change Stern's newfound "freedom" to say swear words when he can’t think of anything funny to say:

We never said he was giving up his satellite deal.

We’ve said all along that Howard Stern will continue doing the same old show for his small paying audience on Sirius, but that Sirius will soon begin to syndicate censored portions to free FM radio— so everyone can hear him and he will be relevant and important again.

Because forget radio-- Howard Stern is no longer on the radar!

A tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to fearless reporter Ray Richmond at Past Deadline, who agrees Howard’s on the move, and acknowledges that great scoops come from tabloid babies…

(Stern sketch by Dick Gautier... yes, THAT Dick Gautier!)

Tiger Woods stung by another nude photo attack

The UK tabloids are having a field day reporting that Tiger Woods has “reacted with fury” after a Dublin magazine printed topless photos of a woman it wrongly claimed was the superstar golfer's wife.

Woods and the United States team arrived in Ireland on the eve of the Ryder Cup to see the photo purporting to show Woods' wife Elin under the headline "Ryder Cup filth for Ireland," above an article portraying the golfers' wives and girlfiends as cheap sluts.

The confusion is questionable, because the topless lookalike story is an old one. We broke the resurfacing of the scam back in March, when cyberterrorists spread the photos across the Internet on the eve of Tiger’s 60 Minutes interview with Ed Bradley.

Tabloid Baby readers helped identify model Kimberly Hiott by the tattoo on her lower back.

Stern to Return: You read it here first...

Howard Stern will return to free radio.

They all laughed when we predicted it back in April. They got mad when we said it again this weekend.

But now the New York Post has followed our lead, Drudge is headlining the story two days late-- and Tabloid Baby’s story will finally be a national topic.

Stern fans began to bombard us yeserday after we reported that Stern sidekick Artie Lange’s people emailed us, urging that we supopiort his film Beer League, which tanked over the weekend despite a heavy promotion on the Stern show.

We repeated the bottom line: Howard Stern is dead. Since he left the confines of FM radio to utter curse words for a small, paid audience on the Sirius satellite system, last December, he immediately vanished from the radar screen, lost his power to shape public opinion, and may as well be the King of Comedy’s Rupert Pupkin, doing a make-believe talk show in his basement.

This morning, The New York Post copies our story— and the Drudge Report trumpets it:

Howard Stern may be coming back to earth-- on WPLJ or WABC. Radio insiders are reporting rampant rumors that the shock jock will "do an Opie & Anthony" and return to old-fashioned radio from the obscurity of satellite radio.

Persistent industry chatter says "some sort of mega-deal's brewing among Sirius chief Mel Karmazin, Stern and Mel's longtime associate Farid Suleman” (who) runs Citadel Broadcasting, which is buying Disney/ABC's radio division…

This much is certain: Stern has complained loudly of late about published reports that he's lost his influence and is no longer a "watercooler topic" since he bolted from CBS for Sirius in a $500 million deal last January.

His celebrity-guest bookings have all but dried up and sidekick Artie Lange's new movie "Beer League" bombed over the weekend in spite of heavy hype on Stern's show. The Post's Page Six reported last week that since his move to pay radio, traffic to Stern's Web site was down a whopping 71 percent and his search-engine action plunged a staggering 90 percent…

Stern denies the move is in place. But longtime Stern listeners will admit: Stern lies to his audience when it comes to personal and business matters. He lied about his marriage, his social life and his plans to head to satellite until it suited him to tell the truth. He'll lie about this deal until it's time to announce it officially.

Stay tuned here.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Tabloid Baby comes into his F*ing own

The original Tabloid Baby generation is getting older by the day, and as its innovators move on to new fields and ventures in the delayed final chapters of their careers, the alcohol-soaked torch has been passed to a smarter, cleaner-living group of 21st century scions.

Down under in Australia, across the States, in and about Europe and even serving in Iraq, are various Brennans, Dunleavys, Kearnses, Darwins, McWilliamses, Elliotts, and Pelusos, who were born and raised in, around and after the first Tabloid Television era and are now striking out out on their own.

And few have made as impressive and unlikely hit on the cultural scene as the original Baby Precious of the brief, shining Hard Copy heyday, Eames Yates, Jr., scion of a maverick television journalism dynasty and son of the great rambling raconteur Eames Yates, who worked on and appeared in his father’s landmark HBO documentary film, Dead Blue, and was the first of the new generation to question Tabloid Baby’s literary description of a loved one, in this case his dear Dad, recalled as ”a large red-faced rambling ranch of a man; the big fat, thirty-something black sheep…a heavy drinking, heavy eating, heavy smoking heavy boy—a fuckup” (but a hero nonetheless).

Eames Yates Jr. stepped aboard the tabloid television express as a bright and beloved intern in the offices of the ill-fated revival of A Current Affair (thanks again, Roger), set off on a journey through India and, at 20, has somehow wound up as a personality on MTV Desi, an MTV spin-off network targeted at South Asian Americans including Indian, Pakistani, and Bengali Americans.

Just as his father rode roughshod across America, the tall, genial Eames Jr. wanders wherever he pleases in a popular show called F*ing with Eames.

Through the wonders of YouTube and cross-pollination, the WASPy Bollywood hero is now crossing over to the mainstream MTV market.

Watch him in action and find him on TV.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Beer League: A sad indicator of Stern's demise

"I don't know how accurate this is but Box Office Mojo is reporting Beer League's weekend at $320,000. As you probably know, Artie needs to make a million to bring the movie to a national release in October. If you were planning on seeing it and haven't gone out yet, do it today. We've heard reports of Artie fans from across the country simply buying a ticket through Fandango even though they can't see it. If you are one of them, let us know about it..."

The above email from "Mutt" that arrived in the Tabloid Baby offices this afternoon is the latest reason why Howard Stern will begin syndicating parts of his show on “free” radio sometime soon. Because there was a time when a Howard Stern Radio Show connection could add a little push to the box office-- at least get it to more than 164 theatres and rake in a measly million dollars.

But that was a time when Howard Stern mattered, when his new radio sidekick Artie Lange and his sad march to a blubbery booze and drug-soaked Farleyesque death was, if not a national obsession, at least common knowledge, heard on the radio in various cities around the country-- and generating enough publicity to sell out the stand-up gigs he wobbled to in joints around the country.

But now of course, Howard Stern is playing to a paid crowd, and has no cultural influence or juice at all because the millions who used to listen to him forgot about him soon after he took his ball and went home last December. We realized it the other morning, when we were stuck in rush hour traffic on the freeway, punching the radio buttons between Stephanie Miller and Mark & Brian and Kevin & Bean (pausing to smack it because Stern's nimrod successor Adam Carolla was wasting airtime with his deadly unfunny “Deaf Frat Guy” character) and we realized, amid all these cars, stopped for miles on the freeway— probably no one is listening to Howard Stern.

Because we’re not going to pay for car radio. Sorry.

Beer League seals Stern's Rupert Pupkin basement door.

Artie Lange got star billing and his name in the movie's title because of his Stern connection. We’re surprised Howard didn’t ante up a quarter million bucks to boost the box office and save face. But he’s probably in the Hamptons, enjoying his hundreds of millions of dollars and his new anonymity.

In any case, this is why Howard will soon syndicate his show on what’s become known as free, “terrestrial” radio.

Because when the New York Times takes the time to label a gross-out sports comedy as “close to being that rare film that is perfectly bad-- i.e., that has not a shred of social, entertainment or even curiosity value,” a Howard Stern push should be able to avoid embarrassment.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Reggie Bush scandal: Crowley blog had the scoop

Yahoo.com scoops the LA Times with a report that NFL running back Reggie Bush and his family appear to have accepted gifts, money and other benefits from marketing agents while the Heisman winner was still playing at USC.

But hold the champagne-- because Yahoo itself was scooped months ago by a blog called Hollywood Thoughts.

Yahoo says its report was based on an eight month investigation. Interesting. Because Hollywood Thoughts, the showbiz-sports-Disneyana site run by noted television and documentary director and producer Jon Crowley, brought the story into the open exactly eight months and one day ago!

The date was January 13th. Crowley posted the above-and-below photos with the following "Hollywood Thoughts":

Let me first say that I'm a USC fan. That said, this photo from today's LA Times has me concerned. How does a kid from the inner city afford diamond earrings and an expensive watch? Aren't there restrictions on how much dough amateur athletes can pull in? Maybe I'm just a cynic. It's probably just a gift from the owner of the Houston Texans...

Yahoo! Looks like someone followed his lead. Crowley, you nailed it. A tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to you.

Crowley's scoop, and the time it took for the (almost) mainstream media to pick up the ball, is reminiscent of Tabloid Baby's work in the Patrick McDermott case. All of us in the Tabloid Baby office look forward to Hollywood Thoughts' return from vacation.

First photos! David Hull on the road with Aerosmith

David Hull
, the local rock star from Tabloid Baby's school days, has crested with an unexpected supernova, filling in for Aerosmith's cancer-stricken bassist on their latest tour, playing to packed arenas and living the rock star life he helped define in the Sixties and Seventies.

And as our former bass guitar teacher gives the crowd a poignant chill when he hits the opening riff to Sweet Emotion, we turn to the Aerosmith fan site Aero Force One for the first solo tour pictures of 50-something David, and another recollection of David Hull back in the Seventies, when Aerosmith was having their first go-round:

Hey Tabloid Baby, Great "Dave" article. When the news broke weeks ago we (Followers of Dave) were doing cartwheels in the streets of Stratford. There were Congratulation Dave martini parties all weekend. Reading your story brought back memories of long ago. Dave used to leave the bathroom window open at the Pinecrest Club so we could sneak in to see him play. His musical family doesn't stop with his dad and grandmother. All three brothers are musicians also and one of his four sisters is a pianist. And lets not forget his mother who encouraged all of them. I've known the "Hulls" for many years. I've played in bands with all of them and can tell you they are the nicest people you'ld ever want to know. I've been backstage at more than a few "Dave" concerts in my days but Thursday night standing on stage in Hartford watching Dave was so intense. He's earned this the hard way and I hope that the "A" list exposure keeps him where he belongs... playing live to thousands...

(Meanwhile, Lukas won the other Rock Star Supernova last night, as we predicted at the start... and a tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to Aero Force One.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cloud 9 trailer hits the Internet

Cloud 9, the Burt Reynolds sports comedy with eerie
Oscar connections
, became the DVD beach movie rental hit of the summer, and is now about to take on audiences around the world.

While Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment distributes the hit DVD, Lakeshore International is taking the film worldwide, and produced the trailer (above) that's just hit the Internet. The movie will also be available in homes via cable, on demand.

Written and produced by Brett Hudson & Burt Kearns of Frozen Pictures along with Academy Award-winner Albert S. Ruddy (The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby), the hilarious sports comedy stars Reynolds as the coach of an all-stripper beach volleyball team. Co-stars include DL Hughley, Paul Rodriguez, Angie Everhart, Gabrielle Reece, Kenya Moore, Tony Danza, Tom Arnold and Gary Busey, along with a host of familiar faces.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Happy 75th birthday, George Jones

…Twitty and Hag were enough of an attraction, but the man I wanted to see was George Jones, the tragic, hard-drinking legend who Frank Sinatra himself described as the “second-best singer in America.” Sitting amid the crowd of rednecks in the Virginia arena, I began to hear something new in his ballads of cheating lovers, revenge, lifetimes of regret, and devotion beyond the grave. They were short stories in two-and-a-half minutes time, with surprise punchline twists whose literary and literate ironies were often lost on those who couldn’t hear past the steel guitars and fiddles…

That was when it hit me. I realized that America’s connection to
A Current Affair and the reason our show connected to all the people in this crowd. Our stories were like George Jones’ songs. Not only were we giving importance and weight to events that affected ordinary people in out-of-the-way towns, we were making them universal. It wasn’t only the old Colliers magazine or O. Henry we invoked when we provided justice and morals and surprise endings. The epics on A Current Affair were, in a nutshell, re-enactments of the songs that had the audience teary-eyed.

That night, George Jones dethroned Elvis Presley as avatar of our work. George Jones was king.

--Tabloid Baby, Chapter 8

The immortal George "Possum" Jones, born September 12, 1931, and somehow still alive today.